Smilodon fatalis is the scientific name for the saber-toothed cat. The cat's teeth is what gave saber-toothed cats their name. In fact, Smilodon fatalis means "deadly knife tooth". Yes, they used their canines to kill their prey. Paleontologists believe Smilodon would first wrestle its prey to the ground. Then, it would use their cannines to slice the throat, either bleeding it to death or suffocating it.