A cat eating a kitten? Or is it a rat?

A cat eating a kitten? Or is it a rat?

May 8, 2022, 0745 am, when I was about to do my daily walking exercise, I saw a foot of a black cat in a box of shredded papers which we have provided as one of the resting abode of cats in our garage. There was no attached body.

At that time, I was wondering whose foot was this. I surmised maybe from a black kitten whom I have not seen for almost 2 days.  I was wondering what happened to him or her – run over by a car on the street? I had to look at the street when I walked to get the answer.

I went about my walking exercise for about one hour (more than 3 kms) in the neighborhood streets.  I did not find any scene of a cat being run over.

When I came back home from my walking exercise, when I was about to get equipment to do some gardening, I suddenly saw in another part of the garage a black cat “mutilated” with head practically detached from the trunk; with intestines exposed; with mangled feet; with some the flesh eaten out; etc. The “corpse” looked fresh, most likely “mutilation” occurring only recently (early morning or last night).  A really gruesome picture of a dead cat.  I identified the cat to be the small black kitten that I have not seen for 2 days.

I will not post the gruesome pictures. 

My question: who killed the kitten? Is it another cat (the mother) or is it a big rat?

I searched the Internet.  Yes, sometimes, an adult cat can kill a baby cat for survival.  Yes, too, big rat can kill a baby cat. So which is which in this case? 

I surmised it is the mother cat who mutilated and ate part of the body of the kitten. In the past, I have seen this mother cat brought to the garage a small chicken roaming in the street and ate it.  In other occasion, she ate a dead bird.  This cat is capable of eating other animals.  Why a cat and not a rat? One, a leg of the dead kitten was in another area while the rest of the body in another area.  I have experienced seeing different parts of the mutilated “corpse” scattered in different areas by this mother cat.  Second, the fleshy parts have been eaten and devoured.   Third, the body has been mutilated and mangled.  I don’t think the rat will do all the above.  The biggest rat that I have seen in the neighborhood is only one fourth of the size of kitten that was killed.  The rat might bite and killed the kitten.  It will take some time and effort to mangle the whole body and without being seen by the other cats in the garage (about 3 of them). The extensive devouring of the dead kitten would take some time, probably about 30 minutes.  I don’t think the rat can do this especially in the early morning.  Rats usually work in dark places.  

Why would a mother cat eat her baby kitten?  At first, I cannot believe she can do it.  This mother cat has about 3 pregnancies in our garage.  After delivery, she would take good care of her babies until they are independent already.  She had a track record of providing motherly nursing care.  That’s why I cannot believe it.  After searching the Internet, knowing that she could, I started asking why?  For survival? She wanted more foods to eat? Also in the past week, I noticed the black kitten to be “weak.”  She might have died last night. After dying, the mother devoured her.  This is another possibility.

I don’t know.  I don’t have the exact answer.    

I am doing this narration for my mental exercise – practicing writing a journal and trying to understand mysterious things in this world – to maintain my cognitive ability.

To those who read this, you are welcome to give comments.  Thank you.

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