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Why Do Cats Stalk PDF Print E-mail

cat_stalkStalking is Part of Being a Cat

  • Cats stalk as part of their hunting routine. Stealthily tracking prey is an essential step in cats’ pursuit of food—and cats are masterful at this.
  • With their silent gait, laser-like focus, keen senses, and flexible body structure, cats are natural stalkers.
  • All cats have the basic drive and skills to stalk and hunt, but they learn the nuances from their mothers during kittenhood.

Cats Need to Stalk Even When They Get Their Food from a Bowl

In their well-appointed indoor homes, with food bowls and attentive humans, cats no longer need to hunt for their meals, but they still have a strong urge to stalk and pounce on prey-like objects. If this urge isn’t satisfied, cats may become depressed, frustrated, or lethargic. Or they may set their sights—and claws—on humans in order to fulfill their innate desire to stalk.

The Main Solution: Regular Interactive Play

Daily interactive play lets your cat hone his stalking and hunting talents in ways that are acceptable to both of you. Interactive playing that focuses on simulated hunting scenarios may also offer additional advantages:

  • The exercise is good for your cat’s physical and mental health, and may help with weight management.
  • Your cat can be creative during play sessions.
  • Executing a series of successful “stalk, pounce and capture” maneuvers is satisfying to cats; it reduces stress and may build confidence in shy and picked-on cats.

How to Help Your Cat Practice Stalking and Hunting Techniques

Your cat is predisposed to enjoy play-stalking and hunting, but there many things you can do that will improve the quality of the experience for him. Here are some tips to help you and kitty get the most from daily “play with a purpose” sessions:

Use Appropriate Toys

  • Bring out a fresh toy. A toy on the floor is basically dead prey from kitty’s perspective. A toy that comes out of nowhere is more lifelike and exciting.
  • Small toys are the size of most of the prey that cats would go after.
  • Wand toys are good choices for simulating a variety of birds flying and landing.

To continue reading, please visit CatHealth.com

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