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Tigers are some of the largest big cats in the world, but they start out as tiny cubs. Come learn about tiger cubs, how big they are when they’re born, how they play and what their life is like as they grow up.

Tiny Tiger Cubs

It’s a bright, sunny day at the park and you are hanging out, playing your favorite game of tag. Your friend is ‘it’ and he’s chasing you around trees and through the bushes. You zig and zag, trying to get away, but it’s no use.

He’s faster than you and finally catches you before you can make it to base at the water fountain. You have a favorite game in common with older tiger cubs, who like to play tag, too!When tiger cubs are born, there can be as many as seven brothers and sisters in a litter, or group of animals born together, but that’s not common. There are usually about three born at a time, with only two typically growing up to be adults.

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Young tiger cubs
Tiger cubs with their mom
Tiger cubs with their mom

Tigers are carnivores, which means they eat meat. But even at six months old they can’t hunt for themselves yet, so their mom has to bring back snacks for them the way your mom makes you dinner.

When tiger cubs are about eight to ten months old, they all go out with their mother to find food. She teaches them how to stay safe and hunt for meaty meals, like going to tiger school. Some of the animals tiger cubs first learn to hunt include deer, pigs and cattle.

Playing with a Purpose

Just like you enjoyed playing tag with your friends, tiger cubs spend a lot of time chasing each other, knocking each other over, climbing on things, smacking each other with their paws and sneaking up on one other. And though they are having fun, these games are really helping them practice the skills they will need to hunt and survive as they grow up.

Older tiger cubs playing
Older tiger cubs playing

When they are between about seventeen to twenty-four months old, the little tiger cubs have grown into young tigers and leave their mother to live life and someday have cubs of their own.

Lesson Summary

There are usually about three tiger cubs in a litter and they’re born small, blind and weak. They have all their stripes and drink their mother’s milk until they are six months old, and then only eat meat. Tigers are carnivores and when they’re about eight to ten months old, cubs start using the skills they learned playing with each other to hunt, eventually going off on their own by about seventeen to twenty-four months old.

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