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View Full Version : Mother eats kitten, is this normal.


T[_2_]
March 18th 07, 05:04 PM
My cat had five kittens last week. From the beginning one of the
kittens seemed to keep crawling out of the nest; sometimes he would make
it back in but in the last few days it seemed to happen more and more
and I would sometimes pick him up and place him back inside.

At first I thought that he was just the bravest of the litter but then I
realized he was also the smallest; I thought all might not be well.
This morning he got out of the nest and just lay there. The mother came
out and drank and just ignored him and then went back in. Finally I
picked him up and put him near the nest; he crawled back to the mother.
She started to groom him but seemed a bit rough and he was mewing.
Ten minutes later she had him outside the nest and was eating him.

Has anyone seen anything like this before?

22brix
March 18th 07, 05:32 PM
"T" > wrote in message
...
> My cat had five kittens last week. From the beginning one of the kittens
> seemed to keep crawling out of the nest; sometimes he would make it back
> in but in the last few days it seemed to happen more and more and I would
> sometimes pick him up and place him back inside.
>
> At first I thought that he was just the bravest of the litter but then I
> realized he was also the smallest; I thought all might not be well. This
> morning he got out of the nest and just lay there. The mother came out
> and drank and just ignored him and then went back in. Finally I picked
> him up and put him near the nest; he crawled back to the mother. She
> started to groom him but seemed a bit rough and he was mewing. Ten minutes
> later she had him outside the nest and was eating him.
>
> Has anyone seen anything like this before?

I have heard of it happening before--I think mother cats will sometimes do
that if something is wrong with the kitten. Was he crawling out or do you
think the mother was pushing him out? Either way, I'm very sorry for your
loss--it's really hard to see something like that.

Bonnie

T[_2_]
March 18th 07, 05:41 PM
22brix wrote:
> "T" > wrote in message
> ...
>> My cat had five kittens last week. From the beginning one of the kittens
>> seemed to keep crawling out of the nest; sometimes he would make it back
>> in but in the last few days it seemed to happen more and more and I would
>> sometimes pick him up and place him back inside.
>>
>> At first I thought that he was just the bravest of the litter but then I
>> realized he was also the smallest; I thought all might not be well. This
>> morning he got out of the nest and just lay there. The mother came out
>> and drank and just ignored him and then went back in. Finally I picked
>> him up and put him near the nest; he crawled back to the mother. She
>> started to groom him but seemed a bit rough and he was mewing. Ten minutes
>> later she had him outside the nest and was eating him.
>>
>> Has anyone seen anything like this before?
>
> I have heard of it happening before--I think mother cats will sometimes do
> that if something is wrong with the kitten. Was he crawling out or do you
> think the mother was pushing him out? Either way, I'm very sorry for your
> loss--it's really hard to see something like that.
>
> Bonnie
>
>
I don't know if she was pushing him out or not but she seemed not to
care when he did get out and cried and cried.

cybercat
March 18th 07, 06:49 PM
"T" > wrote
> I don't know if she was pushing him out or not but she seemed not to care
> when he did get out and cried and cried.

I'm really sorry, Toby. This is the sort of thing that might be natural,
but would change my feelings about the mother cat.

Will you please get her spayed? I don't think she is a candidate
for kitty Mother of the Year.

cybercat
March 18th 07, 07:11 PM
"T" > wrote in message
...
> 22brix wrote:
>> "T" > wrote in message
>> ...
>>> My cat had five kittens last week.

I also wanted to say that I once fostered a pregnant cat who had 7 kittens
and rejected one. He was born the same size as the others. I began noticing
that he was not at a nipple quite often, so I would put him there. Then he
would be behind the mother cat when the others were nursing. Finally, he was
out of the nest, crying. I put him back in. She apparently took him back
out. I got ****ed, as he was a lot smaller than the others.

I took him to the vet, they said he looked okay, and while I was at school
and work they fed him every four hours, then I fed him after I got home. I
had a heating pad with layers of baby blankets, it was on low. He was in his
own little box. I was feeding him and the phone rang. I put him in his
little box and answered it. When I got back, the mother cat had placed him
in HER LITTER BOX.

I never let her near him again, but regardless of feeding every four hours,
and warmth, and attention, he died at 2 weeks old.

Your mama cat probably killed the baby painlessly, broke his neck as they do
with mice and such, and ate him just to "clean up." It was probably more
merciful than just letting him starve to death.

I really am sorry, regardless.

