Inheritance in constructors

My question largely relates to this one Is List<Dog> a subclass of List<Animal>? Why aren't Java's generics implicitly polymorphic?

So, say we have Animal that is a super interface of Cat and Dog. We also have a abstract class Litter such that

public abstract class Litter{

    public Litter(Collection<Animal> animals){}

And then we naturally have a concrete class KittyLitter

public class KittyLitter extends Litter{

    public KittyLitter(Collection<Cat> animals) {

...and puppy litter.

Naturally, we want to limit all Animal in a KittyLitter to just Cat. Why doesnt Java allow us to do this? Then, also lets say we add another method --

public abstract void addCub(Animal animal);

and concrete implementation in KittyLitter of

public void addCub(Animal cat) {
    // TODO Auto-generated method stub

At this point this breaks logic and allows us to insert a Dog into a KittyLitter which makes no sense. Any ideas as to why Java does these things to us? Also, if KittyLitter constructor can be changed to accept a List, why does the type argument behave differently? Can anyone explain why this is so?

EDIT: this is really not about constructors, but also any method that overrides.


You need to make the superclass generic, using a bounded type parameter to say what kind of animals the litter can hold:

public abstract class Litter<T extends Animal> {  // <-- type bound
  public Litter(Collection<T> animals) { /* ... */ }
  public void addCub(T cub) { /* ... */ }

public class KittyLitter extends Litter<Cat> {
  public KittyLitter(Collection<Cat> cats) {

This allows the subclass to limit what kind of animals the inherited superclass methods will accept, by specifying a type for T. KittyLitter's addCub method takes a Cat argument, not an Animal. And PuppyLitter's addCub will take a Dog.

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