Hunting: nature or nurture?

You don’t have to teach your cat to chase birds, rodents or fish, for the predator instinct is very much in his genes. However, it is true that the hunting instinct is affected by what kittens see their mother do. A mother cat living in the wild or on a farm will catch rodents or birds and, of course, bring them home to the kittens.

But they won’t eat right away, for the mom cat will release the prey and allow the kittens to capture it again, and even compete with them for it. The killer instinct is already there, but mom is nurturing it with this training. Needless to say, kittens who observe their mothers killing prey become more effective predators than kittens raised in a cat-food-only home.
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