Over millions of years cats have evolved and developed their hunting skills making them swift and silent killers. Hunting is a natural instinct for cats something they are well suited to with their excellent eyesight, even at night, great hearing and a strong sense of smell. Cats like to hunt small animals and birds, particularly at night and they have even contributed to the extinction and endangerment of a number of species.
As a responsible pet owner it is important to do what you can to reduce the chance of your pet cat hunting innocent birds or small animals. This is not only important for the animals they are hunting but also for the health of your cat. Hunting other animals, wild or domesticated, could lead to injury or illness for your cat. Cats can contract a number of parasites and/or diseases from other animals, most commonly intestinal worms, fleas or lice all of which can be passed on to humans. A fight with another animal could result in injuries,broken bones cuts or wounds that could become infected.
To help reduce the chance of your cat hunting other animals you should try and keep them inside all the time, or at least at night when they hunt the most. Put a collar on them with a small bell or sonar beeper to warn off wildlife. Desxing your cat is always advisable and it will reduce them from wandering and looking to breed.
If you ever find injured wildlife please contact a veterinarian or wildlife carer for advice.
Originally published in My Pet Magazine Summer 2015/16.
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