why would a mother cat eat a kitten

One of the most heartwarming things to see is a mother cat caressing and feeding her little ones. Even in shelters, abandoned kittens are sometimes put with a nursing mom who will accept and nurture the motherless babies as her own. So what would make a mother cat reject or abandon her babies? The reasons are many, and itБs helpful to understand them:
1. Watch The Nest First of all, many people come upon litters of kittens outdoors and assume they have been abandoned when in fact mom is nearby, probably hunting. Outdoor or stray moms sometimes scatter their kittens to avoid predation. If the kittens seem well fed, are in a safe place, and fall asleep after crying for a short while, mom is probably around. ItБs best to monitor a nest for a couple of hours to see if she comes back. If she doesnБt, she may be ill and unable to come back, or she may have been killed. Kittens can also wander away and get lost or stuck in places where mom canБt get to them. This can happen indoors or outdoors.

So if you see a mom prowling around nervously, or find a kitten crying somewhere, they may be trying to find one another. 2. Illness Deformity Sometimes a mom will reject a sick kitten to avoid spreading the illness to the others. ItБs not always the БruntБ who is ill, and a physically deformed kitten, such as a БJanusБ cat, may also be rejected, even though, despite some physical difference, the kitten is perfectly healthy. Experts recommend removing any completely rejected kittens so mom doesnБt reject others in the litter. 3. Mastitis Some nursing moms develop mastitis, an infection of the mammary gland. This can happen spontaneously, or from kittens scratching the tissue during nursing. The nipple becomes swollen, hard, and hot to the touch. So it may look like mom is rejecting her babies, when itБs actually just too painful to let them suckle. 4. Litter Size Too large a litter can also lead to rejection. If there is not enough milk for all her kittens, mom may reject a few to save milk for the others.

A careful observer will probably notice this behavior within the first 24 hours of birth. 5. Premature Mom A very young mom who hasnБt developed maternal skills may act confused or disinterested. Some moms start out his way and then figure it out. Some donБt. A disinterested mom may also have been traumatized during the birth if she was, for example, not in a safe place, or had difficulty physically. Her hyper-vigilance and nervousness make it difficult for her to relax and lie down so the kittens can suckle. Motherhood can be a challenge for any species. Give these moms compassion, consideration, and help if they need it, just as you would for each other. Call your local shelter, rescue group, or veterinarian for help if you need it, and remember; even though kittens are adorable, over 4 million animals are euthanized annually in the U. S. due to overpopulation Б please spay and neuter your pets. If Kitty has just given birth to three or four babies and she's still yowling and crying, she may be still be in labor.

Cats have three stages of labor. During the first stage the kittens are moving around and getting into position to enter the world. She'll move around a lot trying to get comfortable and start preparing a nest. This stage can last 12 to 24 hours. During the second stage, she'll be actively giving birth to a kitten. During this stage she'll probably meow frequently because, as any mom will tell you, giving birth hurts. It'll take about 15 minutes for the kitten to be born once you see his little paws emerge. If it takes longer than this, you should bring mom to the vet for help. The third stage of labor is a period of rest between kittens. This can be a few minutes to up to an hour. You may think she's done giving birth since she'll take the time to relax and groom her babies. If she begins crying again and straining, it just means more little kittens are on their way.

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