September 2007 Issue

"Gifts" From Your Cat

Experts share insight into your cat's hunting instinct, and how you can best handle this natural behavior.

Cats are born with a chasing and hunting instinct, but not necessarily the skill to go along with it. The mother cat teaches her kittens to kill and eat prey. (Indoor cats may chase and kill mice, but rarely eat them.) The lessons start when the kittens are about four weeks old. The mother cat begins by bringing home dead mice or other prey and eating them in front of the kittens. The kittens soon catch on and join in. Next, the mother cat brings home dead mice and the kittens eat on their own.

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