Picture of tabby cat and his killed pigeon

This is a high quality picture of my cat and the pigeon that he killed while I was out at the gym. He kills pigeons by suffocating them with a throat bite much like lions killing large prey. Usually domestic cats kill birds with a neck bite which breaks the spinal cord. The cat ‘feels’ the vertebrae with his vibrissae (whiskers) and inserts his canine teeth in between them.

It is not nice to see and I don’t like it but I have to accept it. All cat owners do. For him it’s as natural as walking in the garden which is surrounded by a cat confinement fence. It’s also good for him as it is stimulating and a way of expressing his natural desires.


The danger for pigeons is that they spend time on the ground eating bird seed which has fallen from the bird feeder. Pigeons appear to be less alert than other birds. My cat has killed three now, all in the same away; a stalk and rapid rush to a bird which is blissfully unaware of the dangers until it is too late. Without wanting to be too gory, it takes about 2 minutes for the bird to die of suffocation. My cat had made no effort to eat it. The bird was completely intact. This is inline with what people who dislike cats often mention; domestic cats kill for ‘fun’ and ‘torture’ their prey. They don’t torture prey and they don’t kill for fun. The cat is programmed to hunt whether hungry or not. Humans are programmed to do lots of things which might be seen as strange to an alien such as being addicted to smart phones and text messages or allowing themselves to get fat and unhealthy. Oh, and slowly destroying the planet that keeps them alive.

I have said it before and will take this opportunity to say it again, birds are not the primary prey of the domestic cat. Rodents are easier to catch and are preferred.

12 thoughts on “Picture of tabby cat and his killed pigeon”

  1. I also like pigeons, they are a fascinating, social animal, and wrongly maligned by humans.

    If humans do not want rats or pigeons, then they must stop littering the world with food waste.

    I like rats too

  2. I have no problem with cats hunting prey, nor any issue with how they protect themselves whilst killing.

    Well done Big Tabby, good kill!

    Some large half barrels in your garden, planted up with water irises, sedges and other marginals will attract dragon flies and frogs which will entertain puss greatly. It might give your flesh a rest when you are busy working?

    Short lengths of fat, hollowed out bamboo, tied together, stuck in a south facing wall will bring solitary bees to nest, again, interesting for puss.

    The more foliage the better, as it brings mice too.

  3. How does this make you any different than a sport-hunter? People who use Falcons, Hawks, and Dogs for hunting are held to strict hunting laws in every nation on earth. If they allow their animal to hunt out of season or on species not defined for hunting, they can lose their vehicles and all their hunting gear under “wanton waste” hunting laws; but most importantly their animals are destroyed for being used for illegal hunting. Why are you not sitting in jail for your animal-killing crimes? You could have prevented this if you were a responsible pet-owner. Clearly you are anything but that. If nothing else, you have at least alerted all the world to your criminally irresponsible values and behaviors. What’s even sadder is that people are complimenting you for you killing animals with your cat.

    • Your comment is extraordinary and totally misconceived in comparing me with a sport hunter. There is no comparison. Firstly cats are not bound by laws applying to humans! Obvious. Secondly, there are no laws forbidding cats preying on birds or other animals. Thirdly, my cat hunts instinctively and at its heart is the desire to survive. The key difference between cat and humans in this context is that the cat behaves instinctively without rational thought (something we have to accept) while humans hunt for pleasure and they use rational thought to decide to do so. They know they are killing an animal and inflicting pain in the pursuance of their pleasure. Cats have no concept of these things. Also humans use guns which changes the dynamics. At one time hundreds of years ago hunting was necessary for survival but nowadays it is for pleasure even if sport hunters say they eat the animal they shoot. They don’t need to.

      As for people using birds of prey to hunt once again this is a deliberate rational exercise. The person trains the animal to hunt because the human gets pleasure from it. This is completely different to a domestic cat hunting on his own volition without any human interference.

      • Since I assume your cat is still confined to the safe outdoor enclosure you made your cat was simply hunting something that landed on your property. It is very uncommon to hold a landowner responsible for their dogs let alone cats predatory nature, and yes dogs have been bred with that predatory nature and man simply capitalizes on it, for stray pets or wildlife that become victims.
        BTW Micheal I know a large number of hunters that do indeed hunt for their food and fill their freezer every year. Because man has eradicated natural predators many prey species overpopulate and ultimately end up starving to death.

  4. I consider pigeons flying rats. And all I could thinks was what a pretty ticked tabby you have. I’ve seen as many dogs kill birds as I have cats. Cats have inbred hunting instincts and many breeds of dogs were bred for hunting and still retain that trait.
    My ever ignorant SIL and her husband brought home about 10 gazillion pigeons and then when they got tired of caring for them simply released them. I have a long stick I use to tip the nests as I’ve found it’s the best way to control the population. We had cats coming here to hunt and I was glad of it. They made a mess of the bird feeders and everything in the yard.
    The quick little songbirds and other native species were seldom victims.

  5. Another problem with this problem of blaming cats is people’s enhanced tendency to exaggerate, stereotype, generalize, snap judge, think in terms of black and white and generally just be pissy. I know that’s not a word but we get it.

    • Yes, the exaggeration on bird predation by cats is legendary. The ornithologists will use any way possible to cull feral cats and force legislation changes to make all domestic cats indoor cats. Hope you are well.

      • The fact is there are almost no places left that allow dog owners to legally let their dogs roam astray. It might be overlooked and poorly enforced in many rural areas (raises hand) but still illegal.
        Cats in urban and city living conditions should be under the same restraint it’s as easy as that. Anyone claiming to have a working cat in rural or business districts should have to have the cat ear tipped and micro chipped and S/N. This would be a legal condition in order to renew licenses on local levels.
        The fact is there are too many pets of both kinds running at large.
        Community cats should be protected by LAW and their keepers should be registered and colonies identified.
        There is a strong market for catios that are prefab and plans. Units that would fit on existing rentals should without damaging the property should be encouraged.
        We are a different world however the fight of the bird nonsense needs to be halted and firm rebuttals over who id killing what.
        One last thought. The cost to build a sturdy enclosure to house even a small dog is probably equitable to building a catio or safe outdoor space for your cat. Pets aren’t cheap and with them comes great responsibility.
        I have lived with the nonstop frustration of living next to negligent dog,cat and livestock owners for the last 25 plus years now. Without fail complaints about the loose dogs who were un-socialized and aggressive fell on deaf ears but AC was more than willing to trap the feral ,semi feral cats that were a result of their getting a new kitten every six months and dumping the old one out. And of course kill them. Dogs get all the resources here cats get the needle. This plays out on a much larger scenario in many communities and cities.
        Dogs here kill more wildlife, small livestock, cause thousands in damages by chasing livestock and even attack and kill each other. Walking here requires you be armed or face being bitten by someone’s dog.
        So what we have is small group of uneducated bird watchers who have jointly decided against all the evidence that cats ,all cats are the enemy of all birds.
        As to the pigeon most cities until everyone got their panties in twist trapped and or poisoned this species on a regular basis. Bully to the cats everywhere that are taking down flying rats.

        Stepping off the soapbox.


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