Pregnant Irish cat adopts ducklings, plus bonus cat/ferret bonding

November 29, 2013 • 3:03 pm

Time to end the week with a heartwarmer.

A cat about to give birth adopts a brood of ducklings, and almost immediately produces her kittens.  One thing’s for sure: those ducklings ain’t suckling!

A bonus: go over to The Metapicture and see a series of cute photos of a new kitten befriending some resident ferrets. One shot:

Picture 1

h/t: Sara

18 thoughts on “Pregnant Irish cat adopts ducklings, plus bonus cat/ferret bonding

    1. I’m pretty sure that the ducklings have already bonded. Less sure about mama cat.

      When I was a young Huck Finn, my brothers and I found a newborn rabbit (a west Texas Jackrabbit.) We had heard animal adoption stories before, so we put it the box with a mama cat and her very new kittens. The next morning, all we found was one foot.

    1. That cat is going to wake up with a horrible headache, look over at the ferrets next to him, sigh, then get up to put the kettle on. He has been in this situation too many times.

  1. I watched the whole programme last week. It seems that having mutually imprinted on each other, the effect became permanent. The film crew came back several months later and found the ducks, now more or less adult size, waddling along after the cat and the kittens, who were quite happy having them around and showed no signs of being interested in eating or attacking them.

    It’s a wonderful series (presented by Liz Bonnin) on all sorts of unexpected relationships that have arisen between different animals in many varied situations, e.g. in sanctuaries, in domestic and in wild situations. Lots of cuteness but also lots of interesting contributions from animal behaviourists. I hope you get to see it in the US soon.

    1. I’m wondering if the predators, such as the momma cat, would afterward consider other ducks as “family”? That is, not wanting to eat them, or being able to differentiate her “family” of ducks from the others?

      In the series that you watched was there anything that touched on the topic of the bonding between two individuals of different species and whether that bonding applies to others of the different species or is the bonding specifically with the bonded individual? So in other words, do they bond and then have a tendency to consider other members of the foreign species traditionally or as similar to the relationship they have with their bonded individual?

      1. Good question. That question was’t addressed specifically, but the implication seems to be that the bonding is personal only. Certainly in a later segment, which was about the seemingly “romantic” bonding of an antelope (sorry, I forget which species) and a giraffe in South Africa, it was clearly unique to the individuals concerned.

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