Why Do Cats Like to Play With Their Prey?

cat play with prey

It is mistakenly believed that cats play with their prey before killing them. Many humans are horrified to watch a cat kill a mouse, which entails lots of shoving, pouncing and poking, but they should not be deceived by the way it looks. This is merely basic self-defense from the viewpoint of a cat, though many animals are really harmful.

For instance, rats and mice are very fast, desperate and could bite with their sharp teeth. (You are around 20 times bigger. Would you like to encounter a rat face-to-face?) Plus, never underestimate the damage that can be caused by a bird’s beak. After all, these animals have nothing to lose.

To kill their prey, cats bite through the neck to break the spinal chord. However, they use their short muzzles carefully to do this. To succeed, though, the prey has to remain still. If this looks like a cruel sport to humans, from a cat’s viewpoint, this is the best way to exhaust the prey before they bite for the kill.

A cat’s instinct tells her that it is the most rational way to effectively complete the job with the least amount of risk. If she will attempt to do it fast, the prey can possibly escape and she may get hurt.

Why a Pet Cat Brings Home Live Mice

A cat does this because of two major reasons. As we may already know, a cat sees humans as part of her community, but do not have any fundamental hunting skills. Therefore, the mouse can be somewhat be considered as part of a public-spirited training ground. The best thing for you to do is trap it as fast as you can, and the moment your cat turns away her eyes, discreetly get rid of the ill-fated animal – as immediately and humanely as you can.

Next, if your cat has other animal companions that share the same garden (from a cat’s point of view, it is her garden), she may not feel comfortable after hunting some prey. She has to protect her victim from other cats or animals that might try to get her prey. Therefore, she holds on tightly to it, and will run into the house, where she feels safe. The moment she lets go of her prey in her own territory, which she is intimately familiar with, but unknown to the prey, she will have all the advantage.

Why A Stray Cat Leaves Dead Prey At the Front Door

Sad to say, most domestic cats do not have their own home, for whatever reason it may be. This usually happens whenever cat owners have to transfer, and do not bring their cats with them. They will feel abandoned and look for another home.

Delivering what they hunt is like giving a gift to test you. All the same, when you transfer to a new neighborhood and the neighbors gift you with some freshly baked cookies as a sign of welcome, you would most likely accept them. In a similar manner, the cat is hoping that her gift will pave the way for a homeowner to welcome her.

Take into consideration that, until just recently, a cat that has proven to be good at catching rats or mice was most likely to receive the welcome it has been longing for. So, it is not at all the cat’s fault if the attitudes of humans have changed from one generation to another, and her instincts have not yet been updated.