Neglected, starving adult cats trapped in home killed and ate one of their kittens

In human terms, this is an extremely rare example of a gang of domestic cats "murdering" a young kitten because they were starving, and they were starving because they were neglected to the point of starvation by their callously negligent owner who has subsequently been convicted and punished. This is also a case of cat cannibalism.  I have found 9 reasons for domestic cat cannibalism.

The story comes from Bradford, UK. Four members of the same family, all women between the ages of 23 and 49, neglected seven cats to the point where some of these adult cats bit to death a kitten who was in poor health in order to eat that kitten to survive. The kitten was probably one of the offspring of one of the adult cats.

Neglected, starving adult cats trapped in home killed and ate one of their kittens
One of the starving adult cats who decided to attack and eat one of their kittens in order to survive. Photo: RSPCA vet.

I don't know whether you have heard of that happening before, but I certainly haven't, and it is an example of cannibalism. I have written about the nine reasons why feline cannibalism happens in domestic cats which you can read by clicking on this link if you wish.

In this instance, the RSPCA were called to the house where they found two urine-soaked cats in filthy crates in the kitchen and the other five running around loose in the home.

The "murdered" kitten was handed to an RSPCA inspector, Kris Walker, by the former partner of one of the women. This allowed the veterinarian attached to the RSPCA to assess the body and they decided that the kitten had been bitten around the neck and head and it was these bites which killed the kitten in conjunction with his or her poor health.

It appears that only part of the kitten was eaten. I know that is an unpleasant thought.

The four defendants ended up in the Magistrates' court having been charged under the animal welfare act 2006 for animal cruelty. The women are all related and appear to be a mother and her three daughters: Dawn Mawson (49), Sabrina Mawson (23), Elisha Mawson (23) and Elizabeth Mawson (25).

There were convicted of animal welfare offences under the Act mentioned and were given a life ban on keeping animals as their punishment. For me, that isn't enough. But perhaps they didn't have enough money to pay a fine.

The veterinarian who carried out the post-mortem said in a report that "The fact that the other cats in the house attacked him (the kitten) is quite unusual and it is possible they had done this as they saw him as a source of much-needed food."

And the report also stated that: "It is abundantly clear that the welfare needs of these animals were simply not met. This has been one of the worst cases of animal neglect. Custody was a real option we considered in this case."

The RSPCA inspector said: "It was awful the state these cats had been left in and how hungry they were when we took them to the vets. Sadly, they were so hungry that they had picked off the weakest link among them."

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