Teaching your cat not to be a predator – Part 10

If you don’t like predators, perhaps a cat is not the pet for you. Cats hunt. That’s what they do to survive. That’s why people originally domesticated the cat.

You can’t train a cat not to hunt. And why would you want to? Too many cats end up needing their hunting skills to survive at some point in their lives.

Cats who were born to a barn cat mother are the most skilled hunters, as their mother has brought live prey to them in kittenhood and taught them to make the kill. But indoor-born cats will learn to kill prey species when given opportunities.

One cat I had was brought up as a house cat and dumped off on my farm when the owner tired of it. This cat, Sassy, became an avid hunter of snakes. She never ate the snakes, but she often could be seen trotting around with a snake in her mouth.

One time Sassy stole a dead bird caught by a pregnant barn cat, Philomena. She must have felt guilty over that, as she later went out and caught a snake and gave it to Philomena. Philomena didn’t know how to go about eating a snake either, but it’s the thought that counts.

In other cases, however, barn cats allowed to live in the house have permitted mice to steal food from the cat food dish. One can’t always predict which cat will be in the mood to hunt.

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