do cats eat other kittens

The best thing to do is to try and provide the best conditions possible to reduce the likelihood that she will feel the need to eat the kittens. Male cats do eat their own kittens but this phenomena is even more rare than when mother cats eat their own kittens. As with tomcats, a mother cat’s hunting instinct can cause her to kill a kitten. This process may seem cruel, but it is a behavior which has biological impulses important for the cat. Blood In Cat Poop – Why is It There And What To Do. She i… If the litter was born significantly premature and underdeveloped or if kittens were born with serious handicaps that made independent life untenable, like down’s syndrome or such, then in these circumstances the mother eating the kitten is more likely to occur. If a cat senses that conditions are not favorable for her to raise her current litter of kittens until they can survive on their own, she may choose to produce another litter of kittens as quickly as possible. If a feral queen is struggling to find enough sustenance, she may feel that she cannot hunt enough prey to nourish a litter of kittens. A tomcat can be a threat to a new litter of kittens if he perceives that he is not the father of the kittens. Because cats have a more sensitive sense of smell than humans, sometimes queens can detect an illness in a kitten that a human is unable to perceive. Science remains uncertain why a cat or another species will do what we consider barbaric. Another problematic situation can arise when a tomcat attempts to assert dominance over an unruly kitten. It is very painful for the cat and requires veterinary treatment with antibiotics to clear the infection up. At that point he may dismember or even eat the kittens. Marauding tomcats are usually the killer and eater of kittens. I heard that male cats will eat a female cats newborn kittens. Any signs of distress when feeding the kittens will need a vet check. When one of the kittens is born dead, the mum will immediately eat her. Usually, the infection is caused by the cat living in unsanitary conditions and having sustained some sort of trauma to the teat or teat canal. However, in some very specific situations, a tomcat will kill and even eat kittens. It is not unheard of for cats to eat a single kitten in a litter or the entire litter depending on the circumstances. The birth of several litters of kittens in one cat colony can also give rise to episodes of kitten abduction and killing. So why would a cat engage in this extreme behavior? The mother may feel the kitten is endangered or she is about to lose the kitten. One cause is when a dominant queen wants to improve the survival chances of her own litter. Well, the chances are this is a mother cat looking for scraps for her kittens. Leave handling kittens until they are two to six weeks of age to avoid creating problems with mom. Born in Connecticut, one sunny day of April, during the most interesting decade of past century! It is speculated that male feral cats may be eating their own kittens to limit or manage the size of the feral colony, maybe exerting dominance on the colony or may have accidentally mistaken the kittens for … As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Mastitis in cats is a bacterial infection that affects the mammary glands. You want to avoid the cat having to leave the kittens as this may cause stress that could end badly. However, care should be taken NOT to feed the cat entirely on human food. Once you have decided what type of material your box-feeding-station will be, you can i… If they do, don’t you want to know why do cats eat their kittens? Eating a weak or dead newborn kitten will act for the same purpose. If the cat is an inexperienced first-time mum or if the kittens have been born by cesarean, she may not recognize the kittens as her own and maybe completely confused with the situation. Problems can arise when the kittens play because a tomcat’s hunting instinct will become highly aroused by the behavior. As such it is not uncommon for mother cats to hide the litter from these male cats. Eating the stillborn kitten will provide nutrients that are passed to the other kittens 2. The sounds and movements of a kitten can resemble those of a cat’s natural prey and can trigger hunting behavior in a cat. Evolution has lead cats to become highly specialized and successful hunters. Kitten killing is a more prevalent behavior in female cats than males, primarily because the social structure of a group of cats does not include the consistent presence of adult males among kittens and their mothers. ... What some mother cats do when you touch her kittens is move them somewhere away from you. A cat that we rescued is having her kittens today (3 so far!!) Feline digestive tract is specifically adapted to the digestion of meat-based diet. Well, actually there are several documented reasons why this kind of thing happens, here is a rundown of the likely causes : The mother cat may have detected a birth defect with a kitten or a whole litter of kittens. Are any of the kittens struggling or smaller than the others? Do you even believe some cats eat kittens? Male cats do eat their own kittens but this phenomena is even more rare than when mother cats eat their own kittens. However, cats that are physically inactive or those that are already showing visible signs of obesity should not eat high-calorie foods. Other male cats who are not the father of the kittens may be prone to dispatching the kittens as a way to bring the mother back into heat so that they can mate with the female