In our impression, it seems that cats catching mice has become common sense. But now we find that more and more cats, especially pet cats, are unwilling to catch or even can't catch mice. Why? This is a problem that has accumulated over a long time.
Why did cats catch mice in the past?
Let's first learn about why cats hunted mice in the past. The reason why cats like to catch and eat mice is that mice are the most comprehensive source of nutrition for cats. Scientific research has found that mice are rich in protein and taurine. Especially taurine, cats cannot synthesize it by themselves, but taurine is very important to cats. If a cat is deficient in taurine, its vision at night will decline, and if it goes on like this, it will suffer from night blindness, resulting in the inability to perform activities at night. Therefore, cats will choose to hunt mice to achieve the purpose of ingesting taurine. Animals began to develop a demand for this substance in the long-term evolution, and this nature has been passed down as genetic information.
Of course, cats not only catch mice. Generally, they will also catch animals smaller than themselves. However, in the living environment of cats, mice are the easiest to find. Therefore, the most common objects that cats hunt are mice. Furthermore, other carnivores also eat mice, such as snakes, weasels, and owls, but we hardly see them eating mice in our daily life. The most common thing we see is cats eating mice, so we have the impression that cats like catching a mouse.
Why don't cats catch mice now?
First, cats have no skills to catch mice. In the eyes of many people, the skill of cat-catching mice comes from birth, but in fact, the skills of cat-catching mice are taught by mother cats. After a cat was born, it would stay with the mother cat for a month or two, and during this period, the mother cat would teach the kitten how to hunt. And today's pet cats, from the time they were born, the mother cat has not shown the hunting skills in front of them, and the current pet cats naturally have nowhere to learn the skills of catching mice.
Second, cats have no requirements to catch mice. In the past, cats caught mice because their food sources were single and limited, so they needed to catch mice to supply their lack of nutrients. Now cat owners are looking for any ways to find delicious food and add nutrients to their cats. We almost prepared everything for our cat: cat food, cat litter, cat treats, and so on. Pet cats may be no worries about food and clothing for several generations. Cats don't need to hunt to fill their stomachs, so over time, they don't hunt.
Third, we have no requirements for cats to catch mice. In the early years, when mice were rampant, we kept cats first to prevent mice and then as pets. Now with the development of urbanization, mice have decreased, and we keep cats more for companionship. All we need cats to do is to act coquettish and cute, and no longer need them to catch mice.
Can these cats still learn to catch mice?
An adult city pet cat who never knows what a mouse is and has never tasted mouse meat is basically impossible to learn the skills of catching and eating mice. However, young cats can learn to catch and eat mice after they are taught, but the success rate is not very high. Some people have done the research, that hunting skills are taught by the mother cat, and more than 85% of the cats will hunt when they grow up. Only about 15% of cats learned to catch mice through artificial training. So, if you want a cat that catches mice, it's best to start training at an early age.
So your cat will catch mice or not? Do you want your cat to make a change?