No “gift”: why cats really bring live mice

Hunting behavior Why cats bring live mice home – they are not "gifts"

When a cat catches a mouse, it often happens in such a way that its owners become witnesses of the hunt. With great fanfare, the skillful huntress jumps and prances around her prey and plays with the mouse for a while before it is eaten.

Many people are fascinated that their pet has such pronounced primal hunting instincts – and quite a few pity the poor mice, birds or frogs and find the behavior of their cat cruel. But catching prey is part of the cat’s nature, the instinct is sometimes more pronounced, sometimes less, depending on the character of the animal. Some cats or males hunt a lot – others have little interest and rarely bring home prey.

Why it has to be a living mouse?

It often happens that cats bring home live mice or other animals like birds. But why do cats actually do that?

If you ask cat owners, the answer is likely to be something like this: The cat would like to bring a present to the people also sometimes. Maybe out of caring. If humans provide cats with food, cats can do the same the other way around. But for this purpose also a dead animal would be enough. So why one that is still alive?

Nine cats to listen to

Audiobook Hape Kerkeling: Paws off the Table! My cats, other cats and me

Hape Kerkeling and cats are two sides of the same coin. The entertainer has spent almost his entire life at the side of cats. He knows: The attention, which one gives to his quadruped, one gets back hundredfold. "Paws off the table" is his personal declaration of love to the gentle house tigers and a tribute to their magical abilities. He read the audio book himself, of course!

Now no cat has ever answered the question why it drags live mice or other small animals through cat flaps or open doors and then lets them run on the living room carpet again. But behavioral biologists are on the trail of the phenomenon.

The cats want "theirs Teaching people to hunt

Here’s how the experts explain it: Cats don’t give people a gift in the form of a live prey animal; instead, they want to teach people something: namely, how to hunt. A skill that cats are likely to classify as vital. It serves – at least instinctively – the nutrition and also for the supply of the offspring.

German and British behaviorists explain it this way: cats hunt most when they have kittens. The older the little kittens get, the more often the adults present their prey to their offspring alive. Because the little ones have to take care of themselves one day and should learn to hunt and catch the prey.

Asterix and Obelix

Asterix and Obelix Fortwienix: A new adventure of the Gauls – drawn especially for stern

Cats also seem to transfer this behavior to the household in which they live, i.e. also to the people there.

Apparently, cats consider humans to be completely incapable of catching mice. So the cat instinctively wants "its" prey Teach people to hunt for themselves. By this behavior one can also read off that the cat sees itself as a head and responsible person of a household, write the experts at "Tiergesund".de".

Some people can actually catch mice

That cats in a household determine how it has to run, can certainly confirm many pet owners. So the next time your cat or tomcat brings home a live animal, you know: it is for training purposes.

Some people actually manage to capture the live mouse – and then release the rodent unharmed back into the wild. The mouse should be very happy about this. What the cat thinks about such behavior can only be imagined.

Pacman eats cat

See in the video: Chris Towler of New York state sticks big eyes on his cat’s bed – making it seem like Pacman is eating his pet. Video of it becomes a Twitter hit.

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