Cats, even the cutest of kittens, have a killer instinct. It’s an inherited and hard-wired behavior put into practice by the time a kitten is barely a month old. Mother cats will teach their kittens to hunt by example using trilling and other sounds to indicate the type of prey brought to the den. When kittens are about four weeks old, she brings dead prey to teach identification of prey species and later live prey to teach how to catch and kill. Kittens soon learn to swat, pounce and scoop with their claws extended. They learn to bring the prey home to share as their mother did for them and to play with the prey.
As adults, cats will bring humans (mother substitutes) their bounty as a shared offering. Depending on what’s available, it could be an actual mouse carcass or perhaps a toy mouse in your shoe.*
*Excerpt from Cat Wisdom 101 – Cats: Hardwired to Hunt in 6 Steps
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