Most of the females are in perpetual state of breeding. They mate with dominant males to insure superior genes. Then after three months the cubs are born. The average size of the litter is four but sometimes even six cubs may be born.
The female gives birth in a remote secluded area with dense vegetation. The cubs are born blind and their eyes open after fourteen days. This gives enough time to the famished mother to go for a hunt without the fear of her cubs straying.
Initial cubs are vulnerable to small mammalian predators, raptors. reptiles and other big cats. They stay close to the mother and obey her commands which are unique calls a naturalist will understand.
The cubs are reared for two to two and a half years. The female assures their capability to survive in wild on their own. Tigers are solitary animals hence they have to hunt singly and fight adversities alone. The period with the mother is a period of learning survival skills, hunting and getting familiar with the ecosystems.
In order to teach hunting the mother kills a small animal partially and then allows the cub to finish. After stumbling many times the growing cubs begin to hunt efficiently this process may take as much as a year.
Male tigers do not kill cubs which they have sired but other males would kill them instantly. The mothers have to be very protective to save her cubs from invaders and other enemies.
Family union is rare whence the father joins the mother with cubs. They even hunt together and consume. The association is usually of short duration but solitary existence does not absolve the father from his duty to keep guarding the territory and protecting the family.
Tigers are slowly emerging out of endangerment albeit the species has a long way to go. Excessive hunting poaching and loss of habitat are the predicaments behind the sad state of this magnificent predator.