Tiger Cub Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Diane Sieverson

Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.

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.

Young tiger cubs
Young tiger cubs

The biggest adult tigers can weigh as much as 660 pounds, but when tiger cubs are born, the biggest ones only weigh up to 3 1/2 pounds. That's about the same as twelve medium-sized oranges!

What Are Tiger Cubs Like?

Just like when you were first born, tiger cubs need their mother to take care of them. But unlike you, they can't see anything when they come into the world because they're blind! It will take about two weeks before they can see.

And as small as they are, tiger cubs are born with all their stripes. Though they spread out as they grow, they don't change. Just like no one else has your fingerprints and no two giraffes have the same spot pattern, no two tigers have the same pattern of stripes, either.

What do Tiger Cubs Eat?

When tiger cubs are born, they drink their mother's milk to survive. But when they have grown a little and are between six to eight weeks old they can eat regular food, too. By the time they are six months old, they don't need milk anymore.

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.

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