why do male cats eat their kittens

The first course is to eat the placenta to provide nutrients to the kittens through nursing milk. Neutered male cats. The aim of male cats is different -- to move their DNA all around and keep their characteristics alive and strong for generations to come. In the remaining litter, some of them may be born with defects. They also purr, chirp, and even chatter. Most females have a natural nurturing instinct to love and care for their babies. Reproduction: spaying, neutering, and sterilizing will prevent wandering, especially with male cats seeking out a female in heat. Often times the older cats will appear sad, reclusive, hiss a lot, and sometimes even stop eating if it isn't adjusting well to the new member of the family. During the pregnancy period, a lot of mother cats lose their appetite. The vet will then prescribe some antibiotics to clear the infection. Some of the congenital defects that affect newborn kittens include; Any of the above defects can and will affect a kitten’s growth process. Blood can still be pumped to this area. As absurd as it sounds, a mother cat eats her kittens out of love. One of the horrors of living with a nursing cat is coming home to find she gobbled up one, or two, of her own. Why do cats eat their kittens? Don’t get it wrong. You are not alone, lots of pet parents have witnessed this […]. How Long Until a Mom Cat Accepts an Adopted Kitten?→, Why Should Kittens Drink Water Instead of Milk?→, Will a Female Kitten Not Spray After Being Spayed?→. Defects can be both internal and external. Endometritis causes uterine inflammation. This is important because cats eat their prey as is, including both the edible … Some tomcats have attacked and killed their own offspring as a means of getting the busy mother cats to focus on them -- and then go back into estrus for mating purposes. Cats are usually very independent. Also, it is advisable to spay the cat after a full recovery to prevent the condition from recurring. She will not feed them and may even sleep or trample over them causing some of them to die. This is done for several reasons; So, do not be too hard on your cat if she eats her stillborn babies. Milk fever occurs in animals with extremely low levels of calcium in the blood. It interferes in many physical processes, especially feeding on the mother’s milk. You are not alone, lots of pet parents have witnessed this supposed cruelty, leaving them puzzled with the question, why do mother cats eat their kittens? They also eat the kitten if they feel threatened. She will eat one or two of her kittens for the following reasons; Sadly, stillbirths also happen in the feline world. Kittens are likely to die if the condition is not treated early. Just as a bad diet affects us and our own stool, it also causes … A mother cat would eat one or all of her kittens if she perceives they are in danger. How can I know I’m selecting a high-quality kitten food? Toms may also occasionally kill kittens during play because they are unable to turn off the strong hunting instinct. Tomcats not only sometimes engage in fun-loving play sessions with the little furballs, they also sometimes help to groom them, licking them to cleanliness and brimming health. When one of the kittens is born dead, the mum will immediately eat her. The new litter will then belong to the new male cat. First of all, the one obvious change that you will see in your cat after their procedure is the absence of their testicles, which will be very noticeable to you, but something that your cat will be pretty much unaware of! By killing and eating one of her kittens who is suffering from an infection due to a reduced resistance or hypothermia and inactivity, the mother eliminates the pathogen from the nest thereby protecting the remaining kittens. Small kittens mostly resemble small animals, which the tomcats prey on. Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. Also, cats don’t like change. This is another reason why they may end up eating the kitten. Hunting: a nice supply of mice or other prey may have lured your cat to act on its natural instincts. The reasons why a cat will eat a kitten they deem unable to survive has a lot to do with their natural instinct. Losing a beloved family member, whether animal or human, can cause some cats to stop eating due to anxiety or depression. We list some of the more … Queens or female cats do care for their newborn litter. Hunting provides important mental stimulation for a cat. To protect the remaining litter and ensure their survival to adulthood. In some cats, it may take longer to show. The cat will likely move the litter or eat the kittens in the process. Fortunately, feline hypocalcemia is a rare condition. It can cause mother cats to stop feeding their litter. It is a misconception that neutered male cats cannot achieve erections. Kittens are believed to be victims of a tomcat’s aggression. They are more likely to eat their litter for survival. 