Cats are natural ambush hunters, which is why they love boxes so much. They jump out of places to pounce on everything they deem as prey. That’s why you see your kitty jump on a foil ball, string, a ball of yarn, that feather toy you bought last week and, of course, live animals such as mice, insects, birds, gerbils, baby bunnies and hamsters. Anything small enough for a cat to carry in its mouth is fair game for a cat’s hunting instincts.
Sometimes, cats bite off more than they can chew when their curiosity gets the better of them. When Fluffy decides to try her ambush skills on the blinds of the living room window, that may end up as an epic fail.
You see, even though humans began domesticating cats in Africa around 10,000 years ago, your gentle house cat still has millions of years of evolution inside his body. Tens of millions of years ago, when mammals grew bigger following the extinction of the dinosaurs, cats needed to survive in the wild against other predators while trying to stay away from larger animals that could crush them, maim them or even kill them. If a cat spent too much time in open spaces, opportunistic predators, such as dogs, might take advantage of the opening.
Instead, cats took to the trees. They’re great climbers and jumpers. Any time you look up to see Ginger clinging onto a screen door, door jamb or a window curtain, she’s trying to get up into a tree so she has a vantage point of things on the ground.
There’s no getting around it. Cats have a need to climb up and into things even though they live in the climate-controlled coziness of your house. Despite the fact that Muffy gets three cans of tuna-flavored moist cat food every day and you stroke her fur with a brush once a week, inside of your kitty’s brain are the instincts of jungle predators honed before humans learned to live in caves.
Playtime and Hunting Time
These hunting instincts can be funny as you learn to play with your cat. Hold some yarn just above your cat’s head and watch him reach for it with one tentative paw, then a second paw and then two paws and his mouth. That’s the hunting instincts kicking into overdrive. You can play with your cat for hours when you get him all worked up over a silly piece of string.
Toss a small wad of paper or aluminum foil into the middle of the floor and watch Fluffy bat it with both front paws as if she’s trying to catch a mouse. The fun really begins when the foil ball is just out of reach.
When you come home from work, you may find your cat in an awkward place. Perhaps she’s sitting on the dining room table as she keeps watch on the floor below. Maybe there’s an empty space on a high bookshelf that serves as her favorite perch.
If you don’t like your cat messing with the furniture, there are plenty of cat playscapes that give them the feel of being above the room with a watchful gaze. Some cat owners go all out for their pets and renovate homes into cat paradises. Imagine an entire house for cats with ramps, steps, walkways and skylights that let kitties walk up into the rafters as if they own the place (which, we all know they do).
All of these activities seem like fun and play, but they feed into a cat’s baser instincts for hunting and survival. You can feed Meowth all of the yummiest cat food you can find, and he still has a knack to pounce on bugs, strings, cat toys and your fingers because his brain still thinks he needs to hunt for his dinner.
As your cat hones his hunting skills, he learns the ways of the Force. Some of these practice sessions turn out well, while others are epic fails.
Funny and Epic Fails
These epic fails show up all over the internet as equally as the amazing things that cats can do. For every Maine coon cat climbing onto the highest kitchen cabinet to steal a treat, there’s an equally unlucky Siamese who can’t get her head out of a box.
Enough talking about cats and their clever hunting instincts. These cats tried, and failed miserably, to explore the world around them. Laugh at them. That’s the reason we posted these photos.
This isn’t photoshopped. That is one mad cat who chose the wrong time to go outdoors.