and create their own kittens. When this situation does arise it is usually limited to activity in feral cats. You even prepare a special place so she can have privacy when her kittens come. The decomposing body of the kitten will attract predators. It occurs in many other species in nature and it is incorrect for us to apply human behavior patterns and morals to animals. Unlike people and dogs, protein is the main energy source in cats’ diets. Cats for sale | Kittens for Sale ... gorgeous, reasonably quiet, good-tempered cats that make them great pets. Reasons why mama cats eat their kittens . Other signs of illness include fever, depression, lack of appetite, ... or kill/eat them. The events that will trigger a mother cat, also called a queen, to kill one or more of her kittens occur more often in feral cat populations than with pet cats. Occasionally, an unneutered tomcat will become involved in the kitten-rearing process. Cats need to eat protein. We don’t recommend giving your kittens tuna as it is meant for human beings and may not be nutritionally balanced, could be contaminated with mercury and has a high level of unsaturated fatty acids especially the red tuna. Yes, cats love to eat human foods but you can’t give them what you eat. Final thoughts: What should kittens eat and drink. Don’t forget about your other pets and the dangers that they could pose to a litter of kittens. Most queens are great mothers who know how to care for their kittens and in most cases, will not need help from humans other than food, water, ... For the first two weeks, kittens eat, sleep and do very little else. This happens most of the time when a mother cat delivers a stillborn kitten. What age do feral cats wean their kittens? If a stressed mother feels that her energy is low from the birthing process or her nutrients are depleted from nursing, she may eat her kittens in an effort to restore her own health. For cats living in the wild, late fall, winter, and early spring are the toughest times of year to find adequate supplies of food. Both mother and kittens are prone to infection at these delicate stages and an infection may bring about an unpalatable response from your cat. Additionally, pay close attention to the mother cat. When we say normal, a cat eating its own kittens is a natural phenomenon that is well documented. But a mother cat’s instinct is to protect her nest, so she may eat the dead kitten in order to prevent the death from attracting predators to her other kittens. Before we get into the food that cats like to ear from us, here is a list of cat food that we recommend.  This occurs when she perceives a threat to her kittens but feels she is unable to protect them. While some Toms may be benevolent when it comes to playtime there can be problems. While scientific studies have not provided specific reasons for the behavior, it is a part of their natural instincts. If feeding is refused then this is a serious development that needs fast intervention if the kittens are to avoid fading syndrome. Others will consume their entire litter. If spaying/neutering were a such a commonplace thing back then, we would probably have fixed her. The majority of female cats end up raising happy, healthy babies. Besides kittens, high-calorie foods are also recommended for pregnant or nursing cats, as these cats need a lot of energy to go around. Another common rejection scenario occurs when a kitten has abnormalities. Other times, it’s a cat’s natural drive to reproduce that will cause her to eat her kittens. They are physically and behaviorally completely adapted to the predator lifestyle. It is rare but not unheard of for the cat to suffer stress in this scenario and end up rejecting, or worse, eating her kittens. Kitten killing occurs most often with highly stressed and inexperienced mothers. As we touched on, handling kittens too early can be risky. Why do cats (male/female) Eat their Kittens? Mama cats are usually protective of their young and will do anything to keep them from harm … However, it is a behavior that is up to a certain point normal in the animal world. Sometimes, they even eat from their litters after urinating or defecating, and this is harmful to their health. Yes, some mother cats, also known as queens, will eat one or more of their kittens. The rule of thumb is generally to avoid handling kittens in the first two weeks to ensure the mother bonds, does not fear the removal of the kittens, and does not fear for the safety of the kittens. Unfortunately, a cat with a hormonal imbalance and an underdeveloped maternal instinct may not be able to resist her urge to kill her kitten when she perceives it as her prey. At present there are several recognised reasons for this, all supported by field observation, documented by breeders and related to other known feline behaviours. In these circumstances, she may decide the litter is unviable, feel stressed, or decide to withdraw resources. When the mother eats the kitten they usually leave no trace and the kitten is gone in a few gulps. Check out how rare this event is, why your cat might carry out this strange act and what you can do to ensure such a weird thing doesn’t happen to your kittens…. If a tomcat uses neck biting to impose dominance over a rowdy kitten, he may accidentally break the kitten’s neck with the force of his jaws. The mother may simply abandon the runt as a lost cause – but in this situation, you could nurture the runt to full health. A cat will also eat her placenta and afterbirth to provide extra nutrients for milk production. Male cats eating kittens is