Tuesday 2 May 2023

Couple of Bengal-mix cats bring in 2 pigeons, 2 voles and a rabbit in one day

This lady and her husband have lived with cats for a long time, she says on the mumsnet.com website. They know cats but they were unprepared for the hunting prowess of a couple of Bengal-mix cats that they adopted. She says that they have brought into the home 'at least 3 dead creatures daily including frogs/toads, rodents, birds and rabbits'. And as mentioned in the title, in one day the pair caught and delivered to their owner 5 animals.

Bengal cat. This is NOT one of the cats in the story. The photo is here to illustrate the page. Photo: Twitter.

Distressing comes to mind; and messy. Think of the feathers all over the kitchen! And it is not good to see wildlife so mercilessly killed.

BUT - and it is a but in capitals for a reason - there is almost nothing you can do about it IF you decide that your cats must be indoor/outdoor cats because they've insisted on it by howling and meowing at you until you give in.

Sometimes when you try and keep cats inside full-time it proves to be impossible because they make such a fuss about it. And if you are sensitive to your cat's wellbeing you can't ignore the plaintiff meows of your cat begging you to allow them to go outside. Or the mope-around the home looking morose.

Bengals are particularly good predators

This is the great dilemma. Cats are topline predators in general. There are none better. If you live in the countryside as appears to be the case with this woman and her family there is plenty of wildlife to be had by a Bengal mix.

On the basis that these cats are genuine Bengal mix it does not surprise me that they are voracious hunters and killers as the Bengal is a wildcat hybrid. They have some diluted wild cat genes in them. This colours their character.

Wild cats are sharper and more hunting driven than their relatively docile true domestic cat. As she is finding out, if you adopt a wild cat hybrid and let them go outside there will be death and mayhem especially in a countryside environment.


She has not mentioned one possibility: placing a brightly coloured collar around her cats' necks. These are manufactured commercially and have been proved to be quite successful as they warn birds of an impending attack. There is a product on the market called Birdsbesafe®.

Image: MikeB

But they don't protect land-based prey animals such as rodents. Bells on collars don't work that well because the cat wearing them compensates by keeping their bodies still to prevent the bell ringing as they approach the prey.

The only other way is a big and expensive compromise which might not work either: a customised garden enclosure which allows the cats to enjoy the outdoors but which protects a lot more wildlife.

That said Bengal cats are very athletic and they may be able to get out.

Like I said there is not a lot one can do about this. It's natural behaviour. If the lady wants her cats to behave naturally and express their natural desires (raw cat mojo as Jackson Galaxy calls it) she'll have to accept this. The collar mentioned (if she and the cats can put up with it) should reduce the kill count.

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