If you own a kitten as a pet, the kitten would be less aggressive when it comes to hunting prey as their food which contrasted with their fellow stray kitten on the street. But it is possible for us, the owner to stimulate their instinct? The answer is possible but speaking of their nature, domestic or not, a cat will always have a nature to hunt. It is a vital instinct that could not be erased and just simply inherited. But how do kittens learn how to hunt and is it possible for a little kitten to be trained to hunt? Is it dangerous for indoor cat to learn how to hunt? Worry not, In this occasion, we are going to have an in-deep talk on how kittens learn how to hunt.
1. Instinct and observation
If you think cat or kittens born with the knowledge to hunt as they born, you are wrong. The instinct to hunt usually comes when they reach 4 weeks old. The way they learn how to hunt begin by observing their surroundings and the habit of their mother when she fed them with the prey she brings to feed them on. They usually observe the prey which later they will remember as their food. Domestic kitten, on the other hand, will be less aggressive but you can also train them by using toy mice to train their hunt instinct.
2. Learning the basic skills of hunting
Now that some kittens are already observed how to hunt from their mother after a few weeks, the claws will probably start to grow longer which means, they are ready to learn the basic skills of hunting. This time, the kittens will start to learn how to pounce, swat, and scoop. They will begin to feel itchy to scratch on something with their newly grow claws. If this happens to your domestic kitten or pet, worry not, it is a natural behaviour, if you begin to worry for them to ruin your things, buy some cat toys like scratching post to avoid the trouble.
3. Way of hunting
After learning the basic skill of hunting, the real hunt will begin. But how do they do their hunt? There are 4 ways on how kittens learn how to hunt, there are:
- Spotting a prey.
Spotting a prey is the time when their nature instinct kick in as they are aware of the presence of the prey near them. It can be in one specific spot like the window or the roof for indoor cats or kittens, or the sewer and bush for stray cats or kittens.
- Stalking a prey.
This skill is usually learned when kittens reach 3 to 9 weeks old. They started stalking by using their body to skim on the ground. Their movement will be upon the distance between their location and their prey.
c) Pouncing on the prey.
This step is done when the cat stretching their claws in certain places to catch their prey. Sometimes, the pouncing can be unsuccessful and when it is, they will be starting from the first step again, so basically, spot-stalk-pounce all over again.
d) Catching a Pray
One they are pouncing on prey and successful to hold it back by their claws, now it is time to kill it. Usually, kittens or cats never bite their prey to death, they usually bite on their neck to make their prey stop struggling or fighting them back. After they are sure that their prey won’t attack them, it is time for them to take them as a meal!
With all the steps and how they learn on how to hunt above, we can say that kittens predatory instinct cannot be avoided. Dangerous or not, those ways of hunting is vital for their way of life. So if your kitten started to be more active in sensing preys, never take it as a warning, take it as the start for you to train them on how to survive by themselves.