very rare but is usually the work of an unrelated male killing kittens. If this is the case, you should invest in a healthier brand name cat food. Why do mother cats move their kittens? She may feel that you are interfering with her kittens too much and that she needs to move them to the safety of a more private location. I’m a certified cat lover and an unapologetic writer! I know this is a fact because my mom told me she saw that happen to a cat that lived outside her home (years ago). They will not just eat them. By consuming the weak kitten, the mother can is trying to provide a better chance of survival for the others. When it occurs in cats, the kitten’s death is not always caused by the mother cat; there are a diverse number of reasons that can cause kittens to die naturally. You can build a very simple feeding station with wood, cages or even big plastic containers with a lid (the image shows a litter box station, but the concept is the same). Is it normal for mother cats to eat their dead kittens? If you have a cat that is about to give birth you may worry she could end up eating her kittens. So, what do Bengal Kittens Like to Eat? It is not uncommon for a mother to reject or kill a sick kitten to avoid the spread of illness to healthy kittens. In most cases a cat will simply reject and walk away from her kittens in preference to actually eating them – hence eating kittens is actually quite rare. In summary, kittens drink their mother’s milk and eat whatever scraps their mother can eat when they are older. Some cats may even eat up their dead kittens to protect them from being eaten by other animals. But that doesn’t mean cats can’t eat grains, vegetables, and fruits. There are a good number of foods that cats can eat apart from cat food. The kitten may be otherwise healthy, with the exception of a physical deformity. If the situation persists, contact your local veterinarian as it could be signs of other health problems. Jane MillerJanuary 5, 2020Cat Care2 Comments. Cats can eat potatoes, but undoubtedly there are a few restrictions for the same. A cat that is stressed from a difficult pregnancy or birth may do more than merely reject an abnormal kitten; she may kill it. The problem is that the automatic response of a kitten being held by the neck is to go limp. Young cats often eat whatever they see when hungry. Some cats will eat one kitten. They do that to hide their presence from predators. They are indifferent to the taste of sugars which is believed to be an evolutionary force that has driven cats to eat less plants and more meat. By licking and smelling their babies, cats figure out if the kitten is alive or not. Another reason a dominant female will kill a rival’s offspring is to remove the genetic competition from the other female; this is basically a “survival of the fittest” tactic. Sadly, sometimes a queen will kill her kittens as a result of a frustrated protection instinct. Obviously, don’t place the litter tray too close to the cat but near enough that she doesn’t have to lose sight of her kittens when using the tray. Typically, the more dominant female cat is the culprit. By killing and even eating her kittens, she will return to breeding condition sooner, and perhaps her new litter of kittens will be more viable. As gruesome as the thought of an animal eating its young is to humans, the phenomenon is not completely uncommon in the animal world. Make sure your cat is well-fed and well-nourished so there is no reason for her to feel she has to reduce litter numbers to ensure survival. This would explain why we won’t see a wild cat supplementi… Equally important is that you and your family members resist the urge to spend a lot of time watching the kittens or handling the kittens, especially when they are first born. Supervise when introducing kittens to your other cats. It is speculated that male feral cats may be eating their own kittens to limit or manage the size of the feral colony, maybe exerting dominance on the colony or may have accidentally mistaken the kittens for prey items. Sadly, stillbirths also happen in the feline world. This is done for several reasons; 1. A stillborn kitten represents a threat to the remaining kittens as they can encourage disease and infection in the other kittens if the stillborn kitten is allowed to remain with the litter following birth. A cat suffering from such a condition, even though the condition is quite rare in cats, is likely to be in such pain that a kitten attempting to suckle is likely to be rejected at best and at worse, eaten in a misguided attempt to ease the pain. Discovering that your cat has eaten her kittens is deeply disturbing. she is in a secluded room away from our other cats. This offers the best survival odds for her litter. In most circumstances, the mother is just likely to abandon the kittens with the defect – but it has been recorded that in some instances the mother will actually respond to the situation by eating the kitten (s). Best Cat Food For Sensitive Stomachs – Stop Vomiting & Diarrhea! MyKitten helps to buy a cat online as well as other breeds with a quality check. Eating their dead kittens will provide nutrients that will be dissolved in the mother’s milk and will be beneficial for other kittens. If you have a cat with kittens, and she is struggling to nurse her kittens a call to the vet is required in case she has mastitis. If your kittens have bad gas or diarrhea, it could be due to their kibble. By eating a weaker kitten, the mother can better provide for the rest of the litter. You can also use a big piece of furniture