Yes, some mother cats, also known as queens, will eat one or more of their kittens. There are a number of reasons why the queen might choose to do this, and this behavior is not necessarily a reflection of her inexperience as a mother.
When a mother cat feels threatened, either by humans or predators, and has no way to hide her kittens, she might choose to kill them to protect them. Queens will also kill kittens that have genetic defects or are weak as she does not want to waste her limited milk supply on caring for them. She may also eat these weaker kittens in an attempt to get some of her strength back after having given birth. If a kitten dies in the nest, she will eat it to prevent the decaying body from attracting predators or spreading disease among the remaining kittens.Learn More
Kittens need to stay with their mother until they are 8 or 10 weeks old and have finished the weaning process, however, kittens that are abandoned by their mothers can be nursed by humans. Newborn kittens have been nursed by humans before, but it is a difficult process and less than ideal, reports WebMD.Full Answer >
Separating a kitten from its mother can be a slow process. It varies from kitten to kitten, so knowing when to separate them often comes down to the individual kitten's behavior and age.Full Answer >
As a kitten, a cat may meow because it needs to let its mother or owner know that it is hungry, and kittens also meow because they are cold or scared. For older cats, meowing is a form of communication.Full Answer >
Kittens feed strictly off the mother cat for the first few weeks of life. Bottle-feeding using a milk replacement must be used if the kitten has been separated from the mother, has been rejected, or if the mother cannot produce enough milk.Full Answer >