Why Do Cats Eat Their Babies
Cat Behaviour

Why Do Cats Eat Their Babies?

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This question generally runs through the mind, why do cats eat their babies? Even more horrifying is that the mama cat ate part of one of her babies. Do cats eat kittens? It’s a yes! Cats may eat an ill-formed or stillborn kitten, or if they have congenital disabilities and may not have their food. 

Why Do Cats eat Their Babies?

As horrifying as this topic may seem, mother cats do not eat their kittens in most cases. Unfortunately, however, this is standard practice, and they frequently eat the placentas of their kittens.

It is extremely rare for a mother cat to ingest the remains of a newborn kitten, but it may happen on occasion. It’s normal behavior, even if it’s confronting. Unless they are live, healthy, and viable, she will not eat them.

It is absolutely normal for a queen to chew each kitten’s umbilical cord when she gives birth to a litter. Every umbilical cord clot as a result of this common behavior. It is also routine for the mother cat to lick and groom each kitten as it is born vigorously. 

A result of that is that the kitten’s breathing will be stimulated, and any remaining placenta will be removed. At times this grooming may be pretty vigorous and violent, but rest assured it is very normal and necessary for the continued health of the kitten. Mothers should groom kittens when they are born.

Experts suggest leaving cats to give birth by themselves as they are excellent mothers. However, the cat’s mother may require veterinary intervention if she has more than thirty minutes of unproductive straining (without producing a kitten from thirty minutes of contractions).

Kittens Being Eaten by Cats Is Normal?

Cats sometimes eat kittens, but it is rare! It’s a well-documented natural phenomenon for cats to consume their babies. Natural causes are generally responsible for their occurrence. 

Those cats that eat their kittens do not have psychopath tendencies; they are simply expressing their instincts to deal with an issue in their environment or with their litter. Sometimes, cats will eat an entire litter of kittens or just one kitten in a litter, depending on the conditions. 

Is It Normal for Cats to Eat One Another’s Kittens?

Cats usually don’t eat kittens from other cats unless they are absolutely threatened. As female cats raise a litter together, it is in their natural instinct to cooperate. A male cat looking to reproduce is the most significant risk. Cats may perceive kittens as prey, but this is not a guarantee. 

Furthermore, some female queens look down on kittens from other litters, especially if they are not friends. Though it’s possible that this could happen, cat mothers are more likely to steal kittens from each other and nurse them in concert and collectively.

Stress Is a Very Common Reason 

It is unlikely that cats will eat their babies when cats face stress, but it is not impossible. Stressful circumstances occurring during or after a cat’s labor can cause nerves to flare in the mother. Foot traffic, loud noises, manipulating the cat overly, and anything that seems threatening is all possible environmental stressors.

Cats are naturally nervous, not only for themselves but also for what may happen to their kittens. Her kittens may be at risk of being taken from her due to stressors, or she may be worried that predators will take them. 

It is possible that a stressed mother cat could eat her babies. If she doesn’t socialize with them or if there are other animals nearby that she perceives as threats, this behavior may occur.


Now, we have the answer to the question, why do cats eat their babies? This approach ensures her survival and the survival of her other kittens simply by following an instinct. Her actions aren’t indicative of a bad mother, and she is simply doing what she thinks is right for her children.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

My cat eats her kittens. What do I do?

If she feels that she can feed the remaining kittens with just one or two kittens, she will eat them. Make sure that your mama cat with a proper diet is well-fed so that she can feed her kittens.

What causes some cats to eat their babies?

If she fears a predator will harm her kittens, mother cats eat them. Provide your cat with a safe birthing area to give birth to her kittens in a safe environment. She may need to eat a few kittens to ensure she has enough milk left to feed the remaining kittens.

When you touch a kitten, do cats eat it?

If you touch a cat’s kitten, it will not eat it. Mother cats won’t eat their kittens for reasons of protection due to your scent. So, despite her dislike of being touched, a mother cat will not kill her kittens if you touch her.

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