Wednesday, May 15, 2024

What Does a Mother Cat Do With A Dead Kitten?

If this is your first time witnessing a kitten’s death in your home, we are sorry to hear about your cat’s loss as a parent. You might be wondering what a mother cat does with her dead kitten. Which led you to this article to find your answers.

What Does A Mother Cat Do With A Dead Kitten?

When cats mourn, they change their behavior the same way people do: they become melancholic and restless. They may lose their appetite and refuse to play.  Or they may sleep more and move more slowly than usual.

In this article, we’ll look at some of the things a mother cat performs when a kitten dies or lives for a brief time.

But, let’s agree on something:

All living beings feel the loss of a loved one once in their life, especially children. This is why all mothers have been protective of their children since their birth.

Animals have a far stronger protective instinct because they are afraid of losing or injuring their kittens or puppies. That’s why; cats and dogs do not allow humans or other animals to approach them or their children (dead or alive).

.Thus, it’s best to give the cat plenty of time to recover from its agony during this difficult time.  So, for the time being, leave her alone. Have spend some time with her or approach her when she’s ready.

Last Touch Of Goodbye

The mother cat’s instinctive response after giving birth is to lick the kittens. She will lick and groom her kittens with zeal. Licking the kittens encourages breathing and assists in the removal of any residual placenta as well as fluids from the kitten’s lungs.

Grooming may appear to be rather aggressive and strenuous, but it is both expected and required.

When a mother cat notices that her kitten isn’t moving or breathing, she will kiss and cradle it to get it to respond. She may continue to do so for a long time before giving up.

But once the kitten shows no movement, the mother cat will occasionally dig a hole in the dirt to bury her dead kitten. Then she will smother the body in the muck and remain there for several hours.

On the other hand, some mother cats would remove the deceased kitten and abandon it if they have other kittens to look after. It is done to avoid any health dangers that’s why the deceased are kept away from the living.

Consume The Kitten

Some mother cats consume their kittens when they appear to be dead, which may sound disgusting. But, eating their dead kitten provides nutrients that will dissolve in the mother’s milk and benefit other kittens.

Is it usual for mother cats to devour the bodies of their dead kittens?

Well, it is natural for them to consume their dead kittens. However, it’s a rare occurrence that a mother cat may eat the remnants of her stillborn kitten. Although this is an upsetting sight for humans, it is a common occurrence among animals.

To keep their dead kittens from being eaten by other animals, some cats will consume them. When a mother cat gives birth to a stillborn kitten, this is the most common scenario.

So to gain extra nutrients for milk production, a cat will eat its placenta and afterbirth.  Moreover, they can achieve a similar effect by eating a weak or dying newborn kitten. This procedure may appear to be cruel, yet it is based on fundamental biological tendencies.

Hand It To The Pet Owner.

In times of grief or bereavement, some cats are incredibly trusting of their owners. Not all cats do this, but some may place their kitten at your feet in the hopes of receiving assistance or empathy.

Many cat owners have noticed this and understand it as their cat demonstrating its faith in you to care for its kittens.

Some mother cats, on the other hand, are too protective of their kittens.
They can get aggressive if someone even tries to approach their child (dead or alive). In rare cases, they will not let you touch their dead baby.


Now you know what a mother cat does with her dead kitten.

Viviparous animals, like cats and dogs, don’t lay hundreds of eggs at a time. Hence, only a handful of babies are born. Moreover, their sentiments are more complex than oviparous animals that are naturally trained for such losses, making them grieve over the loss of loved ones just like us.

Frequently Asked Questions

When A Kitten Dies, Do Mother Cats Know About It Instantly?

A cat may patiently wait, hoping that the dead will return because they do not comprehend death as permanent. Others believe the cat is simply reacting to the grief displayed by humans in the house as they cope with the end of a child.

Is It Possible For A Cat To Birth Dead Kittens?

It is not unusual for one or two kittens to be stillborn in a litter. Dystocia can occur when a stillborn kitten causes labor to be disrupted. The mother cat will deliver the healthy cats generally at other times.

How To Check If My Female Cat Has A Dead Kitty Inside Her Womb?

There are some traditional methods to infer that the kitten inside your cat’s womb is stillborn. You can keep track of its nose, tail, feet, and vulva to check if the baby is stillborn.


Serina Russow
Serina Russow
Hey there, I'm Serina, your friendly feline fanatic! As the proud founder of "Smart cat lovers," I'm on a mission to share my passion for all things cat-related. With years of experience in cat behavior and health, I'm here to provide expert advice on nurturing happy, healthy kitties. When I'm not tapping away on my keyboard, you'll find me curled up with my four adorable furballs: Whiskers, Luna, Billy, and Charlie.

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