Cat hunting - Here are some of the myths and old wives tales about cats and hunting, why cats hunt and how they do it.
Many cat owners believe that their good little kitty would not even dream of going hunting.
After all, their cat is loved and well fed. Why should their pet bother hunting down birds, mice, squirrels and other wildlife?
If a domestic cat has any access at all to the outside world, or prey is available to an indoor cat, then it will hunt, no doubt about it - it's all part of nature and part of being a cat.
In no way is this true, domestic cats may sleep away a good part of their day but they are shallow sleepers and alert to all sound, and movements, that take place around them.
Cats are designed to use high levels of energy in relatively short bursts, and then rest to recuperate.
High levels of energy in short bursts are of course, just what a hunting animal needs.
This is simply untrue. A cat will hunt whether it is hungry or not, hunting is an instinctive need within your cat.
The fact is a well fed and healthy cat is more likely to be a more effective hunter of prey, than is an ill fed feral cat.
It may be that a rodent is easier to catch than a bird, but the fact is that cats are opportunistic hunters and will hunt whatever prey is available to them.
In metropolitan areas where rodent populations are kept pretty much under control, the most plentiful supply of prey available to cats are birds.
In country areas, where both birds and rodents are in plentiful supply, some studies have shown that birds make up only twenty per cent of a domestic cat's prey.
You may see cats catching more birds than mice, voles and rats, this is because the birds are prey that are available during the daytime, rodents are usually caught at night.
This is a misconception.
A cat that has been deprived of its claws will use its front legs to give a paralyzing blow to its prey, and then, as any cat does, use its powerful jaws and needle sharp teeth to bite its victim's neck.
Declawing a cat for this reason would be pointless - in any event declawing is a cruel and unnecessary process.
This is only partly true. Kittens are born with a natural hunting instinct; even kittens abandoned by their mother will instinctively develop hunting skills. But if the mother cat is on hand to teach her kittens the necessary skills, they will be able to become more proficient hunters.
Most of us have no objection to our pet cats keeping our homes free of mice, we may not like the sight of a kill but we do not want rodents running around our home.
Many of us are distressed however if our cats are successful in hunting birds.
Is there any way to stop your cat catching birds? The only sure way is to make your cat an indoor only cat. If your cat is allowed outside, she or he will hunt prey that is out there, birds included.
You can try a bell on your cat’s collar in the hope that it will warn birds of its approach, but most who try this report that it is not very successful. Cats, it seems, are able to adjust their movements so that the bell does not jingle as they stealthily advance upon their prey.
The domestic cat – a mean hunting machine.
A Microchip For Your Cat?
A microchip implant for your cat is worth considering. Each day many cats go missing. Happily some of these shortly return home or are soon reunited with their owner. Sadly though, many end up at a shelter with no means of identification and the feline’s family cannot be contacted.