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Does your cat bring home dead rats or other bleeding mutilated pets? Well, you are not the only cat owner to have faced this odd habit of their pets. Let us take a look at why cats bring home dead prey.
Evolutionary predatory instincts
It may seem a little odd to you as to why your cat decides to hunt its own prey, when you ensure that she is well-fed all the time. So why does your kitty gallantly walk into the house with a dead prey in the mouth even when the food bowl is clearly refilled?
Cats are wired to be predators. They have padded paws so they can quietly creep up on their prey, sharp teeth and retractable claws to hunt down prey, and a gut that can easily digest raw meat. The agility and night vision only make it easier for them to hunt down their prey. The hunting habits of cats are just a reflection of their evolutionary instincts. Despite being domesticated for over 10,000 years now, cats continue to show some of these instincts that their ancestors who lived in the wild showed. Your cat is simply living out its evolutionary instincts when he/she brings home dead prey.
Ever wondered what your cat makes of you? Unprofessional hunters is probably on the list. In fact, cats may be bringing home prey because they think that your hunting skills are not so proficient. Cats may also be bringing home prey from experience. Mother cats teach young ones how to get their food by bringing dead prey. They, then gradually move onto bringing injured prey so kittens can learn how to kill their own prey, before they are ready to learn how to hunt by themselves. Your cat is probably doing the exact same thing, as he/she tries to passes on its predator wisdom to you.
Researches have shown that female cats have a greater likelihood of displaying such behavior, simply because they are the ones who teach the young how to hunt down prey. Since your cat thinks of you as its family, she might bring home prey to teach you how to hunt for prey. Spayed female felines may show such behavior as they do not have their own young to train on hunting skills, and the closest that comes to family is their pet parents.
A gift for hooman
There are some theories which suggest that alongside fulfilling their hunting instincts, cats bring prey home as a gift. There is no solid evidence for this theory. However, animal behavior experts do believe that it could be likely. So if your cat brings home a dead rat, do not tell her off. You can discreetly dispose off the dead prey when your cat is not looking.