Predation - Cats Who Kill or Chase Small Animals
Predation is actually a sequence of behaviors
that if taken to their end point, result in the killing
of an animal, presumably for food. However, cats can show
part of the predatory sequence, such as chasing, stalking
or pouncing without ever killing an animal. Sometimes they will catch
a bird or small animal and bring it home alive. Predatory problems can
range from just annoying to extremely dangerous for other animals and
you should take steps to either control or change your cat’s behavior
Fast movement of any sort can stimulate the chasing or
pouncing part of predatory behavior. A bird hopping across
the yard can elicit chasing or pouncing. This is why feathers
on a string are such good toys for cats.
Your cat can become infested with parasites by killing
animals, so it’s in your best interest, and your
cat’s, to prevent this. Check with your veterinarian
about the health issues involved.
Your first step in stopping your pet’s predatory
behavior is to control your pet’s environment. This
may mean keeping your cat indoors, confining her to an
outdoor enclosure or only letting her out under supervision.
Respect laws that prohibit your cat from roaming freely.
While a bell on your cat’s collar may help, some
cats learn to creep up on critters and keep the bell silent.
Any collar must be of a safe, break away type so you cat
can’t get caught and strangle herself.
All things considered, it’s just not a good idea
to allow your cat to roam. If you want to give her outside
time, train her to walk on a leash and harness, (yes, cats
can be trained!), install a cat-proof barrier on your fence
so she can’t leave your yard, or give her an outside
pen or enclosure.
You can learn how to provide your cat with what she needs
to lead a stimulating, fulfilling life indoors with our
program Helping Kitty Be Good .
It is available in DVD and audio CD formats and gives you
an abundance of ways to create a cat-friendly indoor environment.
It is possible to help your cat become less reactive
to his triggers for predatory behaviors. This may require counter
conditioning and desensitization behavior
management tools such as a leash and harness and even appropriate
punishment for the behavior.
PRODUCTS THAT WILL HELP YOU UNDERSTAND, PREVENT AND RESOLVE PREDATION PROBLEMS
To help your cat adapt to an indoor life, get
our DVD Helping Kitty Be Good. Here you’ll learn what cats want
and need to be healthy and happy as indoor cats.
We also recommend our two hour audio CD program Using
Counter Conditioning and Desensitization Techniques Effectively
to Modify Behavior to learn about the most effective
techniques for changing behavior in cats and dogs.