Jump to content

Behavioural Study on the Hunting of Domestic Cats

Recommended Posts

Hello people, I need your help.


​I'm studying Animal Behaviour and Welfare at a university in England and will be doing research on domestic cats and their hunting activities in Shetland. This will be taking place over July-August 2016. I will NOT be interfering with pet cats at all! Only observing them using cameras that will capture movement that happens close by.


The thing I need help on is where the best locations to view cats is. I live in Quendale so only the mainland will be included. I would love to have information on places that many people own cats and if anyone notices common places for cats to hunt. Any information on this subject would be very appreciated!


Also, if you have any questions about this, I'll be happy to answer. This research is in the process of ethical approval but be ensured it will not be interfering with your pet cat in any way.


Thank you for any information!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...

I'd be very interested in what you find in your study if you are willing to share.

My white cat, when we lived in Scalloway, hunted on the hill behind Port Arthur. He remained fat all year round without needing extra food.
I taught him to not hunt birds from an early age, by only praising him when he brought home rabbits and mice. He prefers catching rabbits. I have watched him often out of my livingroom window. He crawls into rabbit warrens when he's skinny enough and scoffs all the bunnies. He then lays in wait until the mother returns and he catches her and drags her home to leave on the doorstep for me (he'll yowl until I go outside and look at the rabbit). When he gets too fat to enter burrows he will sit above burrow entrances and pounce on anything that comes out. He keeps his catches alive until he's dragged them to where he wants to eat/store them. I've noticed it helps get the body through fences and gates if they're alive and can kick their own weight forward.
He frequently follows me when I'm walking the dog along the road and he will prowl in all burrows by the roadside on the way. He caught a rabbit on a walk once and held it alive until I had finished working on the croft; he brought it to me at the croft gate and killed it by my feet. I carried it home and gave it to him in the garden to eat.
He has learned in our new home to go to where a pair of hoody crows sit on fences and they will show him where their scavenged rabbits are and he will catch rabbits, only eat the heads himself and leave the rest for the crows. He lets the crows come and take the remains from under his nose once he's finished the head. Hunting/scavenging partnership.
My white cat is mostly an indoor cat now for a couple of reasons so he doesn't get much chance to hunt, only when he escapes through a window or the door when people are visiting. He has hunted a rabbit while on his lead on a walk along the road, past the same burrows he caught one in on a walk previously.

My younger black cat was also taught to not hunt birds, he accepts this fine because he is "family" with my free ranging poultry, he was brought up with the chicks running around his feet. He was banished from the rabbit hunts by the older white cat so instead he hangs around the house and shed eating mice when the white cat is out. He'll hunt bunnies over summer, or when the white cat is inside or away at another of his territories. I don't see much of his hunting since it is mostly done in the sheds and hay store. He does sometimes leave his catch on the garden path, for me I am not sure. It's always pregnant mice when he does leave something for me to find.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...