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post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Can someone tell me if it is the nature of cats just to kill for the sake of killing? My kitties caught and killed a rat the other night. I heard its screams and squeeks. Saw the carcass in the morning. It was intact (no blood or torn flesh).
Usually, they offer me their prey still alive but I must admit there were times when I found dead birds also intact (like they died of shock/heart failure).
Is this what they mean by "thrill of the hunt"?
post #2 of 5
Cats don't kill for the sake of it.

They don't kill their prey the instant that it is caught. It's part of a survival mechanism, they tire their prey by catching it and letting it go again over and over. Then when the prey is too tired to defend itself, only then will a cat kill it.

Read this article that is written by Anne titled Cats as Hunters

Cats as Hunters - TCS

Also, cats that are fed often by owners, don't neccesarily have all the skills to deliver the bite that kills the prey. This bite is called the nape bite which is delivered at the neck severing the spinal chord. Thus, the kill takes longer than those that you may see on a documentary showing how a lioness or cheetah brings down their prey swiftly.

Cat Behaviour - Animal Planet

Extra Information - Animal Planet

I hope this helps you.
post #3 of 5
IMO, cats do kill for the sake of killing, as evidenced by the fact that they killed the prey but didn't eat it. I guess you could say it's fun for them, but probably a lot of it is just instinct; they see a small, moving critter and they just feel compelled to hunt it. However, while it may be unecessary killing, it's not cruel, as pointed out by ALG and the articles.
post #4 of 5
My cats are always killing things and bringing it up to the front porch. They very seldom eat it. Every once in a while they do, but not very often. My cats do get fed often so, really if I had to choose between a dead rat and cat food, even I would go for the cat food . We never scold them for bringing the dead animals to the front porch either, because they just want us to proud of them.
post #5 of 5
It really seems to be the case, doesn't it, glen? If you watch those shows on the big cats, they will always tell you that the lion pride minds its own business if it isn't hunting. My cats go after any lizard they can get their paws on. Makes you wonder if all these thousands of years of domestication have somehow messed up the 'wiring' of the hunting instinct.
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