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How do they know? whats my pet and whats not?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Ok i just cant understand my cats will kill wild animals that are around my yard but they wont kill any of my pets? Of course from the start I would tell them whats mine is not to be touched but since when do cats understand english? LOL

If they think its a wild animal they will go after it right away but they wont ever touch one of my birds, sometimes i have to remind them and say NO TOUCH! Thats my bird! and he puts his head down like a kid caught stealing from the cookie jar!

THe cats didnt even grow up around birds these are all stray cats i take off the street that had to live and hunt on their own for a while!

My cats still really enjoy catching and eating their own kills like they seem to really love wild rabbit meat
post #2 of 16
Our kittens are like that , the most they do is look at our pet rats , but if they see a wild mouse in the garden there will try to hunt and stalk it lol.
Jess x
post #3 of 16
I don't think it is strange. They just respect what is yours.
post #4 of 16
I think they know that your other pets are part of the household and owned by you. They're around them a lot, so they probably see them as members of the tribe.

Outside, wild animals bring out the predator in them. They are in their territory and cats are hunters if nothing else.

Be thankful they are this way!

post #5 of 16
Originally Posted by seaturtle View Post
I think they know that your other pets are part of the household and owned by you. They're around them a lot, so they probably see them as members of the tribe.
plus they have the 'family smell'!
post #6 of 16
I've heard of dogs that would chase any stray cats out of the yard or even kill them them if given the chance.......yet they would not harm or chase the cats they live with
post #7 of 16
With rodents, birds, reptiles, and other animals that can be seen as small prey - they do not know. Come on people, be realistic, they're cats. The cat brain can only do and know so much.
It's the same with practically all other animals. A dolphin for example, an animal we all know and accept as being incredibly smart, wouldn't leave a fish just because the handler "liked" that one as a pet. Nature does not work this way. Though, with apes it's a little different.

The only reason your cats are leaving the pet birds and rodents alone is because you've told them to and because you're "looking". They'll get caught, they don't want to risk their position in the family group. Were that animal to be found outside of it's cage, loose, when you're not there it would be dead. I've had unfortunate accidents with hamsters as a child because my parents would not listen and keep my bedroom door shut when we were not home.

A cat is simply a cat. And a cat has the mind and instincts of a predator. Acknowledge and respect that for both your cats and other pets' sake. Anthropomorphizing does no favors.
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
my birds are loose every day without me there in the backyard and my cats will sit and hide near their food dish to see what other wild animals come to it so they can try to attack it

IF its just one of my birds going to it they sit there and dont do anything

I have watched this from my window a million times my cats have NO idea that im there!

I think cats are a lot smarter then we give them credit for
post #9 of 16
Originally Posted by chausiefan View Post
I think cats are a lot smarter then we give them credit for
And I think too many people have unrealistic expectations for their pets and end up incredibly frustrated when their dog or cat is behaving like a normal dog or cat. ie - barking when bored, peeing on stuff, meowing, and so on. This is why so many pets get dumped or taken to shelters.

There's actually people that have made threads here because they could not tolerate their cats meowing, wanted to know how to make them stop or else they were going to get rid of them.

I don't take the risks with my cats. I know what they think of my geckos, and know what they would think of any other small animal running loose in their territory. While my younger one may have had some training to hunt, I know the older one never did (his mother was an orphan and never had anyone to teach her) yet his instincts are still there. He may know he has to catch a mouse, can catch it, but doesn't know what to do after.
post #10 of 16
Very few cats I have had will touch a pet when I am around...but that's the key; I'm there, I can 'correct' them, and they know it. But, given half the chance, if I am careless I KNOW my cats would make short work of my gerbils. I couldn't blame them, even though I'd be angry, because it is hard to kill hard core instinct.

Some, may take longer to notice something out of it's cage, but eventually they would, and those instincts would kick in.

I am guessing you never leave the birds out when you are actually gone? If you don't then your cats DO understand that they are probably being watched, so don't try anything. But if you were to leave them out with the birds when you were gone, you "may not" be so fortunate; it also depends on WHAT kind of birds we are talking about...if they are large parrots, I don't think you would have to worry, because cat's don't often bite off more than they can chew...those parrots can defend themselves VERY WELL!
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
strange yeah I totally understand what you are saying in regards to high expectations treating cats like they should know everything like a human or something it actually does make me sick! I wanted to slap my friend accross the face when he told me he hit his cat for hissing at him and that his cat hissing is its way of rebelling and telling him off or some sort of stupid crap

I have had cats my whole life and it just seems like I see eye to eye with them with a lot of things like we just totally understand each other its been this way my whole life, sure i have had issues with some cats but the issue usually gets solved, I think my case is probably rare though, it might have a lot to do with the bond you have with your pet, i have a really strong bond with all of mine, but on the other hand I never had this sort of bond with my dog and was always frustrated, the things i do in regards to letting prey and predator species interact is not something I would recc to anyone else though, in 20 years i have never had one bad experience and ive had many many cats, but i have had horrible experience with dogs! I just dont think im a dog person! LOL
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Its just so amazing how my cat will sit by the bird seed dish and wait for wild animals to try and eat so she can hunt and catch them! IF it happens to be one of my birds baby chickens, she will ignore and keep hiding. I got a lot of issues with other animals stealing my bird feed but the cat caught on to this and now is on duty as a working cat lol

Some of my cats are the most exceptional hunters I have ever seen like my female calico guard cat has killed a full grown rabbit before. But my cats EAT everything that they kill so I have to de worm them on a reg basis!
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
I keep pigeons and bantam chickens btw I have lost full grown roosters to other peoples cats in the past!!! I think if a cat puts it mind to it there isn't much it cant make short work of ! AS long as it knows what he or she is doing! MY yard is big and fenced and all my birds are let out every day to enjoy the grass, I have been doing this for the last 10 years and have had all kinds of cats here. My present cats usually keep away strange cats as well.
post #14 of 16
I do agree with the prey/predator parts. Not many people are willing to really risk total trust with their cats and a favorite little bird or mouse together UNSUPERVISED. They say they do, but are you willing to really test your cat?

I would never leave my cats alone with any type of prey animal no matter how long they've lived together. Even my first cat Mitten. He woud play catchers with an adult wild rabbit who trusted us, yet would kill baby rabbits if given the chance. We never had tame rabbits and the cat at the same time. And if we did, Mitten would never be allowed total freedom/trust not to kill the rabbit if given the chance.
post #15 of 16
I have known people who had pets that in the wild would have been predator and prey, and were surprised and shocked when nature took its course in their household. A very sentimental Victorian attiude for people in the 20th/21st C. to adopt!
post #16 of 16
My cats are the same way. They try to go after other animals, but they dont go after our cockatiels.

We had our 2 cockatiels before we adopted our cats. Since Ripley and Cali were only a few months old when we adopted them, it was really easy to "train" them not to go after the birds. More than a year later, we still have them.

The most Ripley and Cali do is sniff them. They have never gone after them or attacked them. Of course we NEVER leave them unattended. When no one is home, we put the cats in the garage (they love it out there) and lock the birds in their cage.

Things are going really great. This is good because when my family adopted the cats, my sister and I were worried about Kodi and Koda (our cockatiels).
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