This isn’t the most pleasant subject in the world, but here goes: a mother cat wipes her kittens’ rear ends with her tongue, and in the process swallows some of their urine and feces. Sounds disgusting, true, but cats share this behavior with almost all other carnivorous animals. (Humans don’t do this, thankfully.)

Cats are, of course, absolutely obsessive about cleanliness, so licking the kittens’ behinds is a mother’s way of cleaning up the kids and cleaning up the nesting area as well. Keep this behavior in mind if you are tempted to rub noses with your proud new mother cat.
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