Will your cat eat you after you are dead?
According to latest research, it is most likely, writes Garcia, the lead author of a paper with this theme, released in the Journal of Forensic Sciences. Garcia stated the following:
“The main theory is that cats are, like, picky eaters. Once they find a food that they like, they’ll stick with it.”
Melissa Connor, a forensic anthropology professor, director of the Colorado Mesa University’s Forensic Investigation Research Station added: “They make me sneeze. But if you were hungry, wouldn’t you eat them?”
Alexander Smith, the research station’s laboratory manager, said:
“They’re looking for a food source, and they’ve found a food source that is human remains.”
Many pet-owners have considered this possibility and no matter how dark it is, it has inspired a mortician to write a book: Would Fluffy eat me if I dropped dead? Scientists confirmed that it would.
In the research of the group of scientists the cats had a buffet of more than 40 bodies, but each one returned to the corpse it had selected before, again and again, and one cat came back for 35 nights straight.
Connor and her co-authors said that their findings didn’t change their feelings towards the cats.
Mikel Delgado, a cat behavior researcher at the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, stated that this behavior does not come as a surprise to her. Namely, she used to work at an animal shelter, and “we had a cat that came in when her owner had died, and the report said that she’d eaten the person’s nose. Delgado wrote on her blog: “It’s not a behavior problem. It’s just a fact of life.”
Your kitty is not actively thinking which parts of you might be tastiest. Eating a corpse of an owner happens when this person suffers from a certain medical condition that is living isolated and in a sudden death when the body is left alone for days; the cat uses it as food.
Delgado said that when people ask her whether their cats might eat them afterward their death she explained to them, a human corpse is first feasted upon by maggots, and if there is a cat nearby the feast will continue.
However, this does not refer only to cats, previous research has revealed that pet canines, and also a hamster and a bird had eaten part of their deceased masters. In fact, even if the pet is not hungry it will probably start eat its owner. It was believed that an Alsatian dog in Germany consumed some of its owner within 45 minutes of the person’s death although the dog was healthy and had a full bowl of food. But, the researchers have explained that the dog had actually tried to revive his owner and that out of distress he started biting him.
There has been another recorded screening of such activity of cats at a facility, which is far from houses but close to a landfill. Cats have been wandering among the grasses inside the gates, and during a routine scan of images, a student Sara Garcia gasped at the sight of two cats showing up. Both cats, one black and the other one striped were not wandering, they were in fact eating. There has been photographic evidence of such dining in progress.
In the paper researchers have described the consumption of two different human corpses by two different cats, and each one of them showed a special taste interest for arm tissue. The captured pictures and also the claw marks that have been left behind the cats were scientifically valuable as such type of activity is almost never documented. Nonetheless, Connor states that this is not a rare activity: “Any coroner or medical examiner will tell you of cases where a body was shut up with a pet that scavenged the owner eventually.”
The Colorado Mesa University’s Forensic Investigation Research Station is surrounded by a 10-foot-high, wire-topped fence that extends two feet underground in order to keep at bay large animals. However, prairie dogs often have the habit to pop up but they do not pay any attention to the bodies. On the other hand, cats, skunks and snakes slip in through gaps in and under a front gate.
Biologists find this interesting as domestic cats are recognized as predators, and not as scavengers. But, nonetheless, they ate the bodies when they were in early stages of decomposition and ended at the onset of “moist decomposition,” but ate to the bone. Let us be clear, the corpses were placed there for that purpose at the station that is otherwise recognized as the “body farm.”
A few dozen corpses are put on purpose to decompose on this station located on its two acres of saltbush-dotted desert. The end purpose is for the scientists and students to document what really happens to the bodies, and their findings are used for the purposes of law enforcement, coroners and medical examiners.
Connor stated that these corpses are used to determine “what is natural that happens to a body and what is not natural.”