Stick Waver
March 18th 07, 07:14 PM
cybercat wrote:
> "T" > wrote in message
> ...
>
>>22brix wrote:
>>
>>>"T" > wrote in message
...
>>>
>>>>My cat had five kittens last week.
>
>
> I also wanted to say that I once fostered a pregnant cat who had 7 kittens
> and rejected one. He was born the same size as the others. I began noticing
> that he was not at a nipple quite often, so I would put him there. Then he
> would be behind the mother cat when the others were nursing. Finally, he was
> out of the nest, crying. I put him back in. She apparently took him back
> out. I got ****ed, as he was a lot smaller than the others.
>
> I took him to the vet, they said he looked okay, and while I was at school
> and work they fed him every four hours, then I fed him after I got home. I
> had a heating pad with layers of baby blankets, it was on low. He was in his
> own little box. I was feeding him and the phone rang. I put him in his
> little box and answered it. When I got back, the mother cat had placed him
> in HER LITTER BOX.
>
> I never let her near him again, but regardless of feeding every four hours,
> and warmth, and attention, he died at 2 weeks old.
>
> Your mama cat probably killed the baby painlessly, broke his neck as they do
> with mice and such, and ate him just to "clean up." It was probably more
> merciful than just letting him starve to death.
>
> I really am sorry, regardless.
>
>
Nature can seem very cruel to us. My guess is, in both cases the
Mother was preserving the gene pool by eliminating the weak. It breaks
my heart to hear of such things, but we must remember this is how
nature preserves its species.

kitkat via CatKB.com
March 18th 07, 08:59 PM
I had no idea that this happened - that's really upsetting. I think I would
freak out.

--
Message posted via CatKB.com
http://www.catkb.com/Uwe/Forums.aspx/cat-health/200703/1

Wendy
March 18th 07, 09:49 PM
"T" > wrote in message
...
> My cat had five kittens last week. From the beginning one of the kittens
> seemed to keep crawling out of the nest; sometimes he would make it back
> in but in the last few days it seemed to happen more and more and I would
> sometimes pick him up and place him back inside.
>
> At first I thought that he was just the bravest of the litter but then I
> realized he was also the smallest; I thought all might not be well. This
> morning he got out of the nest and just lay there. The mother came out
> and drank and just ignored him and then went back in. Finally I picked
> him up and put him near the nest; he crawled back to the mother. She
> started to groom him but seemed a bit rough and he was mewing. Ten minutes
> later she had him outside the nest and was eating him.
>
> Has anyone seen anything like this before?

I've heard of this before. One of our foster homes had a litter born last
year. There were 5 kittens and two were much smaller. The first one just
disappeared. The foster mom said the mom had to have eaten it because there
wasn't anywhere else it could have been. That kitten was quite young when it
disappeared. The second small one died at around 5 weeks old. The other
three lived and thrived.

I fostered a litter 2 years ago. They sent them over to me when mom and the
three surviving kittens all came down with URI when the kittens were two
weeks old. The little boy was the worst and I thought I'd lose him quickly
that's how bad he appeared. He hung in there for 2 more weeks and I thought
he might make it when I noticed he started crawling away from the next and
managed to get himself out of the crate they were in. I put him back and
made sure he couldn't do that any more but I still found him on the other
side of the cage frequently. He eventually just faded. His sisters both
recovered and I just received pictures of the girls from their adoptive mom
yesterday.

W

LarryW
March 19th 07, 03:51 AM
"cybercat" > wrote in message
...
>
> "T" > wrote
> > I don't know if she was pushing him out or not but she seemed not
to care
> > when he did get out and cried and cried.
>
> I'm really sorry, Toby. This is the sort of thing that might be
natural,
> but would change my feelings about the mother cat.
>
> Will you please get her spayed? I don't think she is a candidate
> for kitty Mother of the Year.
>
I wouldn't spay a cat for that reason alone. With so many unwanted
babies being born, I find it hard to accept the owner's behavior in
allowing the female to become pregnant in the first place. The mother
kitty probably plays her role better than the human is playing the
role of a responsible owner.

--
-LarryW

NOTE: Email correspondents, please remove "x" from "xColumbus"!

March 19th 07, 05:52 AM
On Mar 18, 8:51 pm, "LarryW" > wrote:
> "cybercat" > wrote in message
>

> I wouldn't spay a cat for that reason alone. With so many unwanted
> babies being born, I find it hard to accept the owner's behavior in
> allowing the female to become pregnant in the first place. Themother
> kitty probably plays her role better than the human is playing the
> role of a responsible owner.
>
> --
> -LarryW

Gee Larry W, would it help if I told you that the female cat was a
pregnant stray abandoned by the renters who moved out of the house
across the street?

Of course I could have taken her to the humane society where they
would have put her down and the babies.

I suppose the real irresponsibility is shown by people like you in
this group who are so quick to jump to conclusions and leap to
judgement when responding when you don't know the whole story.

I do plan to have her spayed as soon as the kittens are weaned.

You can apologize now; better yet you can help by making
*constructive* suggestions as to how best to place the kittens when
they are ready.

BTW, all of my three cats, not including the stray who had the
kttens, have all been spayed or neutered.

