Wondering What Does A Mother Cat Do With A Dead Kitten?
If you have are experiencing kitten death for the first time in your home, I am sure you have been wondering about it and this leads you to find this article.
Today, we will be exploring some of the actions a mother cat do after a kitten is born dead or only lives a short time.
But, Let’s Agree:
All living beings mourn the loss of their loved ones. There is no such loss as big as losing your child. All mothers and protective of their children since the time of their birth.
This protective instinct is much stronger in animals. Cats and dogs do not let any human or other animals close to their kittens or puppies due to fear of losing them or getting hurt.
Animals have a different way of dealing with their dead offspring than humans. Read below to find out what mother cats do with their dead kittens.
What does a mother cat do with a dead kitten?
Like other creatures, cats also have a strong maternal instinct. They are fiercely protective of their kittens even before their birth.
When a cat is about to deliver her babies, she finds herself a safe haven and does not allow humans or other animals to come close to it.
A kitten may be still-born or die some time after birth due to some defects. When her kitten dies, the mother cat grieves the loss of her baby in several ways.
So before we get to the explanation part, let’s have a quick recap –
What does a mother cat do with a dead kitten? A mother cat will either licks the kitten, eat it , brings it to the cat parent or try to bury the dead kitten.
Side note: During this difficult time, it’s better to give the cat enough time to recover from their pain. Let her stay alone for a time being. When she’s ready, have some fun with her.
Give her some favorite treat to boost her mood. I often use this product to surprise my girl. After sometime, she will get back to normal state.
1. Licks the kitten-
You must have witnessed that animals lick themselves for several reasons. Their saliva has healing properties that heals their wounds. Cats have a habit of licking themselves to groom their skin. They lick other cats also to show a sign of affection.
Mother cats also lick their kittens to groom their skin. But when a mother cat sees her baby not moving or functioning, she will lick her kitten furiously to check if the kitten is alive or not. Mother cat will smell and lick her dead kitten to look for any movement.
2. Eat the kitten-
Some mother cats eat up their kitten once they find out that he is dead. As weird as this sounds, it is an act of affection.
Cats eat their dead babies after some time. It is to protect the body of the kitten from being eaten by other animals.
If the baby is still born, the cat will eat it as it provides nutrients that will be dissolved in the mother’s milk and will be beneficial for other kittens. A mother cat will also eat her dead kitten to keep her body safe from being eaten by other animals.
3. Bring it to the pet parent-
Cats often bring dead mice or any other dead insect or animal to their owner. This is an act of gratitude or a token of thanks to the pet parent.
It is a form of showing their love. Have you ever noticed your cat bringing her dead kitten to you? Many pet cats who give birth to kittens may not even allow you to come near her or her babies while she is feeding or taking care of them.
Cats mainly do this to protect her kittens from being taken away by humans. Most of the mother cats become feisty and angry after giving birth to kittens.
It is due to their over- protective maternal instincts. You should remember that your pet is still fond of you and should help in taking care of her kittens.
Many pet parents tell people that their cat brings her dead kitten to them. This is considered as a sign of affection and trust.
Your cat may not want to eat up her kitten and bring it to you because she trusts you with it. She realizes that you will know what to do with it and keep her kitten safe.
4. Bury the kitten into the ground-
All of us know that cats are fond of digging their litter but what most of us don’t know is that a mother cat may also bury her kitten in the ground to keep it safe and protected.
Cats feel aggrieved on the death of their kittens. If mother cats find any human smell near their dead kitten, they will not let any human being close to it.
She will safeguard the body of her dead kitten and might carry off the body to someplace alone by holding the kitten in her mouth.
The mother cat will then dig into the ground and bury her kitten. She will then cover the kitten with mud and might lay on the spot for several hours to mourn the loss of her baby.
Like humans and other animals, cats also show symptoms of grief or sadness over their dead child. Your cat might stop eating or playing around for some time and stop taking interest in doing any activities.
Animals are no less than humans when it comes to mourning the loss of their loved ones. Mother cats have different ways of dealing with their dead kitten.
The most common reaction is to lick the kitten to find out any movement or activity. By licking and smelling their babies cats figure out if the kitten is alive or not.
Some cats may even eat up their dead kittens to protect them from being eaten by other animals. This happens most of the times when a mother cat delivers a still born kitten.
She eats the kitten that gives her nutrients that are beneficial for other kittens. Many times pet cats may even bring her dead kitten to the cat owners as they trust him for taking care of the kitten.
Also, some mother cats bury their dead kittens underground to keep it safe from other animals.
Hi There, AK Oren here. I am the founder of this amazing pet blog & a passionate writer who love helping pet owners to learn more about their pets through my articles. I am also content manager of this blog. I have experience in pet training and behavior, sheltering, and currently working for a veterinary clinic.