Most of you know we’re passionate about feeding cats a diet that mirrors the prey they would eat in the wild. Cats need a healthy diet to thrive in our homes, but we often forget the predator that lies within our feline friends. In the wild kitties eat prey, they are prey, but they’re also predators. Are we denying them their instinctive nature?
Cats are hunters by nature. When we bring them inside to live safely in a loving home, their inner predator is often left unacknowledged. We play with them (hopefully) and help them get exercise, which is great, but their hunting usually consists of running from window to window to check out the squirrel in our yard. Without an outlet to exercise their predatory nature, they’re often bored or begin to have behavioral issues.
Don’t Forget The Predator
Dr. Liz Bales is a veterinarian that focuses on the predatory nature of cats and their natural instinct to hunt prey. I recently enjoyed a wonderful conversation with her about cats (of course!) and she said, “in nature, cats spend 80% of their waking hours hunting for food. They hunt, catch and play with their prey before eating it. They hunt and eat at least 5 small meals throughout the day and night – not 2 meals from a bowl. This is their physical exercise, mental stimulation and emotional need. Mealtime for a cat is not just about obtaining calories, but is also the essential time for them to express this innate predatory need. When you feed prey, don’t forget the predator!“
What an important reminder! We so often find ourselves focused on ingredients, brands, the right proteins – but forget the predator we’re feeding!
The predator instinct of cats is obvious and often entertaining – the big eyes and crouched butt wiggle right before the big pounce. But what if they could actually hunt more than just the bug crawling across the floor or the feather on a string?
Dr. Bales focuses on environmental enrichment that allows cats to fully exercise their instincts in a safe and healthy way. She put her knowledge and inventive spirit into designing the purrfect solution for our fierce and frustrated feline friends.
Doc and Phoebe’s Indoor Hunting Feeder allows cats to hunt and eat their prey! The little mice can be filled with their favorite food (we use freeze dried raw) and hidden all around the house. With more than two million smell sensors, our cats perk and start the hunt. Once they find the mouse, they get to kick and throw it around to get the food to come out. Not only can we observe their shear joy at the opportunity to hunt and play, we are also providing them a healthy and exciting way to exercise their inner predator.