Cat Eating

Cat Eating

cat about to eat bird
photograph © ?? I’ve lost the credit – please advise

I like to see my cat eating. I prefer to see her eating cat food from a tin. Although, I am not a great fan of manufactured cat food. A lot if it is prepared a little “cynically” I believe.

What I mean by this is that the manufacturer has profit in mind. This is to expected, of course. The objective is to ensure the cat likes the food. The trouble is, as animals, (and I include us in this discussion) we tend to like too much of what is not necessarily good for us. I’m thinking of carbohydrates and fatty foods as they are both tasty and therefore attractive.

Cat food manufacturers can tend to put into cat food, ingredients that are attractive to a cat but not necessarily, absolutely, the best ingredient in respect of promoting health. An example can be read about here.

As far as I am aware my cat has never seriously hunted another animal nor killed and eaten it. I look after her too well 

Cats have techniques for preparing their food if it is not already prepared for them by manufacturers of cat food. You can read about domestic cat hunting here. In this article I discuss, what follows a successful hunt.

After the kill

Your cat would have a little pause having hunted and killed her prey. It is thought that this gives her a chance to calm down to aid good digestion. I can empathise with that (I’m thinking of indigestion ).

The Rodent 

cat half eaten mouse
reproduced under creative commons © jskaroff

Small rodents such as this half eaten mouse are usually eaten head first (but definitely not in this instance).

The skin is sicked up. Sometimes the gall bladder (bitter taste), tail (in my experience) and the intestines are left.

The Bird

cat and bird1
photograph reproduced under creative commons © cloud nine

The photograph above has been taken, of course, a few moments before the eating takes place.

A cat eating a bird will follow set procedures. Once the bird is killed there needs to be some preparation before the eating commences because of the feathers. Small birds are eaten whole, feathers and all.

The larger birds, such as the pigeon, need plucking and cats have an innate genetically inherited ability to pluck the feathers from a dead bird.

The intermediate sized birds are plucked, eaten, plucked as the cats progresses in her meal.

The larger bird is plucked before eating, following a set procedure, which is essentially as follows:

  1. pin bird down with front legs/feet
  2. clamp feathers in jaw
  3. pull sharply upwards (USA style – see below)
  4. spit out feathers
  5. shake off feathers
  6. lick fur to remove last remaining feathers
  7. start at 1 and continue 
A cat eating a bird in Europe will follow a different procedure to her American counterpart in respect of the feather plucking technique. European cats pull the feathers off in a tugging, left to right action. The American cats strip the feathers off in a long single upwards movement.
More efficient perhaps?

To animal lovers this sort of discussion can be a bit distressing. My smiley images are not meant to be disrespectful. Killing and eating is part of our world. One day it might not be.


  • Desmond Morris – Cat Watching
  • Own knowledge


Cat Eating — 4 Comments

  1. Are you promoting the eating of wildlife by cats? Have you gone mad? Do you know what diseases are present in these animals that are zoonotic? Keep your cat indoors. Quality cat foods will ensure a healthy life which is part of the reason indoor cats outlive outdoor cats.


    • I am not promoting anything. I have not gone mad. I am very sane, thanks. The domestic cat does carry a few zoonotic diseases such as toxoplasmosis, ringworm and cat scratch fever. But then again the human is far more dangerous to other humans in many ways including carrying nasty diseases which he passes on to others. I think we should keep all humans indoors at all times, don’t you?


      • Your previous articles not only seek to indemnify the problems caused by roaming (and feral) cats but your belief that your own cat doesn’t kill is misguided.
        There is, despite your claims, a preponderance of evidence that domestic cats not only have a severely deleterious effect on native species by hunting, but that their spread of Tg has reached a nearly critical level. Many countries have been forced to take extremely unfortunate measures in order to prevent more extinctions from occurring than cats have already caused.
        Cat belong in the home or in a confined space where they cannot kill. Trying to force a strawman argument is not an effective defense.
        Toxoplasmosis is now present in more than half the white tailed deer in Ohio. Toxoplasmosis recently wiped out the entire population of marsupials at the Virgina Zoo. There are now repeated studies confirming the initial findings of Dr. Flegr et al that toxoplasmosis in humans has a strong correlation to human mental illness, birth defects and to spontaneous miscarriages in livestock.
        It should be the goal of all pet owners, no matter what animal, to ensure they are contained for not only the safety of wildlife, but their safety as well. I would hope you would take a stronger stance against allowing free roaming cats. It is the responsible thing to do.


        • your belief that your own cat doesn’t kill is misguided.

          Sorry Rick you are incorrect. My previous cat didn’t kill anything. He had three legs. And my current cat is indoors and goes out on a leash. Be careful when you make assumptions.

          There are many estimates on cat predation and they are all estimates. And wildly incorrect often. Often they are prepared by biased scientists or ornithologists or scientists with an axe to grind and guided by politicians. Don’t trust estimated figures.

          Half of humans carry toxoplasmosis. They got it from raw meat. How did the deer get it? There is no hard science on toxo causing mental illness in people. Produce it and make sure the person is not biased. You are very biased Rick. All my statements are based on hard facts and are as objective as I can make them.



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