to create your feeding station. If the kittens are handled too early the mother may become stressed and react badly. There are many possible motivations for such disturbing behaviors. Is it a normal behavior? While it is impossible to prevent it in all situations, there are a few things you can do to protect your kittens. You want to do everything you can to help your cat be the best mother possible! Cats love to taste human foods and when they get it, it’s like getting a dream comes true. The mother may react to this situation by eating the stillborn kitten to remove the possibility that it will affect the health of her other kittens. Mother cats only eat their kittens if they are born dead. Raw potatoes are obviously a ‘no-no’ for cats, whereas boiled and cooked ones are safe and do … If the number of kittens in the litter suddenly reduces and there is no visible evidence as to where they are located you should assume that the mother has eaten the kitten. What could be more exciting for a cat lover than having kittens? By using this site, you accept our use of cookies. A malnourished cat may eat some or all of her kittens, so make you sure to feed your queen a nutritious diet in quantities that will enable her to produce plenty of milk for her babies. Hi! Kittens require a slightly high amount of high-quality proteins when compared to adult cats to help promote growth and development. Consuming potatoes in small amounts is not risky, whereas high consumption can surely be a hazard. Sometimes, cats eat their kittens for the benefit of their own health. Whilst this behavior sounds bizarre and abhorrent, it is often a natural reaction that once understood can be appreciated as being an understandable, but extreme, course of action given the circumstances. That’s why I created SweetieKitty! It is normal for cats to eat their own kittens, but it happens very rarely! Some are just easier for them to digest than others. Other times, it’s a cat’s natural drive to reproduce that will cause her to eat her kittens. Cats that eat their kittens are not crazy kitties, devil cats, or psychopaths – they are responding naturally to an issue in their environment or with their litter. So what can you do to stop or prevent her from eating the kittens? Besides hunting for their food, kittens learn from their mother what to eat and what they should avoid. Place a litter tray in the same room as your cat and her litter. You give your cat the best of everything during her pregnancy as you anxiously await the arrival of her babies. Keep reading so you discover in why cats eat their newborn kittens, and know how to face an event like this. The area needs to be quiet and free from household traffic or other family pets. Nowadays I live in South Carolina, with my three tomcats! These kittens might look all ferocious when younger but like all other cats, they too survive on milk in the beginning. Kittens and mothers need the best chance of good health at this stage. What can cats eat besides cat food? Here are some easy steps you can take : Select a place that is warm and comfortable for your cat. Yes, it is normal behavior. We use cookies on this site to optimize site functionality and give you the best possible experience. Although cat food is specifically made to suit their digestive and nutritional needs, there are other foods from your dining table that are great additions to your cat’s diet.. A baby kitten is small, wiggly, and makes little squeaking sounds. In this case, the female does not want to expend the time or effort to care for a kitten that she perceives has a poor chance of survival. Yes, … Knowing what to eat is another vital thing mother cats teach their kitty cats. They can end up hurting the kittens during playtime as they don’t know how to differentiate when it is playtime and hunting time. A rejected kitten will be away from the group and clearly ignored by the mother. I’d love to read your comments on my article. But unfortunately, Mother Nature can be brutal, and for a few cats, having kittens results in tragedy. Bacteria use the traumatized area as an entry path and cause infection. Fortunately, incidences of cats’ eating their kittens are rare. Creating a feeding station where only the starving cat can get access to and excluding the cat obsessed with food. You may begin to notice your kittens and cats playing footsie under the door to the kitten’s quiet room. Particularly when a litter of kittens is orphaned or has an incompetent mother, a tomcat will assume some of the mothering duties. Although there is no single reason why a cat may eat her young, the main reason is because they believe the kitten is too weak to survive. It may sound gross but some mother cats eat their kittens when they seem to be dead. The alternative may be removing the remaining health littermates to a separate location – which carries its own risks. Cats can eat all of these foods. Yes, i is normal, if rare, behavior for mama cats to eat their kittens and some may even eat not just one kitten but the entire litter. Although kittens need socializing, this should not be carried out too early. Cat Not Eating Much But Acting Normal – What Gives? Mother cats are known to eat their kittens. Tom cats would kill kittens sired by other tom cats although it would not be unheard of if … Multiple tomcats can aggravate the concerns over paternity among the cats and lead a tomcat to kill and eat the kittens in an effort to perpetuate his own genetics. You may have wondered when feral cats wean their kittens …

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