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There are only two cat species in which the females raise their young together: the lion and the domestic cat, Bradshaw says. Lions live in prides where the females care for their cubs together. Similarly, when cats are living outdoors on their own, three or four females will put their kittens in one nest that they all defend. The mother cats will also go out hunting and bring back food that they allow all of the kittens to eat. Breeders and rescuers can make use of this behavior by putting orphaned kittens or those whose mothers are short of milk with another nursing female. "What they're taking advantage of is the fact that mother cats basically don't seem to recognize their own kittens, which is unusual," Bradshaw says.
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