How long before pets eat your corpse?

I recall reading a very interesting study a while back regarding how long your pets will wait before eating your corpse after you die and stop feeding them. The gist of it was that dogs will wait a fairly long while (a week maybe?) whereas your cute cuddly little kitty cat will only give it a day or two before ripping into your sweet, rotting flesh.

I don’t know where I saw the study, but I remember that it was reputable, not just wild speculation. Anyone else remember this or know where to look?

I don’t know about studies. I suspect our cats are nibbling on us right now, and wouldn’t have to wait until we were actually dead before eating us.

I’d be fine. My dogs have a big feeder which holds about two weeks worth of food for them.

I wanna know what happens to owner-eating pets after they’re discovered. How many people would want a cat or dog who’s had the “taste of blood”?

I’m sure that there is a staff report or article from The Master that addresses this subject but i’ll be damned if I can find it now. From what I recall you are right that dogs will wait longer than cats before munching on a nice fillet of owner.

I believe that the woman who was the first to receive a partial face translplant required one because her dog ate part of her face after she passed out from a drug overdose.

I can’t find it on-line, but I remember a news story from the 1980’s about a new mother who had no money, and left her newborn baby alone with a dog who hadn’t been fed in four days while she went out to get her welfare check.

The result was what you’d expect.

Here is a link to the story of the woman who received the face transplant. In the article it states that she was mauled by her dog but somewhat amusingly the caption under the picture says “The patient was injured when her dog tried to wake her”, i’m never buying a dog if they try to wake you by eating part of your face.

Like CalMeacham said, I believe our cats are conducting taste tasts now while we’re asleep.

Human sleeping peacefully.

Cat slinks up, bites human on chin.

Human shouts and flails, “OW! Gerroff, ya demon!”

Cat slinks away, thinking, “Damn, not dead yet.”

So when your dog licks you ,he is tasting you for later.

It really depends upon whether your pet is a cat, a dog or a hyena, etc.

How about if you are dead, BUT the dog has a plentiful supply of dog food, given a choice, would he eat you or the dog food first?

There was a staff report on this very subject a number of years back.

From Hawk’s Straight Dope reply referenced above:

Waaal, I didn’t go to the AAFS in 1992, but I can tell you where I heard this story, just about verbatim. It was in 1993, and it was from the esteemed forensic anthropologist of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Bill Rodriguez, who told it as part of a series of stories from cases of pet-eating-you-after-death, on which he had personally been involved.

He had a charming speaking style; I still remember his explanation of what you do when an old lady has vanished from her house with the doors locked (but the dog door open), there are two tail-wagging well-fed German shepherds, and in the back yard, you have 200 cubic feet of dog shit. “That’s what graduate students are for!”

(By the way, they x-rayed all the dog shit, through plastic bags - forensic anthropologists love x-rays - and found two of her teeth and part of a bone, enough for them to pronounce her dead and, well, processed.)

I don’t know him personally, but I can e-mail him and ask him for the genesis of the story if you wish. I’ll tell him I called him “esteemed” on a message board.

I can’t pass up this opportunity to quote the Nick Lowe ditty “Marie Provost”:

No, your dog loves you. Your CAT is tasting you for later. :stuck_out_tongue:

It worries me when the dog licks me, she might realize I’m made of meat. :eek:

Holey Moley! All they found was two teeth and a piece of bone? What about blood and other fluids? Did the dogs lick it up or what? Now you have me staring at my dog! :eek:


Well, since dogs will normally not begin to eat their owner until they get desperate, days after all food has vanished, she was probably decomposing when they started, and there wasn’t exactly “blood” left. Just purge and decomp fluid, with the melted fat in it and the characteristic smell. Dogs love decomp. In fact, one of the few advantages of autopsying a floater is that afterwards, in the evening, you can go to the local dog park and get thronged by adoring dogs.

But, yes, they probably licked up every drop. You’ve seen dogs polish a bowl. And here it was many days later, she was gone, they were probably hungry…

I was wondering idly where they went for water and the obvious answer presented itself. There’s a million gross jokes out there about a dog who drinks from the toilet and then licks your face. But can you imagine being licked by one who drinks from the toilet and eats its decomposing owner?

Well, that certainly answered any questions I might have on the subject! :eek: Speaking of dogs “loving decomp,” wasn’t there a pathologist busted for taking her pooch to the autopsy room and feeding him tidbits? What a lucky hound.



Oh, good God, was there? That would be siiiick.

Our policy is no pets at the office - ever. The chief has been known to slip her dog into the office on a weekend, back in the day. But not for tidbits, unless you count Tiny T-Bones. Just for comp’ny. It’s strictly prohibited though, and maybe that’s why.

There was a story here in Philly four or five years ago, about a guy who died and whose pet iguanas snacked on his flesh before the body was found.

Googling “Philadelphia pet iguana eat” didn’t help me find a cite. :smiley: