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I have a 4 month old female kitten and recently adopted another kitten who is a month younger and a boy (neutered). They have been getting along very well and play together, chase one another and play fight (as kittens do).

What I'm curious about is the 4 month old girl likes to lick/groom the younger one and I think this is adorable. What I'm wondering is, is she doing this from a maternal standpoint or is it more like a 'buddy' type of thing?
It seems as though she's too young for that maternal grooming instinct. The younger one doesn't groom her as much as she him, although I have seen him lick her as well on occasion.

Anybody know the answers to these super cute behaviors?
 

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My twins groom each other every day. And they both groom Cleo's face and forehead (as much as she'll let them). It's a greeting, a hug, comforting, and they can clean places on each other they can't reach themselves (ears, etc.).
 

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Littermates groom each other from a very young age. I wouldn't say it's maternal as both males and females groom each other. Can also be a dominance thing, and some cats will begin grooming each other and end up wrestling.

Your younger one will probably start to groom the other as she gets older.
 

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Princess Tramp grooms Oz a lot and Jem a bit. Oz and Jem groom each other equally. Oz and Jem nuzzle Tramp a lot but don't groom her. All three of them also groom the dog which confues her no end - they especially love washing her ears. Lottie doesn't groom any of the others, feline or canine.
 

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I agree with Arianwen. It depends on the cat. Some are just lickier than others, and some would never lick another. Might depend how long they were with their litter mates and momacat, altho an orphan cat may be licky to its owner but not to other cats. Don't really know if there is an answer to this question. :wiggle
 

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Tux tries to get everyone to groom her head every day. One of two of the older cats will oblige her with a few licks. The sisters, Dora and Sterling, will groom one another and their mother will groom both of the kittens. Now and then Dora will groom Tux and I will find those two lying arm and arm on the floor while Dora licks Tux. However, Tux never reciprocates with the grooming.

My four half Siamese kittens used to groom one another all the time, well into their tenth and eleventh years.
 
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