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Cats/Why the kitten ate its sister?


I had two kittens on the vet, two brothers (2 months). It was a girl (she was de smallest) and a male. they been there since they were born, their mother was on the street so i rescued her and the babies are there to look for a home, i know the doctor and he is a real good one, but its weird what happened.

The kittens where in a diferent space that their mother because the doctor was preparing them to separation, when he came at the other day the older one was eating its sister, i'd never heard about it and i've been searched about it and there is nothing like that.

i don't know what happened, please help me understand.


ps: They had food

Hi Daniela,

Sorry to hear about the little one. Cannibalism is very rare in cats. It's almost unheard of for cats of the same age to kill each other, and then for them to eat each other, even rarer. And for them to be kittens, it's baffling. However, in any species, there are those individuals whose behavior varies from the norm. It's possible this kitten could be one of these variants that does kill and eat its own kind.

However, I'm inclined to believe that the sister probably died from some natural cause. On occasion, cats will consume recently deceased members of their family as a method of disease control, especially if they must share close living space with them. A rotting body can bring a lot of disease. Cats will sometimes eat a fresh corpse to prevent it from growing germs. This protects all the other cats around them. This instinct is most often seen in mothers, but it can be seen in other cats. I'm surprised a kitten so young would have developed that instinct, but if the kitten was fed appropriately, I would suspect this is the most likely reason for his behavior.

Best wishes,


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The areas in which I have gained the most experience are cat health and feral cat management/rescue. I provide supportive care to chronically ill cats, hospice care to terminally ill cats and also am involved in trap-neuter-return efforts. My specialities lie in taming feral cats and in the allopathic treatment of cats with illnesses or special needs. I also have owned Siamese, Himalayans, Abyssinians, Russian Blues, Savannahs, Bengals, Peterbalds, Don Sphynx and Oriental Shorthairs and am well-versed in cat breeds as well as cat behavior and nutrition.


I have 15 years of extensive experience with cats ranging from breeding to medical care. My daily routine consists of caring for cats with diabetes, thyroid disease, kidney failure, feline leukemia, feline AIDS as well as feral cats. I have experience with liver patients, heart patients, feline infectious peritonitis, cancer, recovery from amputation and trauma, congenital deformities and most every disease in between. I have assisted cats giving birth and hand-nursed kittens who were neglected by their mother from 2 days old through weaning.

15 years' hands-on experience. Current nursing student. I've studied the parallels of human and cat anatomy as well as zoonotic disease, so my studies are broadening the depth of my understanding of feline anatomy, physiology and pathology.

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