Kitten fosterer finds kittens trying to nurse on her male cat

People who foster kittens are often in for some surprises. Cats are unpredictable, and it’s hard to tell what hilarious or adorable things they’ll do next. This kitten fosterer was the recipient of one of these surprises one day when she walked in on her foster kittens to see them trying to nurse on her male cat.

Trying to nurse

These kittens must have been a little confused. Or maybe it was still comforting even though they weren’t getting any milk. In any case, their foster mom thought it was both funny and confusing. She shared the moment on Reddit, saying:

“Today my foster kittens tried nursing on my fixed male resident cat. I repeat. This dude has no milk and these are not his babies.”

But maybe he’s adopted them as his babies. As the resident cat of a foster home, he must be used to many kittens coming through and being raised in his home. Maybe he just decided he wanted to help out and be a mother cat figure to them, even though he isn’t their mom.

Gray tabby cat sitting with kittens near window
Merlin loves to hang out with the foster kittens. Pic credit: u/grayshush/Reddit

Mama Merlin

One person commented on the post, saying:

“He does, however, have an unusual amount of patience and gentleness.”


According to the foster mom, he really was very patient and gentle, and he was cleaning them the whole time they were with him.

Other people commented on how good a parent he is being to these kittens that aren’t even his.

Comments on Reddit

The foster mom said that the cat’s name is Merlin, and because of this little moment he had with these kittens, she started calling him Mama Merlin.

Nurse for comfort

Some commenters thought the kittens might be nursing for comfort, like many cats still do when they grow up and knead things, a leftover instinct from when they were young.

Most kittens just do the kneading, but some will also suck on things too. It’s possible that all these kittens just wanted to feel the comfort of nursing, even if they didn’t get any milk.

A sweet surprise

The foster mom wasn’t expecting this moment. She said:

“I was just shocked he let it happen.”

But as she watched Merlin interact with the kittens and saw how gentle he was being, she realized how sweet a moment it was. This was just one of those many surprises that come with taking care of cats. “Mama Merlin” helped these foster kittens feel right at home.

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