If you have a cat, chances are it’s a hunter! No doubt your proud little fur baby has brought you a gift or two over the years.
Before I got my two kittens (about 4 years ago), I had a bird feeder in our garden. I loved watching the many different species of birds outside hopping about on the grass and eating bird seed from the feeder on our tree.
Then came Stark, a passive male who was scared of his own shadow and Malia, a feisty little female with the heart of a lioness.
Even as 8 week old kittens, I knew the time had come where I would have to take down the bird feeder and say good bye to the sight of the beautiful birds hopping freely in the garden.
During this process I bought the kittens collars with bells on them which helped warn the birds outside of the new predators lurking around the garden but proved to be a bit of a nuisance for the humans inside the house. The kittens, being the playful nocturnal creatures that they are were running around the house chasing each other and jumping on the bed all night long, all the while those little bells on their collars announcing their presence in the home.
Needless to say the bells came off the collars , giving the cats the freedom to stalk their prey in peace. The birds outsmarted them, probably having had loads of experience with the other cats in the neighbourhood.
I received my first gift from Malia, when she was almost a year old. She came into the house purring loudly, proudly dropping a tiny bird she had caught at my feet. I was horrified and gave her a good scolding but you could see that she still thought she was the bees knees regardless of my reaction.
I had to come to terms very quickly with the fact that nature has its own set of rules and that an animals instinct is as natural as it gets. After the first bird came many more gifts of ghekos and even garden snakes. Each time proudly displayed at my feet or next to my bed.
I’ve learned to accept these moments which are now thankfully few and far between for exactly what they were. A pure animal instinct stemming from a natural born hunter, my natural born hunters who I’ve learned to adore, in good times and trying times for who they are.
There is however one tip that I’ve learned over the years and would like to share with you. Toys! Sometimes toys can help distract them from hunting outside by satisfying their hunting instincts indoors. If all else fails give this a try, in my personal experience it has helped reduce the amount of gifts I’ve received in the more recent years.
All the best,
Petpaw Team Member