Cats are wonderful pets that provide their owners with unconditional love, affection, and the occasional unwanted gift. If your loving feline has been coming home with birds, mice or other deceased outdoor creatures and you are wondering what in the world is going on, know there is nothing to fear; this type of behavior is perfectly natural in the cat world.
While cats are cute, cuddly, and some of the best companions one could ask for, it is important to remember that these frisky felines weren’t always house pets. According to IFLScience, cats roamed the earth thousands of years ago as wild animals before evolving into the creatures that co-exist with us today, and they still possess their natural instincts to hunt and prey upon birds and other animals as a means of survival.
In general, cats are raised by their mothers, who teach them everything they need to know about hunting and surviving. In the wild, mother cats hunt and kill their prey, then bring it back to their babies for sustenance. When the mother feels that her young are ready to hunt their own food, she starts by capturing live prey and bringing it home to her little ones to kill under her watchful eye. When the kittens have matured, the mother then takes them out in the wild and teaches them how to hunt on their own.
When a domesticated female cat brings a dead bird or mouse home and plops it down in front of its owner, the first reaction may be shock, but the reality is that these loving animals are simply expressing their natural-born tendencies. According to Cat World, the jury is out on whether domesticated cats bring their prey home as gifts or if they are simply trying to teach their humans the important art of the hunt. Either way, cat owners should take it as a compliment that their loyal pets are including them in their natural evolution.
If you’re hoping to curb your kitty’s hunting habits, PetSafe suggests spaying and neutering your cat, as well as keeping it indoors during peak morning and evening hours when small birds and other creatures are more likely to be outside. This can not only protect native birds, amphibians, and rodents in your area, but also your cat – from threats including traffic, coyotes, and getting lost.
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There is nothing more precious than snuggling up to a loving cat at the end of a long day. Understanding your cat’s behavior and taking gentle steps to quell its hunting instincts helps to strengthen your relationship. It’s well worth appreciating their unique companionship – even if it comes with the occasional dead spider.
While many cats in the USA enjoy living in happy, loving homes, there are still the unfortunate ones who are given away to shelters or abandoned to live on their own. If you want to learn how you can help, visit The Animal Rescue Site for more information.
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