Cats catching mice

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Cats love to catch mice. And as natural hunters, they're very good at it. Your cat won't hunt because she's hungry - she's far too well fed for that! She actually does it as a natural instinct.

This shouldn't cause you a problem, but you should discourage her from disturbing garden wildlife. A collar with a bell will act as a warning for any unsuspecting birds, giving them the chance to fly off before the cat gets too close.

Unwanted gifts

On the odd occasion, your cat might also leave you a little gift of a mouse, or sometimes something bigger, on your doorstep. Cat researchers aren't entirely sure why cats leave dead prey for their owners, but they think it's for one of two reasons:

  • As a sign of affection for their owner.

After all, they love chasing, killing and playing with dead mice, so why shouldn't you?

  • As a result of her parenting instinct.

Mother cats will teach their kittens to hunt by bringing back dead or wounded animals for their youngsters to 'practice' with.

So your cat may actually be trying to teach you how to hunt!

The manner in which cats go about their hunting could also be a factor. They like to wear their prey out, stalking and chasing until whatever they are hunting is exhausted. And they generally prefer to do this when on their home turf. Prevention

The only effective way to keep your cat from hunting is to keep her indoors. Of course, this may not always be practical, especially if she is accustomed to being out and about.

You could try stimulating her with more play at home. Activities that simulate hunting like chasing toys or playing with other cats may give your cat the 'fix' they need to keep them from hunting outdoors.

Remember to dispose of anything that's been caught straight away. If you don't dispose of her trophies, she will think that it's OK to carry on bringing them back. A pair of rubber gloves might come in handy for this particular job!

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