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Hunter Felines


Streetwise
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I think my cats have lost their hunting instincts. The only things they hunt are the odd spider/stinkbug/fly that get into the house and even then they just 'hold' it in their paws till the poor bug dies of a heart attack or some stress induced issue. I had a small rat get loose (sorry it was destined to be food for a snake) and as we saw it jump from the holding container one of the cats chased it down to a corner and cuddled it. She didn't swat it or bite it, she just wanted to snuggle, hold onto it and clean it. 

Unless we're talking about hunting to kill with love, my cats don't apply. 

Edited by Tihshho
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My cats don’t go outdoors because I’ve seen too much of both ends of what can happen out in the big, bad world.  But at least I don’t have to worry much about bugs and spiders inside the house.  Three out of four were stray and one of those was fully feral before we converted them.  I suspect (hope) that they would take care of any rodents that got inside.  My old lady cat would be the one most likely to cuddle and groom the rat.

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My 10 year old cat loves hunting. We let her outdoors for 10-30 minutes once a day with supervision in our fenced in backyard. Most of what she catches are unlucky critters that make their way into the house. Unfortunately she’s gotten too old for flies.

She recognizes the tone of my voice when I’m telling her there’s a bug to hunt and will come running, looking everywhere. Her eyesight seems a bit lacking, because it takes just about nothing for a bug to camouflage itself on any remotely similarly colored surface. And she doesn’t understand pointing unless the tip of my finger actually touches the thing I’m trying to get her to see. So the first challenge is just to get her to recognize the thing.

The next challenge comes if it’s up high, such as near the ceiling. Then it’s my job to get it down for her. She lets me know this with meows and expectant stares. I try to use a towel or a cat toy wand to gently brush it to the ground. This rarely works. But we are a hunting team, her and I, and I can’t leave her hanging!

Her favorite bug to hunt, after moths, are crickets. We get huge, meaty crickets in my area. It’s wonderful to have a cat who will hunt them down in the house. It’s not so wonderful to have a cat who’s stomach is sensitive to carapace. If she eats a cricket, I will know. It will be all over the floor, in multiple pieces, in the morning.

Eventually I got quick enough with a glass cup that I would trap the cricket before she could eat it (sometimes she’d have already pulled off a leg or two, but you know). After trapping the thing, while she could still see it, I would give her a treat. Miraculously, she has learned that I don’t want her to eat the crickets—mind you, she did not learn this from spewing 100 crickets across our house over the last 4 years—and now she’ll find them and track them, but let me pin them and take them outside.

A few weeks ago I was working in the doorway while she was outside near the steps. Suddenly she came running in. I thought the noise of an overhead plane had scared her, but then she stopped at my feet and dropped… a cricket!! She brought me a cricket from outside! 🤣😍😭🤦🏼‍♀️

While I went running for a glass cup, it scurried under a dresser—and she crawled right after it and dragged that cricket back out for me. She made sure I got that cricket! I felt very, very honored.

That is the one and only time my cat has brought me real prey. She’ll bring me her toys occasionally, making the cutest happiest mewing sounds while she does, but I will never forget the day my cat hunted a living, moving object and presented it to me because she loves me—and because she understands how important it is to me to collect crickets under glass cups.

Edited by Hobbit
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I came home today and saw a piece of an outdoor plant, which only means one thing. This chipmunk was not so lucky. I wonder if it was the same chipmunk each time.

My cat was a stray that I adopted as winter was approaching several years ago. I fed him and let him in and out of my window.

I tried making him indoor-only, but he would protest pee if kept indoors too long. When the weather is nice, I leave the window open. He is friends with everyone in the neighborhood, and greets visitors to the businesses in my building.

I love you, Valcour! Meow buddy.

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We no longer live on the farm, and no longer have barn cats (or any cats).

When we first returned to city living, 2 of our cats came with us (the rest stayed to continue their duties keeping vermin out of the chicken coops). These 2 had been trained as service animals and fetched specific items on command.

 

According to the cats, city food was not adequate for us two leggeds who were too slow to effectively hunt, too dumb to walk on all 4, and too handicapped to grow an adequate fur covering.

 

They reinforced their complete lack of confidence in our abilities by bringing warm, furry animals into bed while we were sleeping 😬

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On 9/10/2021 at 10:43 PM, Hobbit said:

Aww you have an aquarist cat! 😂

Maybe she thought that’s where you store all the creatures you’re going to eat later?