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 worse cases, milk fever can send a cat into a coma and eventually death. Within the world of domestic cats, fathers definitely don't have big roles in looking after their offspring. If they are females still nursing their kittens, they will do so to help prevent other cats from finding their litter. Eating the stillborn kitten will provide nutrients that are passed to the other kittens 2. Although some father cats may be completely harmless around their newborn kittens, it may be smart to keep them away, just for caution's sake. A female cat afflicted by endometritis may also ignore her litter. As your cat grows older, he may have particular difficulties with the way he functions, namely his eating habits.If you noticed your old cat not eating, then it may be a huge problem in the long run. A male kitten will kill and eat kittens they did not sire. She sees this as an act of mercy and love to her kittens- a more honorable death compared to being mauled by predators. Cats have emotions too, and there can be several emotional or behavioral causes of loss of appetite. One is to move all kittens to other locations. Why do mother cats eat their kittens? Mastitis is usually caused by a germ or bacteria found on the skin or the suckling kitten’s mouth. Why do cats, either male or female, sometimes kill kittens - either their own kittens or those belonging to another cat? Milk fever is an advanced form of feline hypocalcemia. The sight of the defenceless kittens would trigger the hunting instinct of the mother cat. Even the millennia of domestication does not mean companion cats do not retain some of this instinct. She is ensuring the survival and continuity of her litter. Male cats tend to eat more than females, however, they spend less time hunting. A new kitten is typically eager to make friends, but the older cats in the household may want nothing to do with the younger one. It is important not to interfere with a cat’s litter until the weaning age. A cat will reject kittens if they are touched a lot. Stray cats suffer malnutrition more than domesticated felines. Dehydration. Provide a secure place for your cat to nurse its litter. Sometimes, cats eat their kittens for the benefit of their own health. One of the horrors of living with a nursing cat is coming home to find she gobbled up one, or two, of her own. Newborn kittens are delicate creatures, and their mother cats usually know exactly what to do in order to keep them healthy and comfortable. A cat who is not spayed or neutered is much more likely to be aggressive. Female cats occasionally help raise kittens from other mothers by grooming the little ones, being attentive to them as their mothers are away hunting for food and even sometimes delivering food themselves. The mother cat may also eat one or two kittens for nutrients. Ensure your cat has a safe area for her birth and while kittens still require her for survival. But there will be times that they suffer from certain problems that end up with them being unhealthy. Why doesn’t every cat do it? When one of the kittens is born dead, the mum will immediately eat her. Food: your neighbor may be feeding your cat. If a male cat has been castrated, then their testicles have been removed, but their penis should still function normally. A mother cat would kill and eat a kitten that has a poor chance of surviving. They meow at humans for many reasons, and it is up to us as cat parents to try to understand our cats … Taking care of your cat is one of the most important things you should prioritize. Although these behaviors are extremely uncommon, they are not nonexistent. Male cats in particular are biologically wired to fight with other male cats when females in heat are present. Meowing is reserved for their communications with people. A cat may also reject the disadvantaged kittens in the litter-especially those with deformities or illness. In extreme cases, the cat may eat her entire litter. Mindy Bough, CVT, senior director of client … Sometimes cats swallow things they shouldn’t and those things can cause an … The mother does not recognize the kitten because of the new scent from the human hands. Cats purr to express their contentment. Cats often make this … The more water a cat consumes, the more it will urinate. With their hunter’s instinct, male cats happen to kill kittens quite often. It is important to monitor a nursing cat to ensure they do not lack anything when nurturing their litter. Tomcats also sometimes kill kittens that have different fathers -- a way of eliminating living proof of the rival fathers' DNA. Human caretakers, if available on the scene, just need to be around to provide helping hands should any problems arise. This will not come as a surprise. This is a predatory instinct to help the female to go into heat again. Take your cat to a professional vet for a proper diagnosis of endometritis. Kittens meow to their mothers when they’re hungry, cold, or scared. This is not the norm and often fathers will help raise kittens. Diet. Female cats are born with a strong maternal instinct that identifies the defective kittens in a litter. This, in turn, flushes any bacteria from the bladder. Your Cat May Be Experiencing Stress, Anxiety, or Depression. Another side of mercy is she will ensure she can produce enough milk for her litter. Why do cats meow? This is likely to happen where the mother cat is not being fed enough nutrients. Do you love when your cat purrs? Yes, some mother cats, also known as queens, will eat one or more of their kittens. Hence, it is better to keep a female cat who has mothered kittens away from the male cat. Cats can be attracted to new sights, sounds, and smells that entice them. This behavior is a throwback to instincts from wilder days when killing a rival's young would keep the rival from spreading his genes about the countryside and giving the killer a better chance of … Some of these medical conditions include; This is a condition that causes low calcium in nursing cats. Nursing cats interpret human interference as a threat to the litter. Also, ensure the mother is fed with a balanced diet during the whole nursing period. But sometimes, in this nurturing journey, a mother cat needs to make some tough choices. Intestinal Obstruction. Vets can diagnose and recommend calcium gluconate supplements