Of course, your cat would eat you, if they had to

There are some articles on the internet which ask whether a domestic cat would eat their owner. It is sort of clickbait stuff as it sounds gruesome and as if the humble domestic cat has the power to be an evil predator of the most heinous kind, biting into the hand that feeds them or in the past tense, fed them, because this would only happen if the owner was dead and the cats were locked in her/his home with nothing to sustain them for a very long time.

Of course, your cat would eat you, if needs must
Of course, your cat would eat you, if needs must. Image: MikeB
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

RELATED: Caitlin Doughty believes that our domestic cats would eat their dead owner’s eyeballs – my understanding is that cats eat the softest parts first which might be parts of the face.

The scenario whereby several domestic cats end up locked inside their recently and suddenly deceased owner’s home with nothing to eat or drink has happened in reality and when you think about it, it is likely to happen sometimes, somewhere because a lot of elderly people, often women, live with one or several full-time indoor cats where there is no cat flap.

The scene is set for feline cannibalism in the eyes of many. But for the cat there is no sentimentality and the same sort attitude takes hold of humans too as we have all read about commercial aircraft coming down in remote places after which the surviving passengers resort to eating those killed in the crash because there was nothing else, they could have done to survive.

When push comes to shove, domestic cat companions and human friends eat humans. It is normal because the hard-wired drive to survive surpasses everything at a point in time where survival looks very precarious.

So, we shouldn’t feel amazed or disgusted about cats eating their deceased caregivers. It is normal and to be expected. And on a practical note, the cats would get necessary water from the flesh of the body as the human body is about 60% water. Also on a practical note it is probable that under these circumstances where it is unlikely that there would be water to drink that they’d eat the flesh for water as well as food.

There was a recent story of a Maine Coon cat owner who was partially eaten by her cats under the circumstances described. That’s probably the most high-profile version of this form of feline behaviour reported in the news media recently but it happens all the time albeit relatively rarely as normally the cats can get out and/or their owner dies in hospital.

It has to be a sudden, unforeseen death normally, unless the cats’ owner is negligent about their health and risks dying at any time in their home.

Domestic cats are little, furry humans to many. To the cat – in the cat’s mind – they are North African wildcats when push comes to shove. Anything goes in survival. No sentiments about the bond that once existed between cat and caregiver.

That said, you may also have read stories of cats sitting on the graves of their owners. This normally applies to dogs but cats have been known to do it too. This would imply that cats are aware of the passing of their caregiver and are grieving. Not sure about the grieving bit. The area of cat emotions is work in progress for humans. We don’t know enough save to say that cats do certainly experience the usual basic emotions of contentment, fear and friendship for instance.

A cat may face some emotional reluctance to nibble on the corpse of their owner to survive because of a longstanding bond that existed when they were alive but I am unsure about that too. There is a certain cold, unemotional form of behaviour inside the domestic cat which is the remnant of the wild cat within.

I am not suggesting that one the day the owner falls dead in the kitchen her bevy of feline friends tuck into a feast of human flesh and eat off half her face, the softest areas. No not that.

I’d expect the cats to start feeding on their owner days after her death; at a time when they are starving. The cats may take time to understand that their caregiver has died. The fact that she was lying on the floor would not immediately be perceived by the cats as being dead. I think it would take a few days or several days for cats to understand that.

Of course, this begs the question as to whether they’d fully understand that she was deceased. My feeling there is that they understand the concept of being deceased as opposed to being alive. They’d understand that their deceased owner was available for consumption.

RELATED: Deceased owner’s will stated that her pet should die and be buried with her


Consider having a trusted friend or neighbor check on your cat if you’re going to be gone for a long time. This sort of system would prevent the unhappy situation referred to in this article. There is an argument that and elderly, infirm cat owner in jeopardy of sudden death should not keep cats full-time indoors. Just saying.

Tell me about a famous instance when humans had to resort to cannibalism (asking Google Gemini)

One well-known instance of cannibalism due to desperation is the story of the Donner Party. This was a group of American pioneers who got stranded in the Sierra Nevada mountains during the winter of 1846-1847.

They had taken a shortcut on their journey westward, but it turned out to be much longer and more treacherous than anticipated. By the time they reached the mountains, harsh winter weather trapped them, leaving them with dwindling supplies and no way to escape.

As starvation set in, some members of the Donner Party resorted to the unthinkable act of cannibalism to survive. There are accounts of people eating the flesh of those who had already died, and some believe there may have even been killings for food.

The Donner Party incident is a stark reminder of the lengths people can go to in the face of extreme hunger and desperation. It’s a disturbing story, but it serves as a historical example of human resilience and the terrible choices people can be forced to make.

What percentage of the human body is water?

The average adult human body is about 60% water. However, this can vary depending on several factors like age, sex, and body composition.

  • Babies have a higher percentage of water in their bodies, around 75%, which decreases as they age.
  • Men tend to have a higher percentage of water than women, because women typically have more fatty tissue, and fat tissue contains less water than muscle tissue. Adult men can be around 60% water, while adult women may be closer to 55%.
  • Athletes and people with a lot of muscle mass will generally have a higher percentage of water in their bodies than those with more fat tissue.

How long cat cats live without water?

Cats can survive without water for a relatively short period, typically 2 to 3 days. However, this is not ideal and can lead to serious health complications.

Here’s a breakdown of the factors affecting a cat’s survival without water:

  • Health: A healthy adult cat will fare better than a kitten, senior cat, or one with underlying health issues.
  • Diet: Cats on a wet food diet get some moisture from their food, while those on dry food rely solely on their water bowl.
  • Environment: Hot or dry environments will dehydrate a cat faster than cool or humid ones.

Signs of dehydration in cats include:

  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry gums
  • Sunken eyes
  • Not urinating or urinating less frequently

If you notice any of these signs in your cat, it’s crucial to seek veterinary attention immediately. Dehydration can lead to organ failure and even death.

Here’s the key takeaway: Cats need fresh water available at all times. Keep their water bowl clean and consider placing multiple bowls around the house, especially if you have a multi-cat household.

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