Thursday 20 June 2024

Cats inherit prey killing skills but they are refined with learning (infographic)

Cats inherit prey killing skills but they are refined with learning (infographic)
Image in the public domain.

You might, in an idle moment, ask yourself if domestic cats inherit their ability to kill prey or whether they learn the skill from their mother. Fair question and the answer can been seen in the infographic below which I prepared based on my own knowledge refined with information from Dr Desmond Morris who I believe is still the world's best cat behaviour. He was the first to apply his considerable skills to writing a book - a bestseller the world over - 'Catwatching' about cat behaviour. He explains cat behavior so elegantly and logically. All subsequent books on cat behaviour follow his.

The domestic cat is a killing machine. Their anatomy has evolved over eons to be hight tuned up for killing prey animals. Hunting is the raison d'etre of cats. As kittens when they play they are practicing their hunting skills. All play for cats is based on hunting and killing.

I have argued that the inherited hunting prowess of the domestic cat stands in the way for many people of a good relationship. Think of their claws for instance. Some people hate them and ask their vet to remove them. A cruel act as far as I am concerned because claws are an important and integral part of the sophisticated anatomy of the cat. Without them their behaviour is affected and many declaw ops are botched horribly.

Cats are very quick. Their reflexes are faster than those of snakes. They can avoid being bitten by a snake as they can back of extremely rapidly in reaction to a lunge by a snake. Just one more example of the super-refinement of the domestic cat making them a wonderful hunter.

If the domestic cat was not such a refined hunter they would be better pets! We love the cat but we put up with their constant desire to hunt and the refined skills that accompany it.

The desire to hunt can be squashed out of a cat by keeping them indoors full-time long enough. They give up trying to express their natural desires and curl up and go to sleep. For me, this is a failure in our relationship. It is unfair. Humans fight for their basic rights. Yet millions of humans deny their cat some basic rights.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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