BehaviorCats

Is Your Cat a Super Mouser?

Let’s begin with a bit of background on why cats hunt mice anyway. Is your cat a super mouser?

Domestic cats are usually well fed, however, most cat owners are still amused as why their cats kill mice, birds and other small animals but do not eat them. The reason is, unlike other predators, the cat’s desire is to hunt not to eat its prey. Of course, for a feral cat, mice are an excellent choice as a food source.

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Cats kill mice. It has always been so, even in the distant past when cats and humans got together through the discovery that they could both improve their diets by keeping grain stores mouse-free. And in modern cartoon shows like ‘Tom and Jerry’ cats and mice continue the eternal struggle between hunter and prey. Your cat might bat a catnip mouse about the carpet to keep you happy, but make no mistake – the cat’s instincts crave the real thing.

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A cat living wild can’t afford to be fussy; so other rodents, birds and even rabbits are fair game. But mice are easy prey for a cat. They are small which limits the possibility of counterattack and unlike birds, mice can’t escape by flying off. So it is not surprising that cats like to hunt mice.

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For a cat hunting is a survival instinct. Unlike most other animals (including dogs), cats’ bodies do not produce much taurine. Taurine is an essential amino-acid – one of the building blocks of proteins. Without taurine, no animal can survive for long, so cats make up for their taurine deficiency through their diet. Since only meat provides enough taurine to keep a cat going, your cat is what biologists call an ‘obligatory carnivore’.

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Although dogs can survive well on a vegetarian diet, cats cannot. They literally have to kill to live. Or sub-contract the job to their humans.  Cats are born hunters. Even at four to six weeks kittens start stalking and pouncing on the contents of their food bowl.  It is unfortunately not true that only hungry cats actively hunt. As many farmers have discovered, well-fed cats are much better ‘pest controllers’.

For better or worse, hunting is just what cats do.  Of course, some indoor cats also enjoy the other kind of mouse (photo below).   =^..^=

The Contest below is now closed

OK, now for the really fun part…the Victor Games contest offers participants an opportunity to design a cape for their cat and a chance to win $500!  There are even 2nd & 3rd prizes of $300 and $150. Not too shabby!

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The Victor team were looking for a fang-tastic cape for their cat to wear while she goes about protecting her humans from pesky intruders.  All design submissions must be created on the easy to use online cape template they provided.  Each user was able to upload a max of 2 design submissions.

Check out their hilarious video introducing the Victor Games.

Good Luck!

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