Cats are great hunters. They have been since long before they were domesticated and will always be great hunters. They’re just really good at it.
We love watching them hunt, and it’s one of the most satisfying things in life. It’s like watching a master artist at work. But what’s even more satisfying than that? Discovering new facts about cats’ hunting abilities!
We’ve compiled a list of ten facts about cat hunting that will surprise you.
Top 12 Surprising Facts About Cats’ Hunting Skills
Here are 10 facts about cats’ that might make you a little more grateful for your pet.
1. Cats Are Born Hunters.
You are probably already aware that cats are natural predators. But do you know exactly how?
- They are born with their eyes open and the ability to hunt.
- The hunting instinct is innate from birth, so your kitten will have no problem finding its first meal.
For any animal to be able to hunt, kill and then eat its prey is truly remarkable. But cats go further with their instinctive desire to maul their prey before striking with razor-sharp claws and teeth. For this, they are born hunters.
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2. Cats Are Small but Mighty Hunters
Cats are small but mighty hunters. They are strong and agile, silent and stealthy, fast and agile. They use their whiskers to hunt, they use their claws to catch prey, and they use their eyesight to hunt. In fact, cats are so good at catching prey that they are one of the most efficient predators on the planet.
3. Cats Are Solitary Hunters
Cats are very solitary hunters. They generally hunt at night, and if they are indoors, they will often hunt during the day.
They are very cautious when hunting and will only go after prey that is easy to catch.
Cats will not hunt in groups or with other cats, but they do sometimes use teamwork to kill larger animals.
Cats are able to focus on a target with incredible accuracy and speed. They use this focus to hunt small prey like mice and birds, but also larger animals such as rabbits and deer.
4. Cats Have a Preferred Taste when It Comes to Hunting.
Have you ever wondered what cats prefer to hunt? Well, we’ve got the scoop for you. Cats are carnivores and their diet consists mainly of meat. While some cats eat a variety of prey, others have a preference for certain animals. Here are some of the most common prey that cats hunt:
- Coyotes (and other small mammals)
5. The Average Housecat Makes About 100 Kills a Year.
If you’re a cat owner, you may be surprised by the number of birds and mice your feline friend catches in a year. The average housecat makes about 100 kills a year, according to the National Wildlife Federation.
A cat’s diet consists of about 20% rodents, but the rest is composed of birds, amphibians, reptiles, insects, and arachnids.
6. Cats Hunt Even When They Are Not Hungry
Did you know that cats hunt even when they are not hungry? It is a natural instinct for cats to hunt, and they do so because it makes them feel good. It’s also a way for them to release pent-up energy and exercise their bodies.
Cats are often called “little tigers” because of their hunting prowess, which is why many people keep birds inside cages or other safe areas when they have cats at home
7. A Cat’s Claws Are Used in Hunting
A cat’s claws are used in hunting, and they’re one of the most important tools at a kitty’s disposal.
A cat uses its claws to grab, hold and tear prey. Their curved sharpness makes them efficient when catching small animals like mice or birds. Cats have 5 toes on each foot, but only 4 are clawed—any number between 3 and 7 can be found depending on the breed of cat!
8. Cats Use Their Whiskers when Hunting
Cats use their whiskers to hunt.
The whiskers on a cat’s face are incredibly sensitive to touch and vibration, so they can help cats detect the presence of prey by sensing subtle movements in the air. Whiskers also help cats judge distance and navigate in the dark, which is helpful when hunting at night or in dimly lit areas like caves.
9. Hunting Grounds Are Marked by Scent and Sight Markers
Cats use a combination of sight and smell to hunt. They can see better in the dark than humans can, and they have an excellent sense of smell that allows them to identify the prey even when it’s hiding.
When they spot their prey, they use their paws to make scent marks which tell other cats where the food is located. This makes it easier for them to find the same hunting grounds again later.
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10. Cats Will Hunt to Play, but Usually Not to Eat.
Cats will hunt mice and other small animals for fun, but they don’t usually eat them. They’ll catch the mouse and then bring it back home to show you what they’ve caught. If you’re lucky, they may even let you hold them!
Cats are natural hunters because they have a strong instinct to hunt and kill prey. You can encourage your cat’s hunting instincts by giving them toys that look like mice or birds.
11. Hunting Helps Keep Your Cat Healthy and Strong.
Cats that don’t get enough exercise can become overweight. The best way to prevent this is by letting them hunt. Hunting also helps cats stay in shape because they have to chase and catch their prey. This helps them keep their muscles toned so they can run faster and jump higher when it comes time to chase a mouse or bird outside.
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12. Not All Cats Like to Hunt, but Most Do.
Not all cats like to hunt, but most of them are born with natural hunting instincts and don’t need to be taught how. Some domestic cats, however, need some training in order to become good hunters.
If your cat is not a hunter, try feeding it live prey. This will help them get used to the idea of hunting and give them some practice at catching mice and other small animals.
I think the main reason cats are so good at hunting is that they’re very independent. Cats do not need to rely on their prey for food, water, or shelter, so they have no reason to be nice to it. They also don’t have to worry about being eaten themselves if they kill something.
Cats are crepuscular, which means they’re most active at dawn and dusk. This is also when many prey animals are most active.
When cats kill prey it is important for them to eat as much as possible, because the energy expended in catching their food can be very high.
Cats hunt for about 20 minutes at a time on average. However, this varies depending on their prey and how hungry they are. Some cats may hunt for longer than others.
Cats mostly hunt birds, small mammals, and insects. They also sometimes eat fish, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates.
Cats are very successful hunters. They can catch their prey up to 95% of the time. Female cats are slightly better hunters than male cats. However, this depends on their individual abilities and training.
Hunting is a natural, normal behavior for cats. They get a great deal of stimulation and pleasure from it. All cats have the ability to hunt including those who live purely indoors or choose not to go outside very often.
If you want to know more about cats, this blog can help. You can also check out some of our articles on cat facts.