Do you want to know why do male cats kill kittens? Why do male cats eat kittens? Even, sometimes, mother (mom) cats kill and eat their kittens (babies). If you do own cats then you might have gone through the situations where your cat killed you kittens, right?
You would have thought Why did my cat kill her kittens… In this post, we will be covering all that you need to know about your cats and their safety. You will get to know at what age are kittens safe from tomcats. Why do cats eat their kittens after birth?
Cats are considered to be solitary animals domestically and in the feral situation. Cats are usually organized in groups just like the other cat family lions pride.
Cat family groups are usually matriarchal and dominated by a female while the males only get to be available when one of the females is available for mating or is on the heat. Though it is uncommon to have some groups that have a resident male cat as the leader.
- 1 Why Do Male Cats kill Kittens?
- 2 Why do cats eat their kittens after birth?
- 3 Why do cats (male/female) Eat their Kittens?
- 4 Cats kill kittens due to sound Similarity to Prey
- 5 At what age are kittens safe from tomcats?
- 6 Conclusion
Why Do Male Cats kill Kittens?
Tomcats usually establish their territory and control it, this may be groups of female cats that he has control over and repels other male cats from coming to this territory.
This establishment of territory may include killing any kittens which may have been fathered by another male cat and have the genetic complements of the rival male.
This happens to many other social animals too, few of the males will use their energy to raise the offspring of another male that is their rival.
Why do cats eat their kittens after birth?
Cats have a great sense of scent that helps them to determine any intruders in their territory. If a tomcat gets scent markings of a rival tomcat he decides that the kittens that get born belong to the visiting tomcat.
This may cause him to kill all the kittens that may be born so that the females will not raise kittens that belong to his rival tomcats. This ensures that the females also come to heat much faster and he can sure of mating them again to ensure that the kittens that will come forth are his.
When a tomcat takes over a new territory that was originally owned by another tomcat that may be dead or non-competitive, the new tomcat may be driven to kill the kittens that are in the new territory so that he may bring forth kittens that are his own.
Tomcats are behaviorally like lions
Tomcats are behaviorally like lions and any itinerant tomcats are not always certain if the kittens belong to them or were brought by some other tomcat especially in an area where they are competing over the females there.
This makes the mothers to have the responsibility of hiding the kittens at that stage when they are still vulnerable to the attack of the tomcat.
Though there are some situations where the males kill their own kittens they sired, this could be limiting to them as they may not be able to pass their genes to the next offspring.
There are some tomcats that are benevolent in their approach and are considered to lack the instinctive nature or it may not have been developed well. This could be as a result of lack of other tomcats around that are that may result in it being less reactive.
There are instances when some breeders raise kittens with both the male and female are around and they tend to develop benevolence because of their hormonal state that makes them to tolerate kittens from another male and only drive them away by fighting as the kittens develop sexually.
Tomcats do not usually contribute to the raising of kittens but there are a few instances when some toms tend for the young ones, supply for their food and are willing to play with the kitten. Few toms would take up the responsibility of mothering kittens and the duties that come with it.
Why do cats (male/female) Eat their Kittens?
The only problem with these toms is when it comes to play time as they would end up hurting the kittens during play time as they don’t know how to differentiate when it is play time and hunting time.
Most toms do not know how to change these modes and when the play mode goes overboard, they would be highly aroused and become violent and their hunting instincts come live and they may attempt to kill the kittens.
Toms like most other animals of prey have strong hunting instinct and once is active it may be hard to be switched off and this may be the reason why they may end up eating the kitten.
Cats killing Kittens- Reason #1
Cats usually exhibit neck biting behaviors especially when the mothers are lifting the kitten to move them from one place to another. Neck biting is also exhibited when the cats are mating and in showing dominance.
At some points, a tomcat may try to assert its dominance over the kitten especially the unruly ones that keep on disturbing it. It asserting their dominance, they may end up breaking the neck of the kitten.
Male Cats killing Kittens (Sexual Advances)- Reason #2
In some other occasions, when a tomcat is attracted to a female cat that is nursing its young ones when her hormonal state makes her to invite sexual advances from tomcats but she is not ready to mate and repelled off the tomcat. This could cause the tomcat to be frustrated and attempt to mount on her kittens and his force and energy may break the neck of the kitten.
Cats kill kittens due to sound Similarity to Prey
The size and the sound that is produced by the kitten is similar to that produced by prey. They are both small in size and also produce high pitched sounds and make fast movements that are similar to that of prey.
These characteristics trigger tomcats to their hunting instincts and they end up eating the kittens just the same way they would treat prey.
The maternal behavior being exhibited does not hinder their hunting instincts. These may cause the tomcat to be confused with the small size of the kitten and their movement.
These may cause even tomcats that are not aggressive to act abnormally towards the kittens. Some female cats also may act in the same behavior if they see kittens of another female.
At what age are kittens safe from tomcats?
Your Kittens are safe from the above killing situations by father cat and kittens once they gain weight up to 2 pounds at least that usually happens when a kitten completes 8 to 12 weeks after the birth.
Tomcats are usually not present to protect their offspring, though a colony male tom may drive away any intruders that may try to come in their territory mostly to protect their space rather than to secure the young ones.
Most kitten attacks usually happen at a time when the female is away from the nest as it has been seen commonly that any nesting female drives away any males that may try to attack.