• 17 May 2022

Playing with a cat: hunting

 Playing with a cat: hunting

Hunting is one of the most important things a cat needs to do to be a cat. It is something that is an inseparable part of a cat’s life from the beginning of life to its end. Below I will tell you what the whole hunting process looks like and why it is so important in the life of a happy cat.

Domestic cats, even though their food is served in a bowl and do not have to hunt for delicacies from sachets and cans, are still hunters. The most important play with a cat is hunting. You need a fishing rod with a ribbon on which the prey will hang. The catch should hang on our fishing rod, it can be, for example, a glowing candy wrapper or a piece of baking paper, which will rustle when dragged on the floor.

Each cat has its own hunting style. Suppose your prefers mouse hunting. Therefore, try to make such movements with the fishing rod so that the prey at the end of the ribbon moves along the floor. Now the entire hunting sequence will begin. Stage by stage. Spotting and then locating the victim, i.e. the bait on your rod, follows. You will be able to see the cat slowly observing its prey at first from afar and hiding, then getting closer and closer until the climax process when it starts attacking the prey, this part of the hunt is chasing the prey. If we allow the kitty to grab the victim on our fishing rod, the next stage of the process will follow: capture. It will be a huge success for the kitty. The cat may additionally want to take the victim to a place of his choice. Usually not much further. Then it is worth approaching the cat and praising its victory with a pet or even as a snack. At this point, the cat will release a huge amount of endorphins. Hunting is a basic game for every cat and should be carried out several times a day. This is how to raise a happy cat. This game has a huge therapeutic effect in cats in various behavioral disorders, in cats with behavior problems, in those with depression, e.g. after the death or departure of a caretaker or household member. Therefore, it is important to give the cat a prey. You cannot let your cat get its prey too soon, and certainly not too late.

Hunting shouldn’t be too long. If we tire the cat, he won’t be happy. To understand this, we must enter our kitten’s brain. Adrenaline and norepinephrine are released into the blood during a long hunt, which does not end in obtaining a prey. High levels of these substances contribute to the cat’s arousal, even aggression. It is also associated with a decrease in, for example, dopamine, which is responsible for well-being. So it’s good not to play with your kitty until you get tired. Only because we want to have peace of mind afterwards.

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