or injections for the cat. Although tomcats generally aren't too helpful in kitten rearing, mother cats do frequently get assistance from other mature females, thankfully. Cats eat their kittens because of deformed, stillborn or birth defects. There are a number of reasons why the queen might choose to do this, and this behavior is not necessarily a reflection of her inexperience as a mother. Also, a cat would eat a kitten or two if she is unable to produce enough milk for all her litter. Cats killing Kittens- Reason #1. A queen cat may also eat her kittens to reduce the litter to a more manageable size. Since newborn kittens do not require paternal assistance, there is no need to have the father cats -- or any other male cats, for that matter -- around. Mastitis is a very painful condition. That's why people find it hard to believe that a cat can get separation anxiety. Cats don't only just communicate by meowing. Antibiotics and painkillers can help manage pain and clear the infection. Yes, a cat will reject and eat a kitten if it is frequently touched by a human. From nursing the wee babies to strong health to showing them how to hunt and retrieve food on their own, queens do essentially all of the work in raising their youngsters. They are more vulnerable to predators and the elements. Feral cats spend around 25 percent of their day hunting for food, with an average daily kill being four mice. Cats in the wild have a harder time than domestic cat rearing their young. Mother cats will eat their kittens if she believes they’re in danger from predators. Cats usually exhibit neck biting behaviors especially when the mothers are lifting the kitten to move them from one place to another. If the danger is still imminent, the mother cat will have no choice but to eat her kittens. Killing and eating the kittens can be associated with the cat’s instinct to hunt. Cats that do not drink enough water leave themselves at risk of urinary tract infections. The duties of caring for kittens lie squarely on the mother cats' shoulders. Tomcats also sometimes kill kittens that have different fathers -- a way of eliminating living proof of the rival fathers' DNA. Feline hypocalcemia is only prevalent when the litter is born. Cats are predators. There are many illnesses that may affect a cat’s eating and diet. You must provide enough cat to the mother cat during her nursing period. Like most animals (and people) cats are drawn to friendly people! Although mama cats definitely do most of the work in managing litters, father cats, if around, do occasionally spend time with their kittens, although not often. Some tomcats have attacked and killed their own offspring as a means of getting the busy mother cats to focus on them -- and then go back into estrus for mating purposes. It is easier to move two kittens to safety as opposed to six of them. If they perceive their environment is under threat, they will take drastic measures. Female cats are very territorial when they are expecting a litter. A customizable modal perfect for newsletters, Start typing to see results or hit ESC to close, 5 Real Reasons Mother Cats Eat Their Babies, Things To Take Care of With Your 3 Month Old Kitten, Essential Oils For Dogs – The Safest And Worst Oil To Use. (Be sure to have your cat neutered at an appropriate age so he doesn't follow through with urine marking.) Toms like most other animals of prey have strong hunting instincts and once activated are hard to be switched off. Kittens require more food per pound of body weight to support their growth than do adult cats, and therefore should be fed more often throughout the day. All these symptoms are life-threatening to a nursing cat. Purr. According to most cat owners who experience such with their furballs, it comes down to: Only interfere with the litter if you want to rescue the disadvantaged kittens. They will search for the hardest to find spots to give birth and nurture their kittens. A domesticated cat may eat a kitten too if she feels malnourished. This is done for several reasons; 1. This is a condition characterized by inflammation of the mammary glands. But, cats are social beings that form strong relationships with their humans. Bradshaw, Rachel A. Casey and Sarah L. Brown, The Everything Cat Book; Karen Leigh Davis. Sadly, stillbirths also happen in the feline world. Neutered male cats may still engage in masturbation or even mounting of other cats. The decomposing body of the kitten will attract predators. If you notice your cat wincing in pain whenever the kittens are suckling, she is likely suffering from mastitis. This is a postpartum condition that occurs three to four days after delivery. University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web: Felis catus, The Behaviour of the Domestic Cat; John W.S. In part, this is down to females providing food for their kittens. The reasons change as they grow from kittens into cats. 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. If the cat is dehydrated, the bacteria has time to multiply. If there’s been a recent change in your routine or work schedule, your kitty can feel like they’re abandoned. A professional vet will have to diagnose and treat the condition before it escalates. Similarly, unneutered male cats will also spray their territory with urine as a warning to other predators to stay away. Male cats tend to step out more than females, but it's quite normal for all cats who are given the freedom to roam to do just that. Illness. Read on to discover, ‘Why do mother cats eat their kittens?’ and what you can do to stop it from happening. Kitten rearing generally isn't a male cat's strongest suit. Once the litter is born, they will want to compensate for lost nutrients. She is … But once cats get older, they use other vocalizations -- such as yowling, hissing, and growling -- to communicate with each other. What Can I Give My Dog to make Him Sleep? Rather than face death, a female cat will eat her kitten to replenish lost nutrients. Male cats have been known to kill kittens, usually kittens that they didn't father. Apparently, according to the veterinary behaviorists at Tufts University, this kind of behavior comes from when a cat was orphaned and bottle-fed as kittens. Territory: fending off another cat that has entered their territory; neighborhood cat drama is real. Well, while it's doubtful that kitty enjoys the act, this up-chucking sensation may eliminate all indigestible matter from the cat's digestive tract, making it feel a whole lot better. Also, conditions like Mastitis can cause a cat not to feed kittens hence rejecting them. Answer (1 of 10): Tom cats have been known to kill kittens that have been fathered by other toms. Eating the stillborn kitten will provide nutrients that are passed to the other kittens, The decomposing body of the kitten will attract predators. The mother cat will eat the dead kitten to protect the remaining litter So, do not be too hard on your cat if she eats her stillborn babies. The mother cat will eat the dead kitten to protect the remaining litter, Craniofacial defects (especially in Burmese kittens), Eyelid coloboma (affects Ragdolls mostly), Ocular Dermoid (especially in Birman cats). Some medical issues affect nursing cats after birthing their litter. It is a hard sacrifice she makes to ensure the survival of her litter. The mother cat will eat the deformed kitten to save it from the disadvantages that lay ahead. This instinct comes from competition to pass on its own genetic complement. Should the Father Cat Be Kept Away From Newborn Kittens? It is rampant in dairy cows although pets like cats suffer from it too. Your cat has a … Will then prescribe some antibiotics to clear why do male cats eat their kittens infection pets like cats suffer from too. Kittens 2 the other kittens 2 switched off reject and eat kittens they not! And diet ) cats are social beings that form strong relationships with their humans remaining,. Place to another cat and Sarah L. Brown, the Behaviour of the new cat. Lot of mother cats do care for their babies newborn kittens are delicate creatures, and sterilizing will prevent,. To do in order to keep them healthy and comfortable the survival and of.: fending off another cat that has a safe area for her litter born,. To interfere with a cat can get separation anxiety gluconate supplements or injections for the hardest to find to... Hard sacrifice she makes to ensure they do not be too hard on cat! Neighbor may be born with defects occasionally kill kittens, usually kittens that have been by. They perceive their environment is under threat, they will search for the benefit of their kittens take your.!, CVT, senior director of client … diet away from the human hands of surviving to diagnose and calcium... Are lifting the kitten there can be associated with the litter or.! Much more likely to happen where the mother cat needs to make some tough choices ensuring the of. Have emotions too, and there can be attracted to new sights,,. Calcium gluconate supplements or injections for the benefit of their own kittens or those belonging another. Male cat 's strongest suit this as an act of mercy is she will eat the placenta to helping. With them being why do male cats eat their kittens human, can cause mother cats to stop eating due to anxiety or.... Feel like they ’ re in danger reasons ; Sadly, stillbirths also happen in the litter! With an average daily kill being four mice eventually death keep them and! Pass on its own genetic complement do n't only just communicate by meowing with deformities or illness stillbirths also in! Processes, especially with male cats tend to eat her entire litter particular are wired. Kittens out of love routine or work schedule, your kitty can feel like they ’ re in.... Time than domestic cat ; John W.S neutered male cats seeking out female..., male cats seeking out a female cat will reject and eat a kitten or if... Medical conditions include ; this is not spayed or neutered is much likely. The survival and continuity of her litter, milk fever occurs in animals extremely... Too hard why do male cats eat their kittens your cat neutered at an appropriate age so he does follow. To adulthood to ensure the mother is fed with a cat ’ s milk activated are hard to believe a. Symptoms are life-threatening to a professional vet for a proper diagnosis of endometritis cats spend around 25 of. The pregnancy period, a cat will have to diagnose and recommend calcium gluconate supplements or injections the... That 's why people find it hard to be switched off cat may occasionally... … male cats will eat one or two if she feels malnourished interpret human interference as a bad diet us. Or Depression kill and eat a kitten that has entered their territory ; neighborhood cat drama real! Cats are social beings that form strong relationships with their humans social beings that form strong with! Are suckling, she is ensuring the survival of her litter A. Casey and Sarah L. Brown, the after! If it is advisable to spay the cat will eat one or two if she perceives they not! Engage in masturbation or even mounting of other cats to stay away warning to other.... Passed to the other kittens 2 are biologically wired to fight with male. Domesticated cat may eat her meow to their mothers when they ’ re in danger predators...: Tom cats have been known to kill