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Is your cat currently pregnant? You may have heard that cats will eat their kittens!
Of course, the first thing you are going to want to do is to figure out how to keep these new kittens safe and happy.
However, despite what you may have heard, cats do not just eat their kittens.
Cats are not exactly the type of animals that will eat their kittens.
There are some cases of this happening, but they are very rare and not likely to happen to your cat if she is properly taken care of.
What Reasons Would A Cat Eat Her Kittens?
One of the more common reasons a cat may eat her kittens would be if they are already dead.
If her kitten dies or was born dead, she may eat her kitten for the nutrition so she can properly take care of her still living babies.
If your cat does give birth to a dead kitten or one of her kittens died, your best option would be to take the body away before your cat gets a chance to eat the baby.
Keep in mind that sometimes your cat will not eat the body, and she will still guard it.
She may not want you to take her baby away from her, even if it is no longer alive.
All cats are different, and it just depends on the cat as to what actions they will take.
While it is rare, a mother may also resort to eating her kittens if she is under stress.
If you see this happening, the best thing you can do is separate the kittens from the mother and call your veterinarian for more help.
It is luckily possible to take care of the kittens on your own if this is an issue. However, as I have already mentioned, this is extremely rare.
Removing the Body
If your cat does give birth to a dead kitten or her kitten dies at some point in time, you will want to remove the body, so she will not be able to eat her kitten.
The best thing you can do is carefully take the kitten from her. Make sure she can see it and knows it is no longer alive.
Once you have done this, the best thing you can do is just bury the body somewhere.
You can also contact your veterinarian to see what they believe would be the best course of action in this scenario.
Keeping Your Cat Comfortable
While you may not want to do this, you should limit human interaction with the mother and her kittens.
Keep an eye on them to make sure all is well, but too much interaction can be one reason why a mom would get anxious and stressed enough to eat one of her kittens.
Of course, you will want to help your mother cat as much as possible but try to understand that cats are used to giving birth and taking care of their kittens all on their own.
Even if you want to be able to help your cat, it may not be necessary for you to do.
You will also want to keep other cats and animals away from the mother and her kittens.
She will want to protect her kittens and keep them safe from harm, and other animals being near her may just freak her out.
Many owners choose to have a room that they can close off from the rest of the house, like a laundry room.
They will have a litter box and cat food in the area, and they will make it comfortable for the mother and her babies by padding the area with soft blankets.
Preferably use blankets that you are okay with not using anymore after your cat gives birth to her kittens.
What You Should Know About the Birthing Process
We know that it is very unusual for a cat to eat her babies after giving birth to them, but what is normal?
If your cat is pregnant and has yet to give birth, it is important to know what you should be expecting for when she does give birth to her new litter of kittens.
At this point, your mother cat should already be in the room designated for her.
She should have a litter box as well as food and water as far away from the litter box as possible.
When your cat is ready to give birth, it can be a long and tiring process for both the cat and the owner.
It is always best to take her to the veterinarian before it’s time for her to have her kittens so that you can be prepared with knowing how many kittens your cat is having and how to take care of her.
The kittens should all be born within thirty minutes of one another in most cases.
The mother cat will clean them after they are born, and she may even eat the placenta of her kitten.
Your cat will know to bite off the umbilical cord on her own, and her kittens will naturally start to nurse from her.
It would be a good idea to be ready to call your veterinarian around this time in case there is an emergency that you do not know how to handle.
When it comes down to it, your cat knows what she is doing, and she might not need your help.
But just in case something goes wrong, you need to be there for assistance.
After your cat gives birth to her kittens, she is going to be exhausted.
You will want to do everything you can to keep her calm and comfortable.
It may be tempting to pick up the kittens and cuddle them, but please do not remove a kitten from their mother unless they are not moving or seem as though they may need emergency care.
Kittens are entirely dependent on their mother to keep them safe.
Until they are around a week old, they will not be able to see or hear the world around them.
By the time they reach two weeks old, the kittens can see and hear a little bit better.
They may even be crawling around some. They will not be able to use the litter box yet, so you will want to make sure their area remains as clean as possible.
The kittens should be nursing from their mother for about four weeks.
Around this point, you can start slowly weaning the kittens off of their mother’s milk.
You will not be able to feed them dry food right away, but there are kitten foods made specifically for replacing milk in the early stages of weaning.
After some time, you will be able to move onto wet food.
Dry food will be the last stage of weaning.
Remember to get a quality dry food that was formulated for kittens.
Just like our own human kids, kittens need lots of extra nutrition so they can grow to be strong and healthy.
Do not worry, there are plenty of reliable brands that will make good dry food options for your kittens.
You will also want to start socializing the kittens so that they can get used to being around humans.
By the time, your kittens are eight weeks old, they should be completely weaned off of their mother’s milk.
At this point, they should be ready to go to their new homes.
While it can be sad to see the kittens go, it can be good for them to have families of their own.
Remember to keep in contact with your vet during this time.
They may want to check up on the kittens as they are growing older so they can ensure everything is going the way it is supposed to.
Your vet may also recommend that the kittens be spayed or neutered before going to their new homes.
Even if you choose to keep them, cats will still mate with their family members when they are the right age, and you do not want that to happen.