If we were to compare cats and dogs, of the two creatures it is instantly obvious how felines are more independent than canines. Although it is a common misconception that cats are not affectionate, the truth is they require just as much attention as other domesticated beasts. The only difference is that cats have a funny way of showing it. And all this, they expect humans would understand easily through their actions. Which, mind you, is not the easiest to decipher more so if their human is a first-time cat owner. information gaining
Being a new parent to a human child is hard enough, imagine having to take on this new responsibility to a four-legged animal that seems more aloof and uninterested in the hairless being that’s tasked to tend to all their needs, aka the “servant.” Aside from learning about the stand-offish nature of cats, there’s also a number of toys, pet care equipment, food supplies, etc. that pet parents must put into consideration. But that’s not all! Like any living creature on the planet, cats also can reproduce. When they do, they exhibit even more peculiar behavior. One such action involves eating their young. Yes, you heard right. Many animals both wild and domesticated will at some point or another eat their newborn.
Common reasons why cats eat their kittens:-
1. Stillbirth: Pregnancy comes with many challenges and sometimes complications for the mother and the offspring. These health concerns can manifest during gestation as well as during actual childbirth. Stillbirth is a devastating loss that results in the newborn kitten’s loss before it is even born. Eating a stillborn kitten is second nature to any feline. Consuming their deceased young provides the mother cat with nutrients which she can pass onto her surviving babies.
2. Malnourishment: A common practice amongst stray cats as opposed to house cats that are provided with ample sustenance, malnourished kitties will feed on their young. This is done to provide the other kittens in the litter with enough nutrients when suckling. Because the mother cat knows that her body is incapable of providing enough milk, her next best option is to consume one of her kittens to give the rest a chance to survive. Thus, if your cat is pregnant, providing her with the right food, vitamins, and regular vet visits can ensure that she and her furry kids come out healthy.
3. Birth defects: This rarely happens but on occasion, some mama cats will consume baby cats that display any birth defects. In most instances, however, the mother cat will simply ignore this kitten, refusing to feed or care for it. When this happens, owners can simply take this neglected kitten and bottle feed it themselves. It is important to consult with a vet so that the kitten can receive the best care possible.
4. Threat: When cats give birth they sometimes feel threatened by the presence of other pets or even other people in the household. When a threat feels imminent, the cat may eat her kitten or kittens. To avoid this situation, it is best to keep the mother and her kittens in a safe and secure place. Preferably one that is in a quiet corner far from noise or interruption.
5. Stress: Aside from feeling threatened, cats that have just given birth can be very susceptible to anxiety and stress both before and after the birth of their kittens. Typically, there are various environmental components that could contribute to this. Some examples of this are heavy foot traffic, too much human handling of the young, and loud noises. Because of stress-induced confusion, she may assume her kittens are too exposed and may become prey or will be taken away from her causing her to simply eat her young.
Infection in the mammaries or mammary glands in cats can occur after they give birth to their kittens. This condition is called feline mastitis and it is a health issue that can be life-threatening since the infection can be passed onto the babies when the nurse. Since the condition causes intense pain for the mother cat, she may end up ignoring her offspring or worse, she may eat them. If you feel like your cat is suffering from this illness, take her to the vet immediately so that she and her young can receive the right care.
7. Predators: Any parent will instinctively protect their own especially from predators found in the wild. Of course, this instinct is not limited to wild animals, even cats that are domesticated are predisposed to display their protective side. Just like stressful situations and threatening environments, the presence of predators can cause a mama to eat her kittens as a means to protect them. It sounds counterproductive but for a mother cat, the action is merciful and keeps her kids from being preyed upon by outside forces.
8. Not recognizing her kitten or kittens: There is an old wives tale that forbids humans from touching newborn kittens. This stems from the belief that human scent gets transferred onto the animal thus causing their parents not to recognize them. While there is still some debate regarding the authenticity of this claim, in rare incidents, when a mama does not recognize her own children she ends up consuming them thinking them to be prey.
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