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Did my cat eat her kittens?

by Faye

Hi,

My cat had 2 kittens Saturday night, totally unexpected to me. I noticed a change in her nipples and food habits but didn't think she would be pregnant, despite having a 10 month old tom cat.

Anyway, the kittens seemed fine when they was born, mummy cat was feeding them ok. She did however keep going off, but ran bk to them when they began to cry. My tom cat was laying with her whilst she was in labour and comforted her after licking and sniffing the kittens. I don't know if he is the dad.

The cats were left all night together as they were fine before I went to bed. However, when I woke in the morning I couldn't hear the babies crying and saw mum cat walking about. There was blood on the floor and I later found a paw from each kitten. I searched the whole room (the door had been closed) and didn't find the kittens.

Did my mum cat eat her kittens? If so for what reason, they was a good size and didn't look like they had abnormalities. Or did my tom cat attack them and mum ate them? I'm so upset and confused to why they did this. Her stomach feels lumpy is this the remains of the kittens or is she still pregnant?

Any advice would be great thanks in advance.
Faye


Dear Faye,

Typically, the only time a mother cat will harm her kittens is if she senses something is wrong with them, and even then, she is not likely to eat them. She is more likely to ignore them.

Especially since you are unsure of whether or not he was the father, it is more likely that your tom cat killed the kittens. Unfortunately, leaving a tom cat with kittens can be dangerous for a number of reasons. It is best to seclude a new cat mom and her kittens for at least a few days to a couple of weeks so she can focus her attention on caring for them and the kittens will be safe in her care.

As for whether your mom cat is still pregnant, without seeing her in person I cannot know for sure, but it is unlikely. Your mom cat may need to be seen by a veterinarian, though. My concern is that, by your description, if the lumps you are describing are just under the skin on her belly, she may have feline mastitis. Her mammary glands would have been prepared for her to nurse her kittens, and they may have become very enlarged and may even be infected. For this reason, I would advise you to bring your cat to a veterinarian soon.

I am so very sorry for your loss of the kittens.

Best wishes,
Dr. Neely

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