The hunting instinct in domestic cats can be a handicap for owners, especially if the presence of small prey in the home has become a common occurrence. Understanding such behavior and adopting some deterrent measures can improve the coexistence of both.
Frequently, cat owners often show some objection when their pet brings a live or dead animal in its mouth. Nevertheless, before repressing it, it is important to know the origin of such behavior.
These animals, like the rest of felines, are predators that for thousands of years based their survival on their hunting instinct. Subsequently, humans took advantage of this ability to control pests, so that only those with the greatest hunting and reproductive success survived.
Currently, in addition to the large number of stray cats, the domestic cat has become a regular pet. However, both are descendants of good hunters and keep in their genes said potential, regardless of the food they receive.
Hunting pattern in cats
When these animals get ready to hunt they usually follow an established sequence:
- Dam location. Being in the domestic environment this step is usually complicated, unless it is a terrace or garden. Therefore, it usually occurs during animal escapes. Once the possible capture is identified, the cat will carefully observe its movements.
- Approach. Without looking away, the cat will gradually approach its prey. To do this, it will remain crouched, head stretched and pupils dilated, while walking as quietly as possible.
- Capture. When the cat is clear about the right position to achieve the success of his capture, he will pounce on it. After jumping, it will stand up tightly and start attacking.
- End of the dam. As previously mentioned, hunting in cats is not linked to their feeling of satiety. This fact assumes that the capture is often understood as a mere game, so that the hunted animal does not have to be killed. In the case of stray cats, the death of the prey is usually more common.
Reduce the hunter instinct
Even if the hunting instinct in cats cannot be eliminated, yes there are a number of measures that can mitigate such behavior.
The most effective is based on avoid cat outings outside the home, an option that many owners adopt for other reasons and does not have to be harmful.
However, for those people who do not want to deprive their pet of this freedom there are other options:
- Provide occasional raw foods, such as chicken or sardines. This option should always be consulted by the veterinarian, who must verify that there is good digestibility on the part of the animal. Further, must be done at specific times, so that the animal finds a different form of pleasure without becoming dependent.
- Increase game sessions. Most domestic cats hunt as a form of entertainment, so the more distracted they are, the less need to hunt they will have. Likewise, spending more time with the cat will increase the bond between it and its owner.
Various studies have shown that necklaces with Jingle bells, as a deterrent measure, can stun the animal without being able to distract it of its prey.
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