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Mother Cat reactions to death?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
So this is a new one to me.

My parents have a food bowl set up outside for either neighborhood cats or feral cats. We're not really sure if they're owned or not, but they keep coming back for a meal and never look particularly fat (or overfed). (The weird thing is that they live in a subdivision in suburbia-land, and I always think of ferals as either true city cats, or in rural neighborhoods).

Anyways, one of the cats had a couple of kittens and brought them to the feeding bowl. One of the kittens came up missing, so my parents weren't sure if it got killed or not.

Finally yesterday my dad saw the missing kitten. He called out to it and the kitten didn't run away. He was a little surprised by this, so he went out and found the poor kitty dead.

He says that he had checked the day before and remembers that the kitten wasn't there. Yet yesterday it was there and he siad the kitten looked like it had been dead a day or two. He then said something about the mother cat and kitten possibly saving it for the winter to....EAT???

Would cats do this? I guess it makes sense: Survival of the fittest, but still...I guess I never heard of cats eating other cats.
post #2 of 5
Mother cats will eat their kittens sometimes if disturbed just after birth or thereabouts, but I have never heard of them doing it later. And cats do not normally eat anything that has been dead any length of time. If a kitten dies and smells of the litter, a mother will remove it from the nest, so that predators are not attracted to t he area, and this is what may have happened in your case.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Now that makes sense!

post #4 of 5
Could she have brought it there to eat (and get better)? Maybe I'm thinking like a person, but some animals do too - elephants, dolphins, and others, and cat moms are so good with their babies and self sacrificing at times.
post #5 of 5
I just rescued a dog and 3 cats from a situation in which they were abandoned by their owners (owner left the house) and they had resorted to eating the smaller (and I'm assuming) sicklier kittens. When I went there and got the survivors, there was a large blood stain on the snow and the two surviving kittens had blood stained fur where they'd been eating off the dead kitten.
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