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Persian cats are known as the prima donna of cats. With their trademark flattened face and luxurious fur, it may not be easy to imagine them as hunters.
Persian cats, like many of their feline relatives, are natural-born hunters. Because of this innate tendency, it is not uncommon to see a Persian cat on the hunt.
In this article, you will learn about Persian cats’ innate ability to hunt and their preferred prey.
Do Persian Cats Hunt?
Persian cats, like their relatives, are innate hunters. Most Persian cats are kept indoors, so hunting for survival is not a necessity. However, if a Persian cat is left to its own devices outside, it will track as any other cat would.
Because Persian cats have a natural-born instinct to hunt, play-based activities will help to engage the cat. Play training can be accomplished in the form of games or various toys used to provide play-based engagement.
While the Persian cat may appear to be less than adept at catching mice or going on the hunt, their high intelligence level makes hunting a very easy task for them.
We talk more about whether cats like to hunt in our article: Click Here.
Female Cats are Better Hunters
When looking at the Persian cat’s ability to hunt, you may wonder if the male or female is more adept at hunting. In the case of Persian cats, males and females vary in their ability levels. Females are well known for their ability to out-mouse their male counterparts.
Animals Persian Cats May Hunt
Persian cats are like most felines and prefer to hunt small prey like mice and other rodents. One difference between Persian cats and other cats is their activity level. Persian cats are not known for being excessively energetic, limiting the type of prey they search out.
Can a Persian Cat Survive Outdoors by Hunting?
It is not uncommon to see cats wandering around outside in many different environments. While this may be okay for typical domestic cats, this is likely a dangerous situation for Persian cats. Not only are Persian cats more high maintenance, but they also have health issues that may be impacted by being outside.
Surviving outdoors for a cat means finding a water source. We talk more about whether Persian cats drink water in our article: Click Here.
Training a Persian Cat to Hunt
If there is any chance that you think your Persian cat may find themselves in a position where they need to hunt for survival, you may want to train them to hunt. It may sound silly that you are teaching a cat to hunt because it is an instinct most cats are born with. However, training your cat to perfect its hunting skills is not a bad idea.
How Do You Train a Cat to Hunt?
You may be pleasantly surprised to learn that training your cat to hunt is just like an extended play session. Because cats are instinctual hunters, they have the basic skills. They may need a little perfecting, which can be accomplished by well-planned play.
Speaking of cats and “play,” check out our article on when cats become less playful: Click Here.
By providing your cat with toys that encourage the hunt and pounce reaction, your cat will become adept at searching out and catching its prey. When choosing the toys, it is crucial to choose toys that mimic real animals, so they are transferred.
Because most cats are trained as kittens, the kitten will quickly hone the concept of catching prey. However, cats need to be taught to eat the animals that they catch. Unfortunately, this is a skill that is learned from the mother cat early in life.
This means that you may have a phenomenal mouser that does not know the first thing about eating what it has caught. Therefore, outdoor survival with only hunting will likely be challenging, if not impossible.
Tools for Successful Hunting Training
When it comes to training your cat to hunt, you do not need many materials or tools to accomplish the job. The main items you need are; realistic toys and treats.
Realistic toys are going to be a huge factor in the training process. You want your cat to relate fun to the chase. The best way to do this is to invest in cat toys that are as realistic as possible to connect them to real animals.
Treats are a surefire way to make sure the training process goes smoothly. Like all animals, cats will work for treats, especially if they are treats they like. When training the cat, you will need to offer treats very frequently.
Remember, you are trying to elicit a behavior response from your cat; this means the reward needs to be worth their time. Because Persian cats tend to be a bit more finicky, you will want to make sure the treat is something they enjoy so they are willing to “work” for it.
Should You Use Live Prey?
When training a cat to hunt, you may be wondering if you should use live prey or prey that has been previously caught to help strengthen the hunting instinct. While this may seem a bit morbid, there are trainers and pet experts that recommend presenting your cat with a mouse that has been trapped, only to get the scent and visual of the mouse, not to ingest it.
Using live prey to train your cat is highly debatable for the method by which you obtain the mouse or rodent. It is not recommended to go into a pet store to purchase a mouse for your cat to “practice hunting.” Pet store mice are bred to be pets, not animal food. It would be cruel to subject a pet to the predatory practice.
Will My Persian Cat Kill a Mouse?
While you can focus on training your cat to hunt and identify potential pests, there is not a guarantee that your cat will kill a mouse. The cat has likely not been forced to hunt for mice for a food source, so they view them as one of two things: a toy or a treat when they see them. It is not uncommon to see a cat “playing” with a mouse for one of these reasons.
Mice seem like toys to some cats. If you have a strictly indoor cat that has only had access to toys and never been on the hunt, they will likely identify a live mouse or bird as a toy, which will increase the probability that they will play with the rodent instead of killing it.
Mice and other small animals can seem like a threat to cats. While short in stature, Mice and birds have a very distinct method of protecting themselves by way of biting or scratching. Sometimes a cat will appear to be “playing” with its prey, when in fact, they are tiring it out to make the kill easier.
Whether your cat is an indoor or outdoor cat, you will likely see some of these characteristics as they go out on the hunt. While a Persian cat may not be inclined to kill a mouse, even with training, the excitement of the search will likely provide entertainment.
Because a Persian cat is a cat species member, they have a natural inclination to hunt. However, it is important to realize that hunting may not involve the actual killing of the prey. While you can teach your cat to hunt by going through a series of play-based exercises, the likelihood of your cat being able to survive by hunting is quite narrow.
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