By Dr. Marty Becker
Kitten HuntingQ. Do kittens instinctively know how to hunt or must they learn from another cat?
A. A little bit of both, actually. The biologist Roger Tabor has noted that kittens who are able to observe their mothers hunt and kill become better at these skills themselves. But all healthy kittens show at least some interest in predatory behavior, even though we often refer to what they're doing as playing with toys.
When kittens chase a string, a wadded up piece of paper or the moving dot from a laser pointer, they're tapping into - and in some ways practicing - behaviors that have kept cats alive for countless generations. Many cats who weren't taught to hunt by their mothers will figure it out on their own, even if they're being fed plenty by loving owners.Hunting Is Natural - and Controversial
But while the cat's hunting behavior has long been of benefit to us by keeping down rodent populations, these days predation by cats has never been more controversial. As weRead More »from How Do Kittens Learn to Hunt?