Cats & Hunting: When it comes to a cat’s nature to hunt birds, remember it’s a natural instinct. As a practicing, integrative veterinarian, indoor-outdoor cats are often the happiest, suffering from minimal disorders related to behavior and stress. Breed plays a role as to whether indoor life may or may not be ideal for your feline. In this veterinarian’s experience certain pure breed cats, like Siamese and Persians, for example, are often satisfied to remain indoors.
However, after personally examining thousands of cats over the years, feline health disorders because of anxiety and stress are extremely common. Anxiety issues from over-crowding, are also quite common. Feline endocrine alopecia, inflammatory bowel disease, and inappropriate urination are but a few specific feline health issues often plaguing indoor cats that stem from stress.
Cats by their very nature are hunters. Look at wild cats; cheetahs, lions, and panthers. Remember today’s felines evolved from them and it is important to understand that domestication is meant to tailor and enhance a felines nature, not eliminate it. Cats were born to hunt. It’s part of their natural instinct and part of the cycle of life. You’re not going to prevent a cat from pouncing, and hunting, and really shouldn’t because they LOVE it.
Preventing this natural feline behavior causes STRESS to your cat. Behavioral and medical disorders are generally the result. Remember stress is the single biggest killer for us all, both two and four-footed! Note that favorite feline toys are designed to stimulate your cat’s natural instinct to hunt which is why many kitty toys emulate birds, fish, and mice. If you’re a bird enthusiast feline ownership may not be ideal. Certainly, many other pet choices exist. At the end of the day, you’re not going to change Mother Nature and you’re certainly not going to stop the natural cycle of life without serious consequences.