It’s a wonderful weekend afternoon. You go into the kitchen to grab a drink from the refrigerator and head out to the back yard to feel the nice breeze. Opening the door, you step outside, and then look down and freeze. There it is: the bird that Jingles left.
Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that cats are hunters. It’s how they evolved with the silent grace and speed they currently possess. It’s really of little concern. If you’ve ever known a friend who likes camping or hiking as a way to relax and “get back to nature,” then compare your pet’s own desires to hunt with this. And let’s not forget that there are several circumstances – such as a farm cat – where one of its actual jobs is to hunt the mice that otherwise would eat the farmer’s stored crops and spread diseases to other animals.
This can still be a little unsettling with children around, or if it seems to happen too often. Here are a few suggestions for how to curb this behavior:
- Attach a small bell to the collar.
Any owner knows that cats are so quiet! It’s their innate hunting ability which through the course of their existence helped them to survive. To reduce this advantage, attach a small bell to the collar. This will give your cat’s intended prey a warning. The bird or mouse will be able to hear it and evade Jingles’ attempt to help out with the family food planning.
- Keep her indoors.
Inside the house is a much safer environment for your cat. Just make sure that the important parts are all taken care of, such as keeping the litter box clean. Feeding her inside and making sure that all doors and windows are closed can really help with this.
- Keep the house stocked with toys and playful diversions.
Sometimes, just giving the cat a few extra toys or a different scratch pad will work. A window with a view can also help your pet maintain her interest in the outside world and observing her natural prey without being able to actually get to them.
Keep in mind, though, that excessive killing can also be a behavioral issue. If you feel this is the case, contact your local vet to learn more. If you live in the Racine area, visit your vet Racine for additional information.