🤣 that’s what I thought! 

Apparently my kid saw the incident. She says the cat came in with the snake, the dog saw the snake and went nuts, the cat jumped on the tank stand to escape the dog and the snake escaped into the pothos! I arrived seconds later and just saw the snake in the tank! 

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  • 2 weeks later...

So.

This evening I was outside, eating a snack while watching my platy tubs, and my cat (who only gets supervised outside time for about half an hour each evening) comes around the shed with something in her mouth. It’s way too large to be a cricket. It’s gray and blobulous and looks limp. She’s making a beeline for the back door, and she keeps looking at me like, “come on, notice me partner!” I very much notice her, so I get up and follow her to the door, praising her of course, because she’s clearly extremely proud of herself.

As I get closer I can hear it squeaking, and I can see it moving, just a little, not very much. I maintain my approving demeanor while steeling myself. She’s going to drop this in the house. Because of course she is—her little mind has figured out I like live prey. I keep the crickets in glass cups and the fish in glass boxes and the chicks in clear Rubbermaid containers. Even when she wants to kill something, I clearly want to keep it alive, and she respects that. Live prey. In the house. That’s what her human wants. She’s got it.

Meanwhile I’m like what am I going to do??

Before I open the door I sprint back to the tubs and grab my medium-sized aquarium co-op fish net. Wet net in hand, I open the door. She struts inside. I grab the nearest box-shaped object and try to encourage her to put the thing in there. She gives me an unsure look and slinks further into the house. I try a few more times but she does not agree with my plan, and eventually I back up, net in hand, and just let her release it onto our living room floor.

She gently puts it down. It sprints under some bags of aquarium gravel I’ve left out. This is very exciting to kitty, who starts stalking one side of the opening as I stalk the other. I pull back a bag of gravel and there it is, gray fur and pink feet. A gentle placement of the net and some poking eventually secures the little creature. And then I put it in a container with smooth sides that it won’t be able to climb out of—the Aquarium Co-op specimen container.

And that’s how my cat and I caught a mole with the help of Aquarium Co-op!

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From what I could tell, she hadn’t hurt the little thing at all. There was no sign of any bleeding—just a lot of slobber. 😄 So I drove out to the bird sanctuary behind our neighborhood and released it.

We are extremely impressed with our kitty!

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  • 3 months later...

My cats are indoor cats and prior to getting his little brother my cat Quantum was sitting in the kitchen one day when I walked in- intuition told me he was paying a little too much attention to something that wasn't me so I turned to look the direction he was looking. It was an Aligator lizard in the house. He clearly had it cornered but was a good 4 feet from it. The lizard had it's tail end (well what was left of the tail) in the corner and was facing the both of us. I grabbed a jar big enough to contain them (these aren't small lizards, without his tail he was about 7-8" long) and walked over to the lizard while Quantum kept his spot and watched the whole time. As I approached lizard it looked towards me and hissed. I said, it's either the jar or him mister to the lizard (as you do) and he walked straight into the jar- no fussing until I released him outside where he belonged. (and then I had to go find his tail). 

So no, I don't worry about creatures in my house. My 2nd cat has a motto "If it flies it dies". Both watch occasionally but couldn't care less about the fish. 

Edited by xXInkedPhoenixX
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We have coyotes, great horned owls and fast drivers around here. I have had the chance to witness many a cat  complete it's journey on the circle of life. 9 times out of 10, it's not quick or pretty. I always tell people to keep their cats inside for those reasons. Generally most people that let their cats go outside don't care about the damage their pets do to the environment. 

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On 1/8/2022 at 9:30 PM, Expectorating_Aubergine said:

We have coyotes, great horned owls and fast drivers around here. I have had the chance to witness many a cat  complete it's journey on the circle of life. 9 times out of 10, it's not quick or pretty. I always tell people to keep their cats inside for those reasons. Generally most people that let their cats go outside don't care about the damage their pets do to the environment. 

Thank you!

I see waaaaayyyyy too much of the bad sides of letting pets roam uncontrolled.  I can definitively tell you that cats, and dogs, do NOT only stay in your yard.  Dogs may stay inside a fence, but cats don’t.  The cats, dogs, and the wildlife suffer for it in the long run.  Trust me, I’m too much of an expert on this subject after seeing it day after day at work.

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