Q:

How long does it take for rigor mortis to start after a cat passes?

A:

Quick Answer

Rigor mortis can take between three to six hours to set in after the death of a cat, according to Rest in Pets. The condition, which is part of the decomposition process, is a natural occurrence after the death of an animal.

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How long does it take for rigor mortis to start after a cat passes?
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Full Answer

Rigor mortis creates stiffness in a cat’s muscles hours after it dies, and can last from 12 hours to several days. Rigor mortis and decomposition do not occur immediately following a cat’s death. It is accelerated or decelerated by environmental conditions. For example, Living With Pet Bereavement points out that if temperatures are warm, rigor mortis begins sooner than if temperatures are cooler. Rigor mortis also occurs more quickly with smaller cats than with larger ones.

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Related Questions

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    How long does rigor mortis last in cats?

    A:

    Rigor mortis in cats lasts about 12 hours on average. The onset of this process typically begins within 3 to 4 hours after the death of the cat and is dependent upon numerous variables.

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  • Q:

    Why does rigor mortis occur?

    A:

    Rigor mortis occurs because, after death, the muscles of the body partially contract, but they are unable to return to their relaxed state. About.com further explains that this causes the muscles to become fixed in place for around 72 hours.

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    What causes rigor mortis in animals?

    A:

    According to the Encyclopedia of Death and Dying, two to eight hours after death, the body stops producing adenosine triphosphate and muscles begin to stiffen. This occurs in part because oxygen no longer circulates. Other post-mortem biochemical changes also cause abnormal contraction of the muscles because the body is unable to remove the by-product lactose from the muscles to prevent them from stiffening.

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    What are some forensic anthropology cases?

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    In 2004, forensic anthropology findings led New Jersey prosecutors to reinvestigate the cause of James Ridgeway's death, which was inconclusive in 1979. In another case, reconstructive techniques helped identify the fragmented remains of a San Diego woman named Joy Risker, whose body was buried in an Arizona desert.

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