Do cats eat their kittens?

This cat blog will answer the major question, “Do cats eat their kittens?” we will also discuss the major reasons for cats eating their kittens, whether male cats eat their kittens, and how you can stop your cat from eating its kittens.

Do cats eat their kittens?

Yes, cats do eat their kittens. It is due to some abnormal things such as stillbirth, stressful labor, deceased kittens, and many other reasons. If you want to prevent your cat from eating its kittens, then you should take care of your cat’s health and should provide adequate nutrition during pregnancy and after parturition.

What are the reasons for cats eating their kittens?

Following are the reasons for cats eating their kittens:

Stress

Any form of stress during the labor can cause your cat to eat its kittens. It may be due to the noise or the people that can act as a factor of stress. If your cat doesn’t find a quiet place for parturition then it will give birth to its kittens, and due to the stress, it will eat its kittens.

You should remove all forms of stress when your cat is in labor.

Dead kitten

If your cat suspects that there is a dead kitten in the litter it will eat it to protect the other kittens in the litter. The dead kitten is a waste in the litter, and cats are clean animals. They will eat the kitten to keep the den clean and protect the kitten from any harmful pathogens that can gain entry due to the dead body in the litter.

Stillbirth

It is an abnormal form of birth, and usually, the kitten doesn’t survive. So if your cat suspects that the kitten will not survive it will eat it. You might think of suggesting removing the dead fetus, but the cats will not allow anyone to gain entry into the litter for the first week of the litter.

The cat will suspect that the kitten will not survive and will eat it before it could be dead, so you need to understand the situation.

Sick kittens

Your cat will eat the sick kitten in the litter because the sick kittens can spread pathogens to other kittens too so the cat will try to protect the other kittens in the den. The cat will follow strict hygienic measures so the rest of the kittens are healthy and can live their life to the full.

Inexperienced mom

If your cat is giving birth to kittens for the first time in its life then the stress will be more than the cat could cope with. As we have discussed above, any form of stress can trigger the kitten-eating behavior of your cat. 

Do not recognize the kittens

The cat might also not recognize the kittens so they will eat them. This is not very common but can happen accidentally. The cats smell the kittens and will expect a certain type of scent from the kittens. If the cat doesn’t recognize the kittens, it will eat them to protect the other kittens. 

The cat will suspect it as a foreign agent in the litter and will try to eliminate it by eating it. 

Malnourishment

Malnourishment is another factor that can trigger cats to eat their kittens. It is due to the stress that came over cats. If you want to protect the kittens you need to provide enough nutrients to your cat when it is not pregnant. 

If you provide an adequate diet then the cat will be healthy and will carry out parturition easily.

Can male cats eat their kittens?

No, male cats do not eat their kittens. Male cats do not come near the kittens in the first week of the litter. They may eat the kittens because they suspect it as the foreign agents in the litter. The male cat is the protector of the litter so it will guard the litter and the female cat from the predators in the wild and in the house. 

What can you do to stop your cat from eating kittens?

The first thing you can do is provide adequate nutrients to your cat. The most important mineral in the diet should be calcium as it is required for muscular contraction during parturition.

The next thing is to remove all kinds of stress from the environment. You should provide your cat with a calm and peaceful place to give birth to kittens.

Conclusion

In this cat blog, we answered the major question, “Do cats eat their kittens?” we also covered the major reasons for cats eating their kittens, whether male cats eat their kittens, and how you can stop your cat from eating its kittens.

References

https://www.hepper.com/why-do-cats-sometimes-eat-their-kittens/

https://kittyinsight.com/why-do-cats-eat-their-kittens/

https://www.wikihow.pet/Get-Your-Cat-Out-of-the-Malnutrition-Stage#:~:text=Recognize%20the%20signs%20of%20malnourishment%20in%20your%20cat.&text=Signs%20to%20look%20for%20include,cause%20neurologic%20signs%20in%20cats.

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