Do Cats Eat Dead Owners?

Cats are enigmatic creatures, with a reputation for being aloof and unpredictable. But did you know that they also have a dark side? The idea that cats might eat their deceased owners is a topic that sends shivers down the spine of many. It’s an unsettling thought, but one that deserves to be explored.

The rumor that cats might devour their owners has been around for years, perpetuated by urban legends and horror movies. However, as with all myths, there is often some truth behind the tale. So, can cats really eat human flesh? In this blog post, we’ll delve into the science behind this macabre behavior and uncover what really happens when cats are left alone with their deceased owners.

Do Cats Eat Dead Owners-2

Why would a cat be inclined to feast on its owner’s remains? We’ll explore some of the reasons why this behavior occurs and share some real-life incidents where cats have displayed this gruesome habit. We’ll also examine how factors such as time since death and access to food and water can affect whether or not a cat will indulge in this behavior.

But don’t worry – it’s not all doom and gloom. We’ll also provide tips on how to prevent your feline friend from turning into Hannibal Lecter and what steps to take if you suspect your cat has consumed its owner.

So buckle up, because we’re about to dive into the dark world of feline cannibalism. By the end of this post, you’ll have a greater appreciation for just how mysterious and complex our feline friends truly are.

Cats Have Been Known to Eat Their Deceased Owners

It’s a haunting thought – the idea of our beloved feline friends dining on our remains after we’ve passed away. But the truth is, this behavior is not just an urban legend or a horror story; it’s a fact that cats have been known to eat their deceased owners.

It’s important to note that not all cats exhibit this behavior, but those that do are acting on their natural instincts. Cats are natural predators and have a strong urge to hunt, catch, and kill prey. Even if our domesticated pets are well-fed and taken care of, this instinct remains. When a cat’s owner dies, the cat may perceive the corpse as prey and attempt to hunt it.

In addition to their hunting instincts, cats are also territorial animals. They mark their territory by leaving their scent on objects within it. When a stranger enters their territory, such as a caregiver or family member after the owner’s passing, the cat may feel threatened and attempt to defend its space.

Furthermore, hunger or stress can increase the likelihood of this behavior. If a cat is hungry and has no other source of food, it may turn to its deceased owner as a last resort. Similarly, if a cat is stressed or anxious due to the sudden absence of its owner, it may act out in unexpected ways.

While this behavior may seem gruesome and macabre, it’s essential to understand that cats are not being malicious or evil when they do this. They are simply acting on their natural instincts. However, as pet owners, we can take steps to prevent this behavior by ensuring our furry friends are well-fed, cared for, and given enough mental stimulation and attention.

Factors That Can Influence Whether or Not a Cat Will Eat Its Owner

While this may seem like a horror story, it is a natural behavior that can occur in certain circumstances. As an expert in cat behavior, I am here to explain the factors that can influence whether or not a cat will eat its owner.


Contrary to popular belief, not all cats will engage in this behavior. However, studies have shown that older cats, especially those over the age of 10, are more likely to do so than their younger counterparts.

One possible explanation for this is the changes in diet and activity levels that occur as cats age. Older cats may have difficulty finding food and may resort to eating whatever they can find, including their owner’s remains. Additionally, cognitive decline and diminished senses may make it harder for them to recognize their owner’s scent and distinguish between food and non-food items.

Furthermore, cats who share a strong bond with their owners over a long period of time are also more likely to consume their remains. Losing their human caregiver can be devastating for them, leading them to resort to this behavior as a coping mechanism.

But don’t fret. There are steps you can take to reduce the risk of this happening. Providing your cat with proper nutrition, socialization, and a comfortable living space can help alleviate any distress they may experience. Additionally, having a plan in place for unexpected situations such as death or hospitalization can ensure your furry friend is taken care of and not left alone for an extended period.

Hunger Level

Despite being self-sufficient animals, cats still need sustenance to survive. If their access to food is cut off for an extended period, their hunger level will inevitably skyrocket.

In extremely rare cases where a cat’s owner dies and they’re left without food, they may resort to eating their deceased owner’s body out of desperation. However, this behavior is not typical and only occurs in extreme situations where the cat has no other options.

It’s worth noting that cats are natural-born hunters and can catch small prey such as rodents and birds if necessary. So, if a cat finds themselves without food due to their owner’s passing, they may resort to hunting for their own food before even considering the option of cannibalism.

As responsible pet owners, we must ensure our cats always have access to food and water, even in the event of our passing. By providing proper nutrition and having a plan in place for unexpected situations, we can help reduce the risk of our beloved felines resorting to extreme measures out of hunger.


While cats have a reputation for being independent and aloof creatures, their temperament can vary greatly, affecting how they react to traumatic events.

Some cats, by nature, are more curious and exploratory and may investigate their owner’s body if they pass away at home. Conversely, other cats may avoid the deceased owner altogether due to fear or skittishness. Moreover, cats that have been socialized with humans from a young age may seek out human interaction even after their owner has passed away.

