Cats are wise, intelligent, unconditionally loving, compassionate, creative, and more. Sometimes I believe that cats are much more intelligent than humans or that their humans give them credit. If you are a cat owner or are thinking of becoming a cat owner, know that you are committing yourself to being the caretaker of this wonderfully unique animal, till death do you part. Cat owners repeatedly say that not a day goes by, but their cat teaches them something new. I get very upset when I find individuals who think that cats are disposable.
If you have a cat expecting kittens soon and have other cats in your home, never fear that one of your other cats is going to steal mama’s babies and harm them. Unknowing and not so wise individuals tried to tell us to be careful when our Mama Beebe had her kittens because she or one of our male cats may try to kidnap them for their next meal. I was upset and horrified at this thought, just thinking of the possibility. I soon found out that if people try to give you information like this and never owned cats, they do not know what they are talking about. These individuals need to keep silent and not provide false information. And better yet, they should never adopt a cat.
Do Cats Steal Other Cats’ Kittens?
It is a Fact. Cats (sometimes) steal things, but not kittens.
While some cats enjoy stealing objects, many cats are not considered thieves in the night. When cats steal, it is because they like the thing they found and strive to put their scent on the object. The object becomes theirs, and other cats know that they cannot take the object. When a cat carries other things in its mouth, experts believe that this action is a maternal instinct.
Have you ever watched The Waltons on TV?
Cats living in the same household are much like The Walton clan. Cats work together to help relieve the burden on another cat. It is natural that some cats do not see eye to eye. When a female has a litter of kittens, other cats in that household are likely to help care for the kits and share the mother’s work. Another cat may take a kitten or two, much like someone’s aunt picks up their niece or nephew for the weekend to give the mother a rest.
Did you realize that other cats in the household with kittens are likely to give the mama cat a rest for a spell and babysit the kittens?
The best thing you can do is to watch the stealing cat closely. It is unlikely that the cat hurt the kitten. However, there remain some concerns. These concerns are not what you expect and are all about cats’ natural antibodies in their bodies.
Cat Blood Types A, B, and AB Antibodies
Cats are born with natural antibodies. These antibodies are specific to the mother cat and her kittens. The mama cat has compatible antibodies to her kitten through their shared blood types. It is not unusual for another female cat to steal a kitten from the mother and feed it. However, the antibodies may differ when another cat tries to feed another cat’s kitten. These antibodies include blood types type A, B, and AB antibodies.
If another female cat takes a kitten away from the mother cat and tries to feed it, it may not go well, depending on the blood types of the kitten and the two cats. The cat who tries to nurse a kitten that is not hers could carry antibodies that can kill or injure the kitten during the feeding process. Cats are intelligent creatures. However, cats are not accumulated to different blood types. As a kitten absorbs the wrong antibodies through another mother’s milk, these antibodies start to destroy the kitten’s cells, causing illness or death of that kitten. This process only takes a few seconds for the wrong antibodies to enter the kitten’s body. The cat was doing a good thing that went horribly wrong.
If the mama cats are from the same liter, meaning the cats are sisters, the specific blood type may not be a factor when one cat feeds her sister’s kitten, because sister cats undoubtedly carry compatible blood types. The subject of blood types between cats is confusing and complex. It is well worth your while to delve into this subject if you have newborn kits in your home. You must allow the natural mother cat time to bond with her own babies in a private, secure space. You might try a large dog pen to accommodate a cat bed, litter pan, food and water, and space to exercise.
You can separate the two adult cats to allow the natural mother to bond with her kittens. This bonding process may take a few hours to a week. It is as standard for feral cats to care for all kittens in the circle as it is in a household.
Why Would A Cat Steal Other Cats’ Kittens?
It is true when you hear that female cats in the same household may steal another mother’s kitten (s). The cat stealing a kitten usually wants to feed the kitten. There is nothing to be concerned about if the female cats are from the same litter. Otherwise, this could present a problem for the kitten as explained above about blood types.
It is essential not to have too many cats simultaneously, because some cats do not mesh with other adult cats, and it may be an ongoing problem that these cats do not get along. You soon realize that you have behavior and fighting issues. The following are a few reasons why some cats steal kittens from another mother cat.
- The cat is giving the mother rest and is helping the mama cat.
- The cat is babysitting the kitten.
- The cat has a natural instinct to steal.
Will Other Cats Harm Newborn Kittens?
Seasoned cat owners know that fighting between some cats is all too common. Fights occur when a cat tries to protect its territory, whether it is in the wild or is domesticated. At times, cats seem to be fighting when, in fact, they are playing.
Stealing kittens from a mother cat is a more significant threat if the stealer is a male cat. Although some cat owners say that their female cats display the same actions.
A mother cat can be aggressive towards its kittens. The aggressive behavior from a mother cat to her kittens is more likely than another cat becoming aggressive toward the mother cat and her kittens. A mother cat acts in this way when one or more of her kittens is ill or is not expected to survive due to issues like congenital heart problems. The mother typically pushes the ill kitten to the side.
Other cats in the household are not likely to harm another cat’s kittens. Although, sometimes this does happen rarely. Because cats are naturally territorial in their indoor space, a male or female cat can become aggressive towards the new mama cat and her babies. Actions of this sort mean that you must monitor and stop any aggressive behaviors by all cats in the home. Cats do not fight with each other unless one cat feels threatened by another cat.
A mother rejecting her own kitten is more often the cause of harming kittens than being injured by another cat. If a kitten is born with a congenital heart defect and has no chance of survival, the mother hides the kitten or allows the kitten to stay with her, but she refuses to feed the baby because it will die soon.
- The mama may feel secure and may use this place for a spell.
- The mother finds another peaceful and private place to take her kittens. The mother did not kill her brood. Something may have happened, causing her to feel insecure, so she found a new private place.
Do Male Cats Kidnap Kittens?
It is rare for a male cat to kidnap kittens from its mother. If you have a male and female cat and their kittens, it is rare for the father cat to kidnap and kill his own. This situation is not normal, nor is it a specific thing cats do.
In our early years of caring for felines, we were told this could happen, so we were forever mindful of our male cats doing this. Female cats have been known to do this same thing. However, a father cat does not act like this unless they are starving for food and have no other option.
A male cat who may or may not be the father of kittens is more likely to kill its kitten in the wild and eat it. However, if your male or female cat is domesticated in your home, this will not likely happen. You have nothing to fear.
If you do not know who the father of these kittens is and the father is not one of your male cats, the male cats may take on the responsibility of teaching these babies to hunt and climb, versus kidnapping or harming them. Your male cats tend to either help each other out or not pay any attention to the mother cat and her babies.
Of course, you must feed your cats regularly, keeping good quality dry cat food and fresh cold water available 24/7. Many cats expect moist food two to three times per day. Never let your cats starve. In this situation, your male cat can and will tend to kill their kits if you allow them to starve. If you do this, shame on you. You should not have cats.
Will A Cat Kill A Kitten?
It is rare for a domesticated cat to kill a kitten, as explained previously. This practice more commonly happens in the wild, especially if the cat cannot find food and is starving.
Even though this practice is exceedingly rare for a domesticated cat to kill one of its babies, you need to monitor your cats’ interactions. Although very rare, you must know that there is a slight and very slim chance of this happening in your home.