Does your kitty sometimes leave you ‘gifts’ on your porch? Our feline friends are actually very formidable little hunters! Here, a Rochester, NY vet discusses Fluffy’s hunting habits.
Kitties’ hunting skills are a large part of the reason we domesticated them, which happened between 9500 and 12,000 years ago. These cute little furballs kept our food stores clear of mice, and received cuddles, ear scritches, food, and comfy beds in return. That’s a pretty good deal for Fluffy!
Housecats are actually far more deadly than many people think. In fact, they kill billions of small animals every year. To break it down a bit further, Fluffy is responsible for the deaths of over 3 billion birds and up to 20 billion mammals each year. This is particularly concerning, as so many birds are threatened or endangered.
That Pleased Look
Nowadays, people aren’t always thrilled to see ‘gifts’ on their doorsteps. However, Fluffy apparently never got the memo that her hunting skills are no longer needed. In fact, she’s usually extremely proud of herself. Don’t punish your furball for her success: she’s only following her instincts. Tell her she’s a good kitty, and then discretely dispose of her present.
Cats That Can’t Hunt
Not all cats are formidable hunters. In fact, some are pretty terrible at it. Take Larry, Britain’s official Chief Mouser to the Cabinet, who was caught letting a mouse run past him and eventually fired. On the other end of the spectrum, we have Towser, a Scottish kitty who racked up a whopping 28,899 kills.
A Different Breed
Breed also plays a role in kitty hunting skills. For instance, Persians are renowned for being great mousers. The adorable Birman, on the other hand, wouldn’t know what to do with a mouse if it ran in front of her.
Stopping Fluffy’s Hunts
We recommend keeping your cat indoors. You’ll not only be protecting fragile wildlife populations, but you’ll also have a healthier pet! However, if you do let your feline buddy go out, consider putting a bell on her collar. This will make it harder for her to sneak up on unsuspecting critters. If you’re concerned about Fluffy getting caught on something, ask your vet for tips on getting a breakaway collar.
Do you have questions or concerns about your cat’s health or care? Contact us, your local Rochester, NY vet clinic, today!