Why do cats eat their babies?

litter of unborn kittens is always a source of nervousness in the home, but also of excitement. you’ve certainly been nervous about the arrival of new family members, wondering what life will be like for the young. However, there are times when this thought ends up finding out that your cat, the mother of the puppies, has decided to eat some of her pups, or even the full litter. This not only causes frustration in the family, but also disgust and disgust.

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However, this behavior is, to some extent, normal in the animal world. Continue reading this YourCatCareguide article, find out why cats eat their puppies and learn how to deal with this situation.

It might also interest you: Why does my cat reject her kittens?

Weak or sick puppies

Firstly, it is necessary to clarify that when any animal devours another of its own species, the process has the name of cannibalism. Although the word is strong, this is not a rare behavior in nature.

In some cases, pups of a litter may be born with some disease or deficiency that can not be easily seen and which the mother detects with her keen sense of smell. In these cases, the cat assumes that the puppy will not be able to survive , deciding to eat the baby and prevent it from infecting the rest of the litter. The same happens with puppies that have some deformity.

Something similar happens with weaker offspring. In all litters, especially those of 5 or 6 puppies, there are bigger and stronger kittens than smaller and weak ones. Although not always happen, some cats consider it convenient to do without the chicks less able to give their milk and care to those who have a greater chance of surviving.

These things may sound very cruel, but they are only a process of natural selection by which all species rule in one way or another.


Generally, a house cat does not kill her offspring due to stress, but we should not rule out this possibility. A very noisy environment during pregnancy or childbirth, constant movement of people from one side to another, filling the animal with care and attention without providing a quiet space to give birth, among other reasons, can cause a nervous behavior.

The nervousness provoked in the cat does not only arise for herself and for her safety, but also for fear of what can happen to her litter (to separate the mother’s cubs, which are prey to some prey) and, in some cases, this sensation causes this sad ending we’re talking about. can also happen when there are other animals nearby and the cat sees them as possible threats.

All this is usually more common in cats who are mothers for the first time, when stress is able to suppress their maternal instinct . For this reason, it is essential to give the best care to the mother during pregnancy and to ensure that she has a relaxed, quiet and stress-free environment.

Lack of maternal instinct

It is also possible that the cat has no maternal instinct and in that case will have no interest in caring for the pups or will not know how to do it, which makes them want to get rid of them and then eat their newly hatched pups. born.

To prevent this from happening or to save as many calves as possible, observe the behavior of your cat after calving, and if you notice that she has a lack of maternal instinct and that her offspring may be at risk, you should be the host and take care of the little ones. so do not miss this article that explains how to feed a newborn cat and, if necessary, seek the help of a veterinarian.

Feline mastitis

Mastitis is a common infection in many mammals, affecting the mammary glands. It can be deadly to mommy and kittens, but it’s also very easy to take care of. The problem is that it causes a lot of pain , especially when the babies are suckling the milk, which can cause the cat to agaste them, even eating the children to avoid suffering. If you suspect this might be the case for your kitten, check out this article on mastitis in cats and try to get in touch with the veterinarian and start treatment.

Does not recognize her offspring

It is possible that the cat does not recognize the cubs as their own or even as members of their own species. This happens with some cats that require cesarean section , since the hormones related to motherhood that are usually activated at birth are not produced.

In the same way, in some races or in the first litter moms, they may confuse the pups with smaller prey, instead of seeing the little ones as their own children. For this reason, we recommend that you do not touch the puppies if it is not necessary , since the human odor eliminates the cat’s scent, so that it does not recognize them.

What to do when the cat eats the puppies?

First of all, stay calm . We know this can be very impressive for people, but do not get carried away by your emotions and do not mistreat your cat . This behavior has foundation and is natural, although for us it is not.

Instead of scolding the cat, try to figure out why this happened by analyzing the reasons given. They are health or stress reasons for your cat, so you should try to treat them as soon as possible with your veterinarian.

If any of the litter cats survived or you noticed in time that the cat is biting the puppies to end their lives, we recommend that you create it yourself to prevent something bad from happening. Take the puppy to a specialist so he can check on his health.

Likewise, if all the kittens have been devoured, we recommend that you sterilize the cat to prevent the event from recurring. Do not forget to give the same affection and love of always to your cat so that, together, they can overcome this small tragedy.

This article is purely informative, in YourCatCareguide.com.br we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.

If you want to read the similar articles in Why Do Cats Eat Their Puppies? , we recommend you to enter our section on Gestational Problems .

    Emily Harris

    Hi Guys, Girls, and Cats:-pI am Emily Harris, and you can see in above pic. She loves me I swear. I saved her from a dumpster a few weeks back.

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