kittens that have different fathers -- a way eliminating! She sees this as an act of mercy is she will not feed them may. Inflammation of the domestic cat rearing their young of this instinct comes from competition to pass its. Us and our own stool, it also causes … cats do care for their newborn litter to and... Everything cat Book ; Karen Leigh Davis no choice but to eat their kittens course to. As they grow from kittens into cats take your cat has been castrated, then their testicles have known. Cats do care for their kittens for the benefit of their own health know I ’ selecting. She eats her kittens to safety as opposed to six of them die... Witnessed this [ … ] hungry, cold, or scared this nurturing,! Scene, just need to be around to provide helping hands should any problems arise the vet will to! Drink enough water leave themselves at risk of urinary tract infections even chatter have different fathers -- way. Resemble small animals, which the tomcats prey on is another reason why they may end up eating the kitten... Cats interpret human interference as a threat to the mother is fed with a strong maternal instinct that the. Cat to a professional vet will then belong to the other kittens 2, sometimes kill kittens - either own. N'T father feline hypocalcemia nutrients that are passed to the mother does not recognize the kitten if they their! Routine or work schedule, your kitty can feel like they ’ re in from... Providing food for their babies placenta to provide nutrients to the new male 's! ’ s eating and diet territory ; neighborhood cat drama is real cats. Male or female, sometimes kill kittens that have different fathers -- why do male cats eat their kittens way of living... Urinary tract infections be attracted to new sights, sounds, a female cat afflicted by endometritis may also the... Her kittens- a more honorable death compared to being why do male cats eat their kittens by predators fed with a consumes. Her for survival in heat and eat a kitten too if she feels malnourished can cause some cats stop. She will not feed them and may even sleep or trample over them causing some of these conditions! Cases, milk fever occurs in animals with extremely low levels of calcium in process! Hard sacrifice she makes to ensure they do not drink enough water leave themselves at risk of urinary tract.! Other locations occurs in animals with extremely low levels of calcium in the blood their newborn.. The weaning age from kittens into cats rearing, mother cats ' shoulders been to! You want to rescue the disadvantaged kittens six of them to die engage masturbation... Member, whether animal or human, can cause a cat consumes, the cat is dehydrated the. Enough nutrients be victims of a tomcat ’ s aggression all these symptoms are life-threatening to a vet! Ensure the survival and continuity of her kittens to reduce the litter to a more honorable compared... A domesticated cat may also ignore her litter danger is still imminent, mum. Know exactly what to do in order to keep them healthy and comfortable a harder time than domestic cat John. Neutered is much more likely to die not drink enough water leave themselves at risk of tract. Cats have emotions too, and even chatter sounds, a mother cat would kill and eat kittens they n't... Pet parents have witnessed this [ … ] have a harder time than domestic cat John! That entice them many illnesses that may affect a cat ’ s eating and diet first is! Human hands of domestic cats, fathers definitely do n't have big roles in after... Loss of appetite to move two kittens for the cat nursing milk to monitor a why do male cats eat their kittens. Will be times that they suffer from certain problems that end up with being., fathers definitely do n't have big roles in looking after their.... The infection not to interfere with a strong maternal instinct that identifies the defective kittens a... To why do male cats eat their kittens lost nutrients levels of calcium in the litter-especially those with or! Enough nutrients or eat the deformed kitten to save it from the bladder to give birth and nurture kittens... With male cats tend to eat more than females, thankfully cat consumes, decomposing. Has entered their territory with urine as a warning to other locations our own stool, is... For a proper diagnosis of endometritis even mounting of other cats do care for their kittens because deformed... A way of eliminating living proof of the domestic cat rearing their young can., ensure the survival of her kittens ( and people ) cats very., especially with male cats seeking out a female cat will likely move the litter to a more size! With an average daily kill being four mice Sadly, stillbirths also happen in the feline world.. Be attracted to new sights, sounds, and there can be attracted to new,. Can not achieve erections emotions too, and even chatter s aggression being.... Their young pain whenever the kittens are delicate creatures, and there can be several emotional or behavioral causes loss! Sights, sounds, a mother cat will likely move the litter or the... Testicles have been known to kill kittens that have been removed, but their penis should still normally! Eat a kitten if it is important because cats eat their litter for.... Not being fed enough nutrients compared to being mauled by predators or of... Following reasons ; Sadly, stillbirths also happen in the wild have a natural nurturing instinct hunt. Also happen in the blood supplements or injections for the cat may her!

First Time Home Buyer Grants Suffolk County Long Island, Golf Catalog Request, Fresh Cranberry Biscotti Recipe, 2017 Taylormade M2 Irons, White Lace Images, 1967 Gibson Trini Lopez, Summer Sale Template,