Should I Remove A Dead Kitten From The Litter?

If one of your kittens dies suddenly, it’s essential to remove it from the litter.

In the majority of cases, another kitten will be born soon. Removing the dead kitten will help prevent it from contaminating the other members of the litter.

So, should I remove a dead kitten from the litter?

Most people think that it’s wrong to remove a dead kitten from a litter of kittens.

However, sometimes it’s necessary. For example, a dead kitten might be blocking the live kittens’ access to food or water, or it might harbor a disease that is harmful to live kittens.

Furthermore, it might be too traumatic for the remaining kittens to be abandoned to the care of strangers after the death of their sibling.

Dead kittens should be removed from a litter of kittens as soon as possible after they are found dead.

Should I Remove A Dead Kitten From The Litter?

A dead kitten should not be removed from the litter.

Kittens are social animals, and a dead kitten could traumatize the surviving kittens.

Removing a dead kitten from the litter could also increase the risk of disease, as the remaining kittens could become stressed and sick from the loss of their companion.

Furthermore, it’s better to leave the dead kitten in the litter because removing it could stress the remaining kittens so much that they die soon after being born.

To prevent any stress to the surviving kittens, it’s best to leave the dead kitten in the litter until the surviving kittens are old enough to leave on their own.

Why Do You Remove a Dead Kitten From The Litter?

Prevents Consumption of the Dead Kitten

This is something a cat does in the wild whenever one of her offspring dies.

She removes the carcass from her nest so that she doesn’t eat her own child by mistake. This is essential to prevent cannibalism from occurring in her brood.

Mother cats are very protective of their young; they will fight anyone that tries to harm them in any way, including consuming their own children.

Therefore, if the dead animal is left alone, the mother might start eating the dead kitten instead of caring for her living babies.

The mother cat will not consume her own kittens or cubs unless the animal is dead for several days or a week.

Instead, she plans to devour the deceased kitten when she feels it’s safe to do so.

By removing the deceased kitten, the responsible owner has prevented a cannibalistic attack from taking place on her kittens.

A mother cat in the wild will either ingest the body of her deceased littermate or leave it alone to decompose naturally.

Increased Infection Risk and Health Issues

When a deceased kitten is left in the home of a mother cat, it puts her other offspring at risk.

These health risks may be severe enough to cause the death of your surviving kittens, and the mother will sometimes suffer as well.

Allowing things to continue as is increases the risk of the mother becoming infected and dying from septicemia.

You’ll want to make sure the mother and surviving kittens receive proper veterinary care as soon as possible after the emergency occurs.

Due to the formation of harmful bacteria, the dead body of a deceased animal causes a great deal of harm to the living ones around it.

For instance, if the body is not properly removed after death, it can cause serious infections to the living ones around it.

However, removal is not as simple as it sounds; if not done properly, it could lead to even more problems for the mother and remaining babies in the nest.

The risk of infection increases when the decomposing body is not removed from the home of the deceased feline or canine.


The primary purpose for removing a deceased pet is to protect the family from the harmful effects of decaying flesh and fluids that enter through the pores of the carcass.

A lifeless kitten becomes a breeding ground for bacteria when it is left inside the home of its mother.

These bacteria can cause many diseases in cats and other animals. When an animal dies in its natural habitat, it decomposes very quickly due to the warm weather and the abundance of natural predators that feed on its corpse.

However, in colder climates, this process may take months or even years to complete. If the decomposing body remains in the home of its dead owner, the dead body will pollute the air and contaminate the food in the room.

This is a reality of life, which is why it is important to properly dispose of a deceased animal’s body as soon as possible after it happens.

This might cause bacteria-related issues as the body starts to decompose and toxins are released into the air.

As a consequence, most mother cats will try to relocate their kittens to a new nest if they are exposed to the scent of a dead cat in their house or yard.

Mother cats are generally aware of when their offspring are about to be born and they will instinctively know that the smell of a decaying cat could be harmful to their young.

This is why they are quick to relocate them to another area to avoid exposing them to this smell.

Also Read: Why Does My Kitten Attack My Face?


A deceased kitten should be removed from the litter as soon as it dies.

Leaving a dead body around a baby feline can lead to a number of health issues for both the mother and remaining baby felines. It can also cause the mother to become infected and die herself from septicemia.

Removing the dead kitten will prevent the mother from eating the corpse of her young and help to prevent the living babies from becoming sick due to the presence of the rotting carcass in their home.

It will also prevent bacteria from entering the environment through the pores of the decomposing body, thus preventing the possible spread of disease to other animals and people.

This will prevent the mother cat from accidentally ingesting the decaying corpse of her kittens.

However, make sure the mother cat is aware that it is safe before removing the dead body from her litter; otherwise, it might start eating the corpse out of fear that it is being harmed in some way.