What Is a Group of Kittens Called?

cat with kittens
© Esin Deniz/Shutterstock.com

Written by Katelynn Sobus

Updated: May 17, 2023

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A group of kittens can be called a litter, kindle, or intrigue. A litter refers to kittens birthed by the same mother, while kindles or intrigues of kittens can be unrelated to one another.

In this article, we’ll discuss what to call a group of kittens, where these names come from, and more.

cats kneading nursing

A group of kittens from the same mother is called a litter.

©Rashid Valitov/Shutterstock.com

What Are a Bunch of Kittens Called?

There are a few names for a bunch of kittens. We’ll discuss them all in detail below!

A Group of Sibling Kittens is Called a Litter

If the kittens are born to the same mother, they’re called a litter. This is the most common way to refer to a group of kittens.

“Litter” comes from “litiere,” which meant bed in Old French. Mother cats typically give birth all in one go or on one “bed.”

A General Group is Called a Kindle or Intrigue

A kindle is the most common way to refer to an unrelated group of kittens or mixed litters. It can also refer to a litter, though less commonly.

The word kindle probably comes from “kindling,” which also means birthing.

An intrigue of kittens is a bit rarer of a phrase. Intrigue used to mean entanglement, such as the entangled limbs of playing kittens!

Three Burmese kittens playing in a box.

Purebred cats often have larger litters than mixed-breed cats and can birth twelve or more kittens in one litter!

©Anton Saiun/Shutterstock.com

How Many Kittens are in the Average Litter?

Most litters consist of just three to five kittens. However, a mother cat may birth twelve or more kittens in one litter. She might also birth only a single kitten.

Purebred cats, such as Siamese cats, tend to birth larger litters. Cats can also birth up to three litters in one year and can become pregnant as young as four months old.

By the time a mama cat is having her next litter, her daughters can already be pregnant! This is why spay and neuter programs are so important, especially for stray and feral cats.

What is a Mischief of Kittens?

If someone asks you if you’d like to see a mischief of kittens, they may be up to some mischief themselves!

Rat babies are actually also called kittens, and a mischief is a group of rat kittens. Rat babies are also sometimes called pups!

What’s a Group of Cats Called?

A group of cats is commonly called a clowder. Clowder can be traced back to the English word “clotern,” which means “to pile on.” Other words that stem from clotern include clot, clutter, and cluster.

A group of cats with precarious standing are sometimes called a glaring, after the way they look at each other while deciding how to act.

A group of cats living together in an outdoor community is called a colony.


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About the Author

Katelynn Sobus is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on pets including dogs, cats, and exotics. She has been writing about pet care for over five years. Katelynn currently lives in Michigan with her seven senior rescue cats.

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