Cats As Carnivorous Predators

860 Words4 Pages
Cats as Carnivorous Predators Throughout the course of evolution the cat’s ability to survive in the wild has become extremely dependent upon its hunting ability. In order for feral, or undomesticated, cats to survive on their own in the wild they have developed hereditary traits and instincts from their ancestors throughout time. Though these hereditary traits that they have inherited are helpful for undomesticated cats, they can often cause problems when domesticated house cats revert back to the ways of their ancestors, often influencing the ways that cats kept as pets are managed. Cats are carnivorous predators and pet owners must accommodate this lifestyle by feeding them a meat-based diet with high protein, providing them with a play outlet to avoid predatory aggression, as well as keeping them inside or monitoring their activities while outside to avoid the unnecessary killing of birds or any other type of animal. As carnivorous predators, cats require a high protein, meat-based diet. The need for a meat-based diet is essential because the meat is often high in not only proteins and calories, but it also has a great deal of amino acids, especially taurine, which is important in the development of eye sight. Pet owners must be aware that “the protein requirement for maximal growth for kittens is 24 % when the diet exceeds all of the essential amino acid requirements” (Journal of Nutrition, High Dietary Protein and Taurine… pg.2228). Carnivores need this amount of protein at a young age to build muscle for hunting and to keep them well nourished. The diet of the cat is based on development and they should be fed according to their stage of development towards an adult cat. In the wild, cats eat just about anything they can get their paws on; rats, mice, birds, and reptiles. Kittens have a need for higher levels of protein and calories for proper development until they reach the age of 18 months, when the levels of protein drop to just the right amount of protein to sustain themselves. Another reason why cats need to have a healthy meat-based diet is because they have a shorter digestive system than most omnivores and herbivores. They have to absorb more nutrients in a shorter amount of time, thus the need for a lot of protein because they have a very short time to digest it. Being a carnivorous predator, the cat needs some sort of play outlet besides its usual habitat or the owner may become the object of play predatory aggression.

More about Cats As Carnivorous Predators

Open Document