Outside Cat Enclosures

When reading up about outside cat enclosures I was surprised to see how little is written up about cat's killer instinct. People may not be aware of it but they are one of nature's most highly refined and skilled small animal hunters. Relative to size, domestic cats are very effective predators. They hunt and ambush vertebrate prey using tactics similar to those of leopards and tigers by pouncing; cats then deliver a deadly neck bite with their long canine teeth that either cuts the victim's spinal cord, or chokes it to death by crushing the windpipe.

The domestic cat can hunt and eat about one thousand species—this is incredibly more than big cats that usually will eat fewer than 100. Although, theoretically, big cats can kill most of these species as well, they often do not due to the relatively low nutritional content that smaller animals provide. An exception is the leopard, which commonly hunts rabbits and many other smaller animals. On the other hand, it can be argued that cats have an abundance of smaller scat housepecies available. Cats have highly specialized teeth and a digestive tract suitable to the digestion of meat. The teeth of the cat are designed especially for cutting and tearing meat. While this is present in canines, it is highly developed in felines. The cat's tongue has sharp spines, or papillae, designed to retain and rip flesh from a carcass. Unlike most carnivores, cats eat almost no vegetable matter. Whereas bears and dogs commonly supplement their diet of meat with fruits, berries, roots, and honey when they can get them, cats in the wild feed exclusively on meat, usually freshly killed. Of course domesticated cats that live indoors must have this meat supplied to them. Cats, due to a genetic anomaly don't taste sweetness, which is probably a big factor in their meat-only habits.

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