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Crazy Kitties

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hello. I'm new here and have a quick question. It's not a behavior problem really -- I'm just curious.

I have two very cute, crazy boy kitties (both 14 weeks old) -- Fred and Barney. F&B love to play with those little furry mice and have several. Each morning when I go into the kitchen, though, I find at least one (sometimes two) little furry mice in one of the water dishes. I dry them off and they end up in the water again the next morning. I think it's rather cute and funny, but why do they do this? Do cats do this with their prey?

post #2 of 8
I think it's just another of those cute kitten tricks. Mine did similar thing at about that age. She didn't care for the mice but loved her foam rubber golf balls. Brought one to bed every night and would often put one in her water dish.

I have no idea why they do it; would be interested if anyone has an idea about the motive behind this.
post #3 of 8
The most common and logical reason seems to be that beacuse they don't have real good depth perception, they go in there to help find the water level. I have mice, balls or food in the water dishes every day.
post #4 of 8
Thanks, Sandie. I often find a kiibble or two, a floating leaf, even a bit of paper in the water dish. I was chalking it up to the fact that I have two cats who prefer to drink their water from a cupped paw, and I figured that whatever was in the water was stuck on their feet.

I knew about the depth perception problem, but didn't think to link the two phenomena. This is actually an interesting idea. How do other folks feel? Anyone know more than we do? It is sometimes so difficult to figure out inter-species (as well as inter-ethnic or cultural) motivations...

Wish there were more researchers out there who were doing really meaningful (--and non-invasive) studies of cat behaviors. Meanwhile, we shall have to make do with our combined observations and empirical evidence!
post #5 of 8
nks for the information about the cat's lack of depth perception. I had read that before but forgot about it.

That's the reason I don't let my kitty out on the patio (we are on 4th floor) by herself. Occasionally I take her out there on her leash and watch very carefully so she doesn't jump up onto the wall. Could she actually jump off thinking it only a short way to the ground? I couldn't bear if she were to do that!
post #6 of 8
Yeah, as harmless as it may seem to let a dog or cat onto a balcony it is VERY dangerous. They really don't have any idea of just how far up they are. I work at a military vet and we had a MWD arrive dead because the dog and handler were in a hotel and the dog somehow got onto the balcony and I guess did not realize it was that far up and jumped to her death. It was very sad. They were on the 30th floor!!
post #7 of 8
Oh Sandie,

What a horrible thing for that poor dog. To fall from a 30 story building!

I'll be even more vigilant with my kitty now!
post #8 of 8
30 storeys is a little high for a cat to survive, but in fact a cat is likelier to break something if it falls from the first floor window, or even the second storey, than it is from somewhat higher up. Cats require time to twist themselves into the proper aerodynamic shape -- back arched and upward with feet straight down. You don't have to prove this to yourselves, please. It has been thoroughly researched. But every so often National Geographic shows an extraordinary series of pictures of cats being dropped feet up, twisting as they fall, and landing literally on their feet, which sort of accordion up and straighten, the cats then walking away without even a sprain. I am sure Guiness's Book of Records has the height that is optimum between the most dangerous (low down) to again the most dangerous (too high).

A perfectly disgusting story one of my fathers-in-law used to tell on himself was about becoming bored one evening when he was staying in a hotel. His room was on the 5th floor as they count in Europe, which means the 6th floor in American figuring. He decided to see if he could hit people entering the stairwell from the lobby with milk containers (with the milk in them). This story only makes sense if you understand that by 3 in the afternoon he was always in an alcoholic haze, having started with a liter of wine for breakfast.

At one point, this game palled. The various guests of the hotel complained and a manager phone him to stop, but otherwise there was no real excitement. So he snatched up one of the hotel cats and tossed it down the stairwell. The cat miraculously landed on its feet and stalked away from the stairwell with its nose in the air, totally unhurt.

The hotel then asked my ex-father-in-law to leave. Not before time. My ex-husband remembers being both distraught over the cat (but, as I said, it happily was damaged only in its dignity), and being humiliated by the entire sight of his father behaving in such a fashion. The family had to shift their suitcases to go to another hotel, escourted by a very grim set of bellboys, and they had to pass the bottom of the stairwell, where the maids were trying to clean up all the mess of the milk and containers. And there, at one side, was the cat, happily lapping up the milk as quickly as it could before the maids got it all mopped up.

This is a true story. I repeat -- this is not a trick to try at home! And it does not minimize the danger of any fall. If the cat cannot right itself in the air, its body is actually very fragile and it can be horribly crushed. If it falls backwards, and doesn't have time to twist properly into position, it can snap its spine. I have had a cat fall from a misjudged jump from the floor to the top of a 5 drawer bureau and end up with a badly stained back. Better safe than sorry.
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