will mother cats eat their kittens

Some queens may cannibalize one or more of their kittens. This does not appear to be a reflection of inexperience in mother cats. It may result from anxiety brought on by too much human interference, or the stresses of other cats or dogs in the immediate environment.

Sign in to view more content

To resume your search, register for a free account or log in.

5. The Mother Cat is Severely Malnourished

If a cat doesn’t have enough body fat or doesn’t consume enough food to sustain her kittens, especially if her litter isn’t very big, she might choose to eat them. She will know in her heart that she cannot sustain them or give them enough milk to keep them alive.

In order to sustain herself and make sure the rest of her kittens survive, a female cat in this situation might decide to eat one or two of the kittens. Make sure your female cat eats an ample amount of nutritionally balanced food both before and after giving birth to avoid this situation.

On the best kind and quantity of food, your veterinarian can advise you. Ask your veterinarian about a phone consultation or home visit if your female cat appears thinner while nursing her kittens instead of making the stressful trip to the vet. To help the kittens with their nutrition, you might need to give them more food or bottle-feed some of them.

will mother cats eat their kittens

4. The Mother Cat Feels Threatened or Stressed

Cats are sensitive animals, and this will only get worse when your cat gets closer to giving birth. A lot of people around your cat when she gives birth to her litter, loud noises, or abrupt changes in the surroundings can all make her feel more stressed.

Your cat’s survival instincts may take over and warn her that she is in danger from predators if she feels that these stressors and perceived threats aren’t going away. In order to increase her chances of surviving, she might decide to eat her young instead.

Stress levels are more likely to rise in young female cats who are nursing kittens. Yes, your cat might perceive your dog, who is usually friendly, looking into her nest as predatory activity. By designating a calm and safe area for your cat to give birth, you can lessen her anxiety during the labor and delivery process.

Till the kittens are a little older or your cat appears content and safe in her surroundings, limit visitors—even family members. Never relocate your cat’s nest just because it’s more practical to do so. Recall that she has invested time and effort in finding the location in your home where she feels the safest.

Depending on their temperament, moving her and her kittens is a surefire way to make some mother cats feel more stressed. Your cat may begin to pace, move the kittens, or hiss when she feels threatened. Spend some time figuring out how to give her a sense of security.

FAQ

Can kittens stay with their mother forever?

A kitten can leave their mom once they’re eight weeks old, and shelters and rescue organizations approve kittens for adoption at this age. That said, it’s best for kittens to stay with the mother cat until they’re about 12 weeks old.

What is the fading kitten syndrome?

Fading kitten syndrome occurs when newborn kittens fail to thrive and are likely to expire prematurely, usually prior to weaning. Symptoms vary depending on the underlying cause and include excessive crying, low body temperature, lethargy, separating from littermates, weight loss, and poor sucking reflex.

How do you know if your mother cat is rejecting her kittens?

In some cases, the mother cat will start nursing and then stop. Or, the mother cat may never begin nursing in the first place. The mother cat may reject some or all of the kittens. Not only may she refuse to nurse a kitten; she may ignore them altogether or act aggressively when approached by a kitten.