Chubby moggy reveals great bird hunting skills

by Finn Frode
(Copenhagen, Denmark)

Snow White at rest but alert

Snow White at rest but alert

Snow White at rest but alert Watching the big flatscreen display Great Tit

Never underestimate the hunting skills of your cat. No matter how indolent and comfortable with having every meal served, inside every domestic cat resides a great hunter.

Our moggy Snow White seems like a chubby, laid-back cat, spoiled with comfortable living and too many treats, but as we soon found out after adopting her, she will play as enthusiastic as any kitten. Her favourite method is to lie in wait and suddenly slam down her big paw, but if she has to run or jump to catch the toy, she'll do that as well - and with surprisingly speed for a cat her age and size.

We feed the birds in our garden all winter, and as our cats have their own enclosure they usually don't get to each other. Recently however some of the boldest birds have found their way into the enclosure, which also happens to be where the bird food is stored.

Yesterday afternoon I let Snow White out and she instantly showed a great interest in that food corner. She sniffed and started reaching with her paw for something hidden behind the cans on the floor. When she caught it she headed for the door to our living room. I grabbed hold of her right there and she let go of what she had in her mouth.

I expected to see a mouse, but much to my surprise a Great Tit flew through the room and into the kitchen when it sought refuge behind the microwave oven. Needless to say Snow White flew after it over the furniture and all, while I tried to keep up with them. Luckily the bird had found a secure spot out of Snow White's reach, but she really tried her best until I carried her out into the hallway and closed the door.

The bird got out and flew a few rounds in the living room before finding it's way back out through the sliding glass door. Apparently it had suffered no serious harm, so I reckon Snow White had not used her fangs, but just carried it softly in her mouth. Maybe she wanted it as a funny toy for playing with or maybe she meant to present it to me, her "human kitten". Anyway, when I let her back in, she searched the kitchen carefully and was clearly disappointed that the bird had escaped her.

I of course offered Snow White nothing but praise and an extra treat for her brave deed, but needless to say we don't feed the birds just to have them eaten by cats. If it happens so be it, but out in the open usually only the sick or less smart birds will get caught and it's all part of the natural selection. This Great Tit however had shown resourcefulness, but ended up in a bad situation. I'm happy it got out of it with only a few feathers ruffled.

But if she ever catches a mouse, I'll let her have it. In case any comes around, I know it won't stand a chance with her...

See also: Domestic cat hunting

Finn Frode avatar

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Chubby moggy reveals great bird hunting skills

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Jan 11, 2011 All Right Snow White!
by: Gail (Boston, MA USA)

Good going Snow White! It's amazing how flexible and fast cats are when it comes to the natural prey instinct.

Each morning, I put out wet and dry food with water in a triple dish for the strays/ferals. The dry food usually doesn't make it since the birds come enmasse to gobble it up before the cats get there. During the feeding frenzy, I pick up Abby so she can watch from the kitchen window. This morning was particularly thick with birds and I could tell by Abby's paws on the window pane, her twitchy tail and low meow/growl that she was anxious to get out there. Her head snapped back/forth with the action and she ran like the wind to windows in the rest of the house when the birds began flying away. Too bad it's not safe for her to go out because that would be quite a show!

Jan 09, 2011 Snow White and her birdie
by: Ruth

I loved your story and your photos Finn. Snow White proves a cat never loses her basic instincts.
It's amazing how a cat can carry a bird in her mouth without hurting it.
Because we live in a cat friendly place our cats are indoor/outdoor, it's a cats paradise here with lots of mice to hunt and although we feel sorry for them, we'd be over run but for ours and the rest of our neighbourhood cats.
Our boyz rarely catch a bird, but if they do they always bring them as a gift and we are able to save them.
It seems sad that because to most of us mice aren't beautiful like birds we don't save them, but that's life and Nature can be cruel sometimes.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Jan 08, 2011 Snow White and the Great Tit
by: Dorothy

Great story Finn, as always. I'm sure it is those walks you and she take that keep her spry as a kitten. It obviously wasn't the Tit's day to die. Good rescuing!

Snow White is looking fit as doesn't matter that she doesn't have her girlish figure anymore. She's lovely. I looked up an image of the Great Tit, and it too is lovely.


Jan 08, 2011 Same here
by: Michael

Although my old lady cat is over 18 years of age and can barely jump onto a bed, she still has razor sharp reflexes. When I play with her she always catches what I am using as a toy!

She has lost some of her sense of smell and hearing but reflexes - no.

Snow White is similar to Binnie in appearance and probably similar in temperament.

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