Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Are Hunting Cats Rodent Specialists?

The good news for birds is that most hunting cats are rodent specialists
Dear Thomasina...
I heard that most hunting cats are rodent specialists. Is that true? My barn cats catch a lot of mice but seem to have no interest in birds. Is this normal, or am I just lucky?
-- Working Cats' Mom

Hey, Working Cats' Mom!
Yes, it's true! Most hunting cats are rodent specialists. Almost all of us have our hunting preferences, and the vast majority of us prefer mice. I certainly do.

Have you ever tried to catch a flying bird? Phew... I gave up on that ages ago. And that might explain why most cats are rodent specialists. Mice are much better suited to our wait and pounce style of hunting.

We're Opportunistic Feeders

Not that we're lazy, but we don't like to work too hard for food. And that's another reason why most cats are rodent specialists. Mice are a lot easier to catch. That's also why you might see outside cats hanging out at restaurant and apartment complex Dumpsters. It's easier to snag an uneaten hamburger (that sounds so good. I want one!) than a zig-zagging, speeding bird or even a skittering mouse. 

We eat bugs, too, because even when they're flying, they're fun and easy to catch. 

It's Official: Studies Show That Cats Are Rodent Specialists

My human typist looked up some studies on what cats eat outside. Researchers have actually analyzed the stomach contents of outside cats (eeeuuu....) The studies all showed that the cats ate mostly small mammals and human leftovers from trash cans and dumpsters. Birds barely even showed up on the lists. 

Speaking of birds, I hear cans opening, and I think we're having chicken for dinner. That's my fav. And as a former street cat, I'm so grateful for meals I don't have to catch!


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Today's Recommendation
This collar cover keeps birds safe from cats.
















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