Cat Hunting Behaviours: Why Does a House Cat Hunt?

If your cat ventures outdoors, you're undoubtedly used to finding dead animals on your doorstep. Even though certain cats may be better hunters than other people, you may still have questions regarding why cats engage in hunting.

It's very common that you've had dead mice and birds show up at your door if you possess an outdoor cat. This could be something you only receive occasionally or something you now take for granted every morning.

Cat owners all across the world are perplexed by this propensity to bring cat hunting gifts, and many are curious about the causes of cat hunting activities. This is particularly so if your cat receives frequent attention, feedings, and all the fuss he could possibly want! It helps to know why a cat hunts if you have one that is an expert hunter.

Why do cats go hunting?


Cats weren't traditionally kept as pets and fed by devoted owners. As their big cat cousins, including lions and tigers, had to fend for themselves and go on their own food hunting expeditions, your four-legged buddy is descended from cat ancestors who were skilled hunters because there was a limited supply of prey, which meant only the best hunters lived and produced offspring.

Nowadays, cat hunting is mostly for pleasure and fun. The hunting urge that is programmed into your cat's brain is triggered by the simple hearing and sight of prey. Simply put, your cat is helpless to fend off a bird's flapping wings or a little mouse's scuttling feet.

Why does my cat hunt when I feed it well?


Domestic cats weren't subjected to as much selective breeding as dogs. They continue to hunt because it is hardwired into them. For a cat, hunting is as natural as sleeping and eating.
Hunger is not a factor in the desire to hunt. Because they do not know if their next meal will come, cats in the wild hunt constantly, even when they are not hungry. If a cat delayed until it was famished before going hunting, it could have been too weak to get prey.

Although your pet's survival does not depend on wild prey, its hunting instincts are strong. As a result, regardless of whether you provide your cat easy access to wholesome food, it may still hunt.

Why would my cat bring dead animals as gifts?


Do your cat's "gifts" on your door include dead mice? (Or even worse, an active mouse!) This could indicate that your cat sees you as a member of their family. Similar to what their mother might have done for them while they were kittens, they are splitting the spoils of their hunt.

Despite the fact that the toys can't be eaten, indoor cats still hunt, but their target is toy mice and balls, which the cat may bring to you as a gift. Read This: Why Do Cats Bring Their Owners Dead Animal "Presents"?

What kind of prey do cats pursue?

Cat on hunt

After its first hunt, a cat may act as though it wants to "play" with its victim by batting it around. However, in actuality, the cat is exhausting the animal until it is safe to deliver the lethal bite.

Rats and mice have incisor teeth that are razor-sharp and can bite and hurt your cat. The beaks of birds can also harm property because they are sharp. The cat has a greater probability of avoiding harm if it wears down its prey until it is worn out. The cat will only bite its prey and cut the spinal cord once it has subdued it. It may seem amusing when cats toss carcasses into the air.

However, using this method could lead the prey to tumble violently to the ground, breaking its bones in the process. The victim will at the very least be shocked, giving the cat the chance to execute the lethal bite.

Cats' lack of hunting expertise is another reason why they might play with their prey. Young cats see their mom hunt and accompany her on practice hunts to hone their hunting skills. A kitten taken from its mother in infancy might not have had the chance to develop its hunting techniques. Even if an indoor cat that rarely ventures outside is incapable of killing its prey, it may still play with it by prodding it with its paws.

How can I recognise cat-hunting tendencies?


Cats will exhibit their cat prey drive indoors or outdoors, regardless of whether they aren't actively hunting. Particularly young cats will practice their hunting prowess by pouncing on everything that moves, including your shoelaces and their own tail!

Cats use a variety of hunting techniques, including following, stalking, pouncing, and swatting. These actions can be induced by you playing with the cat. Here are a few concepts:

Open a sizable paper bag and place it on the ground. Imagine that you are a mouse and use your fingers to scratch the bag's back. As soon as your cat hears scratching, they will focus on it, wriggle their hindquarters, and dive into the bag. Be careful not to get a lethal bite on your fingers!

Tie a ribbon and string to the tip of the fishing pole or magic wand. Place yourself in a wall corner so your cat can't see you. Toss the line in the direction of your cat from the corner. Pull the string just a few inches in your direction after letting it sit for about a minute. Kitty will grow intensely curious and stoop low in preparation to stalk the "prey." Just a little bit further, pull the line. Be ready for an attack!

Lay a string on the floor or cover it with a tiny rug, leaving a few inches uncovered near your cat. This will make the string disappear. Carefully pull the rope until it "disappears" beneath the carpeting. Watch the kitten go berserk in search of the buried thread!

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