The Predatory Cat

Hunting Siamese

The Siamese is a predatory cat which means it is born with a hunting and chasing instinct. Successful hunting requires keen senses, patience, caution, stealth, quick responses, and the ability to learn. Killing and eating prey are generally learned behaviors. Cats can be very skillful at killing a mouse, yet not have the desire to eat one.

Kittens have an innate program to chase. Through play, kittens develop coordination and timing to successfully capture their target. Playing teaches the kitten how to adjust their speed to moving objects and learn to judge distances by pouncing.

The mother cat teaches her kittens how to hunt prey for food. At first this consists of bringing home dead prey and eating it in front of the kittens, soon they will learn to join in. Gradually she will leave it for the kittens to eat it by themselves. Cats will not only do this for their own kittens but will do this for other cat’s kittens as well. Many cats are very willing to provide this prize to their human owners, thus bringing home dead prey and dropping at our feet.

It is often wondered why cats appear to play and torture their prey before killing it. Domesticated cats that live in a fairly rodent free environment lack much of an opportunity to hunt and capture live prey. If the opportunity arises and they do capture something like a live mouse, this is such a great occasion that they choose to prolong it as long as possible. One of my cats, my lynx point Siamese loves to hunt and will torture lizards, bring them into the house, and just leave them to dry up... under something. 

So as Siamese owners we have predators living in our house and in this environment there is no real prey to hunt.  This can cause cats to exhibit a natural behavior that causes problems. Cats may pretend that people are prey and play attack, such as pouncing on wiggling toes, chasing invisible prey, running up and down the drapes and across table tops wrecking havoc in the process. You can help vent this built up energy by playing with your cat. Laser lights are great, and there are many types of toys that you can get for your cats entertainment. Of course I am a firm believer that two cats are better than one. Cats love to play with each other.

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