Do cats eat humans?

The story about the cat owner that died alone in a locked house and was eaten by the starving pet cats have gained different reactions from people…violent reactions from non-cat lovers and incredulous and non-believing response from loving cat parents. Some people believe that it is possible for cats to eat humans especially if the animals are already starving. People that have lived with and loved cats would say that it is not possible considering the bond these animals form with the people that provide them not only with their basic needs but care for them and give them unconditional love.

Cats were first domesticated by the Egyptians around 2000 BC. These animals that have existed in the wild have hunted rodents, vermin and other small fast moving animals. Cats have gravitated to villages where mice are aplenty in barns and in grain storehouses. Grateful for the cats’ significant help in controlling rodent population, people have started caring for cats. Cats were idolized as gods by the Egyptians. Some ancient cultures have prohibited the killing of these animals. Indeed, cats become valued and cherished companions as evidenced by uncovered skeletons of cats alongside human skeletons.

Cats are solitary animals. Unlike dogs that would really demand human attention and would have the tendency to develop unwanted habits if ignored by the human family, cats can be left alone at home practically the whole day. Cats would find their own amusement. Cats would sleep the day away or would keep themselves occupied by grooming their fur for hours. Unlike dogs that consider the owner as the master, cats can never be owned. It is even possible for the cat to own the human that feeds and provides care. This is not to say that cats do not form strong ties with their owners. Cats separated from their owners can suffer from separation anxiety. Cats love being petted…these animals love sleeping with the owners as well. It is therefore quite unthinkable for these animals to eat humans, especially the people that have provided them with loving care.

However, cats, no matter how domesticated, are still animals. Cats by nature are predators. These animals hunt and eat prey as their basic nutritional requirement is protein obtained from animal meat. Cats are obligate carnivores. These animals would derive sustenance from animal-based protein. Large animals have large stomachs and once these animals have had their fill of the prey, they can go on for days without eating. Cats have small stomachs. Cats can go on without eating only for a day or two. Cats that do not eat for two to three days can develop a fatal health concern known as hepatic lipidosis. A cat that was locked inside a house without food and without means of going out would find anything that can be eaten to assuage hunger. Guess what would happen if the only possible source of food is the dead owner. Dogs are omnivores…these animals have other food sources other than meat. A dog in the same situation would find any other kind of food. The human body would be the dog’s last recourse if all the other foods were eaten. This is not so with cats. A cat would not eat the fruits on the table. If cat food is not available, cats would hunt. As most households these days are kept rodent-free, the cat will turn to the only source of meat available…the dead cat owner.