• Question: Why are baby rabbits called kittens? are rabbits and cats related?

    Asked by followtheyellowbrickroad to Meeks, Stephen, Tom on 24 Jun 2010 in Categories: .
    • Photo: Stephen Curry

      Stephen Curry answered on 24 Jun 2010:

      Rabbits and cats are both mammals so somewhere back in evolutionary history they will have a common ancestor – some animal from which they both evolved. But I don’t know if a fossil of that animal has been discovered.

      i suspect the name kitten is used for babies because newborn cats and rabbits may look a little similar.

      If you look at foetuses of mammals, they look surprisingly similar. For example, human foetuses look similar to mouse foetuses

    • Photo: Tom Hartley

      Tom Hartley answered on 24 Jun 2010:

      Rabbits and cats are related, they’re both animals, vertebrates and mammals, but they’re not particularly close cousins (as I am sure you know, a rabbit is a rodent, so closer to a rat or mouse). It doesn’t seem unreasonable to call two different fluffy baby animals by the same name, does it?