Why do Mother Cats Kill or Eat their Kittens?
Cats want to make sure their kittens have a good chance of surviving, when a mother cat gets stress or is weak and feels she cannot look after her youngsters she will endeavour to look after the strongest ones in the group.
If she feels she cannot cope with the litter or does not have enough milk to feed them then she will kill the ones she feels are the weakest, she is not eating the kitten for nourishment unless of course she is very undernourished herself, she is doing this so decay does not set in and to give the remaining kittens a good change of survival.
If another cat licks the kitten, then the smell of the other cat on the kitten will also mean the mother cat may kill the kitten because the smell of herself and the litter has gone.
Like most animals, cats are very protective and will find places so their kittens are safe from male cats and harm, if they live in a house where the humans do not care and just kill the litter and leave her to produce she will hide the kittens so they cannot be found, a cat will trust usually one main member of the family and seek safety and comfort.
The mother cat is usually pregnant for around 67 days they have be known to have 5-6 in a litter and can produce a litter every three months, kittens can produce when they are three and half months old this means from one cat she can produce approximately 250 kittens in a year. A cat should be neutered at 4-6 months of age.
Also, if a cat has too many kittens they are at risk of AIDS and other serious diseases caused from mating, the reason there are different coloured kittens is because their will be several fathers involved.
When a male and female cat are ready to mate they will make loud caterwauling, it is an unusual meow and can sound like they are in pain or distressed; when a female accepts a male she will flatten her ears against her head, she will then display certain behaviour like rubbing her head along the floor, calling back to the male, rubbing up against him and rolling around on her back; at this stage the male will grab the female on the back of the neck and mount her.
Mating can be very quick and sometimes the female cat will attack the male afterwards; the first mating induces ovulation in the female cat and so subsequent mating's will happen to ensure that she has been fertilised.