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What is the hunting behavior of cats?


As cuddly and purring as they are - cats remain predators. Your hunting behavior is characterized by a lot of patience, concentration and skill. Watching velvet paws while hunting is fascinating and a little frightening at the same time. The cat is lying in wait full of concentration - Shutterstock / Alina Simakova

Which prey your cat prefers to live out its hunting behavior is mostly a question of personal preference, but also depends on the offer. Some cats prefer to hunt mice, other frogs, garden birds or insects.

Hunting behavior is innate in cats

Hunting behavior is an innate instinct that all cats have from kitten paws. In the scuffles with their siblings and while playing, the kittens practice for later when they go hunting themselves. Hunting behavior is also retained in house cats that re-enact insects instead of mice or birds or let off steam while playing. You may also notice how your room tiger suddenly chases light and shadows that have changed all of a sudden, or waits for your feet behind a corner.

While some dog breeds are bred in such a way that they show as little hunting behavior as possible, this has largely been preserved in cats. This is probably because the domestication of the falcon cat, which is considered the ancestor of today's domestic cats, the hunting instinct was quite desirable. Finally, the clever huntress kept the house, yard and fields free of pests and mice. Even today, many cat owners appreciate it when your fur nose takes care to drive mice and rats out of the apartment.

Four toy mice to keep your cat busy

Every cat likes to hunt mice, but not all velvet paws have the opportunity in the wild ...

Sophisticated hunting technique: lurking, stalking, striking

It sometimes looks very cruel how a cat kills its prey. Cats are very systematic and sophisticated when hunting. During their forays through their territory they keep their ears pricked up, the cat's eyes attentively register the smallest movements between two and six meters away. Sometimes cats spot a mouse hole or nest and smell that there is prey. Once you have identified a prey, you lie in wait - and wait.

If the cat notices an animal that is too far away during a foray, it stalks very slowly. In doing so, she presses her belly close to the floor and keeps her torso as still as possible, while her paws carry her forward almost silently. If it is close enough or if the prey comes out of its hiding place, it will attack. She jumps up, grabs the prey with her front paws and lifts the hind paws into the ground to find enough support. Then she puts the animal in the right position to kill it with a targeted neck bite.