Why Do Cats Kill Their Kittens?

Why Do Cats Kill Their Kittens?
Why Do Cats Kill Their Kittens?

Video: Why Do Cats Kill Their Kittens?

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Video: Why Do Cats Kill Their Own Kittens? 2023, February
Anonim

As dads, cats have a bad reputation. For centuries, the stereotype that has taken shape draws them in the form of sexual maniacs using the slightest chance to get rid of their own offspring. This image belongs to the pen of the great Herodotus, who described his journey through Ancient Egypt more than two and a half thousand years ago. Very surprised by the reverent attitude of the Egyptians to the feline tribe, he could not help but publicize such flaws in feline behavior.

Here is one of his observations: “When cats have kittens, they no longer seek male companionship. Cats, on the other hand, in order to get the attention of their friends again, resort to a very strange trick. They grab the kittens, drag them away and kill them, but in no case do they eat. After that, cats, being deprived of the need to take care of their offspring, again strive for the cats' arms”.

Angry cat, photo photography
Angry cat, photo photography

In other words, sexually anxious cats destroy a litter of kittens in order to return the cat to a state of sexual arousal as soon as possible. This theory has dominated for millennia, and many still believe in it. Nobody even thought, what if such a reaction of cats is due to something else, or maybe they want to get rid of the offspring in order to achieve some biological benefit? So where is the truth?

Observations of European wild cats, which belong to the same breed as domestic murks, have shown that they, not at all striving for infanticide, often actively participate in raising babies. One brought his own portion of food to the cat and kittens and carefully laid it next to her. Another did the same thing himself - regularly until the cat was fully recovered after giving birth. He also began to behave in a threatening manner towards people coming close, which had not been observed before. Both feline families lived in zoos, where the cats were also sexually aroused and were more likely to be aggressive towards their cubs.

In the wild, where cats live in vast areas, the chances of a cat appearing near a shelter in which a cat and kittens live are rather small. Consequently, the possibility of manifestation of both paternal care and infanticide is small. In the conditions of a crowded zoo or a big city, the probability of a cat colliding with kittens sharply increases, and if this happens, four options are possible:

1. The cat simply does not pay attention to the kittens.

2. The cat shows miracles of paternal care, as in the case of the zoo.

3. The cat does not allow the cat to reach the place where the kittens lie, and violently pounces on him, trying to push him away, even before he has time to choose a strategy of behavior in relation to the cubs.

4. The cat kills the kittens.

In reality, however, these traditional options are quite rare. Most likely, such skirmishes end differently. Still, the ancient story told by Herodotus would hardly have inspired confidence for two and a half millennia if it had not been confirmed by evidence. So how do you explain these incidents that support the belief in a highly dubious outcome?

Maybe so? The cat will sometimes practice "false stimulation" several weeks after giving birth. If the cat is nearby, it wildly excites him, but he gets a "turn from the gate." The cat is terribly upset and, one might even say, desperate. If he meets a kitten on his way, he may even try to enter into a relationship with him. The bent over position of the kitten is very similar to that of the sexually active adult cat. This, as well as the kitten's inability to dodge and that there is strength to jerk away from the cat, is interpreted as sexual signals by other excited cats and decides the fate of the unlucky baby. The cat does not hit him, but when he climbs on a tiny body, it simply grabs the kitten's neck, because it usually does this with an adult cat. The kitten doesn't resist. That is, it remains motionless. And this is a special sexual signalcoming from an adult cat and making it clear that she is ready for copulation. Such a misunderstanding leads to the fact that a cat who is already tuned in to mating suddenly discovers that the kitten is still too small for this kind of activity. But he is no longer able to correct the mistake and begins to squeeze the kitten's neck harder and harder, as if he were dealing with a clumsy adult cat. As a result, he breaks a thin neck and folds the kitten's head, as a result of which the baby dies.As a result, he breaks a thin neck and folds the kitten's head, as a result of which the baby dies.As a result, he breaks a thin neck and folds the kitten's head, as a result of which the baby dies.

Dead kittens are most often eaten by their own parents. Yes, the victim of sexual dissatisfaction, alas, has no choice but to be devoured. A terrible mistake. It is these, by the way, rather rare cases that led to the creation of the image of a wild monster, a kind of cannibal cat, which only does what it kills and devours its own children.

H. Nepomniachtchi "Cat maintenance"

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