The Legacy of a Predator
Felines are considered predators – all of them hunt in the wild. They have sharp teeth, perfect night vision, silent paws plus remarkable physical capabilities that best suit the nature of a cat as a solitary nocturnal hunter.
As a matter of fact, its history, which is traced back in ancient Egypt, involves its hunting skills. Cats were brought into the Egyptian towns and villages to control rodents in their granaries. Since cats succeeded as hunters, they were well-admired, appreciated and even given the status of gods.
The hunting skills of cats let them become distributed across the globe, boarding ships that transported them to guard against mice. Up to the present time, barn cats worldwide continue to be prized for this ability.
In the last few decades, though, the attitude towards cats has changed since they have become loved companions instead of working animals. Simultaneously, a problem concerning wildlife conservation has developed. Concerned animal lovers have been blaming cats for endangering the lives of birds and rodents, demanding that they be prohibited from hunting.
Their plea came simultaneously with the increasing desire to protect pet cats from harm by keeping them indoors. That is why cats no longer hunt nowadays. Nevertheless, cat owners can still enjoy watching their hunting skills during interactive playtime.
A Mean Game
Cat play does not only seem like hunting, but hunting routines can look like play as well.
A cat will not immediately kill the prey it has captured. Instead, it will carry the prey in its mouth and take it to a place it is familiar with to start the long, vicious cycle.
The cat will free the critter, letting it try to escape then use its paw to bat at it, occasionally tossing it into the air. This can take hours and this is how your cat plays with the toy mouse.
Longtime observers of hunting cats have blamed them for needless cruelty. According to modern behavior studies, no game is afoot. While it may look like a mean sport, it really involves basic safety measures that are needed by the cat in order to survive.
Look at it from a cat’s viewpoint. The rodent, whether small or big, can fight back and bite when given the chance. Its bite may be small but deadly and result to infection, disease and worse of all, death. Cats will not want to take that risk.
Since their vision is clearer from afar, it is hard for cats to bite a live prey. As a solution, they chase and exhaust their prey until it is too weak to protect themselves. This is the time when the cat will kill its prey.
Therefore, when your cat leaves for a while, then returns with a live creature, do not punish or scold her. Consider the fact that this is what she has learned from years of evolution. Now, if you don’t want your cat to go hunting, you have to let her stay indoors.