Wendy
March 19th 07, 11:56 AM
"kitkat via CatKB.com" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>I had no idea that this happened - that's really upsetting. I think I
>would
> freak out.
>
> --
> Message posted via CatKB.com
> http://www.catkb.com/Uwe/Forums.aspx/cat-health/200703/1
>

The momma cat probably eats the young for the same reason they consume the
placenta. In the wild they try to leave as little evidence that they are
around as possible. That's why they generally cover their excrement. If you
ever take note of them doing this they will cover some and then sniff and
cover some more. Some cats are more vigilant than others but I have a foster
right now who will cover (very enthusiastically unfortunately as she sends
litter half way across the room) and cover until she can't smell her poop
any more. She's very pregnant and a bit neurotic at the moment which might
explain her thoroughness.

W

bookie
March 19th 07, 01:43 PM
On 19 Mar, 11:56, "Wendy" > wrote:
> "kitkat via CatKB.com" <[email protected]> wrote in messagenews:[email protected]
>
> >I had no idea that this happened - that's really upsetting. I think I
> >would
> > freak out.
>
> > --
> > Message posted via CatKB.com
> >http://www.catkb.com/Uwe/Forums.aspx/cat-health/200703/1
>
> The momma cat probably eats the young for the same reason they consume the
> placenta. In the wild they try to leave as little evidence that they are
> around as possible. That's why they generally cover their excrement. If you
> ever take note of them doing this they will cover some and then sniff and
> cover some more. Some cats are more vigilant than others but I have a foster
> right now who will cover (very enthusiastically unfortunately as she sends
> litter half way across the room) and cover until she can't smell her poop
> any more. She's very pregnant and a bit neurotic at the moment which might
> explain her thoroughness.
>
> W

i suppose they do not want evidence left abuot which woudl advertise
that they are there and in a vulnerable state ie with young.

awful as this kitten eatign thing might be i suppose it does happen
for a reason; the mother has only a certain amount of milk and energy
to give to her kittens so maybe she removes the runts who may be more
time consuming so she can concentrate onthe ones who more likely to
make it, the bigger healthier ones. That means they get more milk,
attention etc instead of the resoucres of the mother being spread too
thin and 'wasted' on kittens who they feel will not make it. survival
of the fittest realy as i think someone has already said.

Although I understand the logic I would still freak out too and
probably go to stupid lengths to rescue the runt and save him, I
couldn't bear to see some little furry mite be abandoned, I am a
sucker for a pathetic miaow and a tiny furry face.

nature can be cruel sometimes

bookie

T
March 19th 07, 03:11 PM
cybercat wrote:
> > wrote
>> Gee Larry W, would it help if I told you that the female cat was a
>> pregnant stray abandoned by the renters who moved out of the house
>> across the street?
>>
>
> How is she doing today? And how are you?
>
>
She is doing fine. No more kittens outside the nest. The little one
that died had been leaving since less than 24 hr post birth. I think
she was rejecting him from the start for some reason. Just have to
accept that cats have been successfully having kittens longer than
humans have domesticated these animals and that the mother probably had
a reason to do it.

cybercat
March 19th 07, 03:15 PM
"bookie" > wrote
>> W
>
> i suppose they do not want evidence left abuot which woudl advertise
> that they are there and in a vulnerable state ie with young.
>

really good point.

cybercat
March 19th 07, 03:33 PM
> wrote
>
> Gee Larry W, would it help if I told you that the female cat was a
> pregnant stray abandoned by the renters who moved out of the house
> across the street?
>

How is she doing today? And how are you?

cybercat
March 19th 07, 11:10 PM
"T" > wrote
>>
> She is doing fine. No more kittens outside the nest. The little one that
> died had been leaving since less than 24 hr post birth. I think she was
> rejecting him from the start for some reason. Just have to accept that
> cats have been successfully having kittens longer than humans have
> domesticated these animals and that the mother probably had a reason to do
> it.

Sounds like you're handling it well. That could very well be what might
have happened to the kitten my foster cat rejected had I not kept
him away from her. As it is, he probably suffered more, as he died
anyway at two weeks.

Lynne
March 20th 07, 12:15 AM
on Mon, 19 Mar 2007 11:56:58 GMT, "Wendy" > wrote:

> The momma cat probably eats the young for the same reason they consume
> the placenta. In the wild they try to leave as little evidence that
> they are around as possible. That's why they generally cover their
> excrement. If you ever take note of them doing this they will cover
> some and then sniff and cover some more. Some cats are more vigilant
> than others but I have a foster right now who will cover (very
> enthusiastically unfortunately as she sends litter half way across the
> room) and cover until she can't smell her poop any more. She's very
> pregnant and a bit neurotic at the moment which might explain her
> thoroughness.

Not to make light of the topic of this thread (which is heartbreaking), but
my 3 year old, Rudy, has started pulling things from outside the litter box
onto his excrement to cover it up. Towels, bath rugs, clothes from other
rooms. Needless to say, I've had to get better about picking up after
myself! I do miss having a bath rug, though. (The little brat.)

--
Lynne