It’s worth noting that the vast majority of cats are not predisposed to eating human flesh under any circumstances. This behavior is incredibly rare and usually occurs only in cases where the cat is severely malnourished and has no other food source available.

In most cases, a cat left without food will become malnourished and weak rather than resorting to cannibalism. Therefore, while temperament can play a role in determining a cat’s behavior after their owner has passed away, it is unlikely that a cat would resort to eating its deceased owner unless they were in an extreme survival situation.

Prevention Strategies for Pet Owners

While the idea of your cat resorting to eating you after your death may seem unsettling, it is not unheard of. To prevent this from happening, there are some crucial prevention strategies pet owners can implement.

Do Cats Eat Dead Owners-3

Firstly, it is essential to have a contingency plan in place for your pet in case of an emergency or unexpected event. This includes identifying a reliable individual who can care for your pet if you are unable to do so. Ensure they know your pet’s dietary needs and any medical conditions they may have.

Secondly, make sure your cat has access to food and water at all times. This reduces the likelihood of them becoming desperate for sustenance and resorting to eating their deceased owner. Consider leaving extra food and water out in case you are unexpectedly away from home for an extended period.

Thirdly, it is crucial to keep your home tidy and free of clutter. This prevents your cat from accidentally knocking over objects that could cause harm or potentially trap them in a room with limited resources.

Lastly, investing in automatic feeders and water dispensers that provide regular meals and hydration even when you are not present can help prevent hunger or thirst in the event of an emergency.

How to Make Arrangements for Your Cat in the Event of Unexpected Passing

As pet owners, we all want to make sure our furry friends are well-cared for, even after we’re gone. This is especially important for cat owners, who may worry about their cats being left alone without anyone to care for them. In this blog post, we will explore five subtopics on how to make arrangements for your cat in the event of unexpected passing.

Understanding the Possibility of Your Cat Eating You

While it may seem like a morbid topic, it’s crucial to understand that some cats may resort to eating their deceased owners. This behavior is more commonly seen in feral or stray cats who are struggling to survive without a regular source of food. However, it is still a possibility for domesticated cats who are left without food for an extended period of time.

Making Arrangements with a Trusted Family Member or Friend

One option for ensuring your cat’s care is to make arrangements with someone you trust, such as a family member or friend, who can take in your cat and provide them with a loving home. It’s important to have an open conversation with this person beforehand to ensure they are willing and able to take on this responsibility.

Including Your Cat in Your Estate Planning

Another option is to include your cat in your estate planning. This can involve setting up a trust specifically for your pet and assigning a trustee who will be responsible for managing the funds and ensuring your cat receives proper care. It’s essential to consult with an attorney who specializes in estate planning to ensure everything is set up correctly.

Ensuring Your Cat’s Basic Needs Are Taken Care Of

Regardless of which option you choose, it’s crucial to make sure your cat’s basic needs are taken care of. This includes providing them with enough food, water and shelter, as well as any necessary medical care. By making arrangements ahead of time, you can rest assured that your beloved pet will be well-cared for.

Making Sure Your Cat’s Medical Records and Medications Are Accessible

It’s also important to make sure that your cat’s medical records and any necessary medications are easily accessible to whoever will be caring for them. This can be done by leaving instructions and contact information with your trusted family member or friend, or by providing this information to the pet-sitting service.

Other Animals Who May Consume the Remains of Their Deceased Owners

While cats often get the blame for this behavior, it is not exclusive to them. This phenomenon is known as “postmortem predation,” which occurs when an animal is left alone with a deceased owner for an extended period.

As unsettling as it may seem to us humans, it’s crucial to understand that this behavior is a natural part of the circle of life. Animals do not have the same emotional attachment to their owners that we do, and they may simply see a dead body as a source of food. In some cases, animals may be attracted to the scent of decay and see a dead body as an easy meal.

But don’t despair. There are steps you can take to prevent your pet from consuming your remains after you pass away. You could make arrangements for your pet’s care with someone else after you die or ensure that your remains are disposed of in a way that would not be accessible to your pet.


To put it bluntly, the idea of cats devouring their dead owners is a disturbing and eerie concept that has been propagated by urban legends and horror films. However, despite its notoriety, this behavior is not as prevalent as one may think. There are several factors that can influence whether or not a cat will engage in this behavior, such as hunger, stress, health, environment, and temperament.

As responsible pet owners, we must take steps to prevent our feline companions from resorting to cannibalism in extreme circumstances. This includes providing them with sufficient food and water, mental stimulation, affectionate attention, and having contingency plans in place for unforeseen situations like death or hospitalization.

It’s also crucial to recognize that cats are not the only pets capable of exhibiting this behavior. In rare cases, dogs have also been known to consume their deceased owners. Therefore, it’s essential to make arrangements for any pets left behind in case of an emergency.

Although the notion of our beloved pets consuming us after we pass away may be unsettling at first glance, it’s essential to acknowledge that this behavior is a natural aspect of the cycle of life.