What Do Cats Eat In The Wild?
A cat must eat meat to survive, it is an obligate carnivorous. When a cat is fed on a vegetarian diet, meat is added to it. In the wild, where there is no human intervention to influence the best diet for a cat. Whatever diet cats in the wild eat, it can also be fed to your pets. Therefore, What Do Wild Cats Eat And Drink?
In the wild, cats hunt small animals like rodents, reptiles, small birds, and insects to feed on them. They can easily catch small animals and thus they are less likely to hunt on larger animals like squirrels. The cats in the wild acquire a balanced supply of nutrients from their prey.
What a cat eats in the wild depends on the availability of prey and the taste preferences of a cat. Let’s get further into detail on a cat’s diet in the wild.
What Do Cats Eat In The Wild?
Certainly, pet owners would want to understand how best to feed their cats. The most effective method to determine the proper nutrition for your cat is knowing what cats eat and drink in the wild.
Do they eat veggies in the wild? What sort of meat do cats in the wild find delectable the most?
Small rodents, birds, insects, and reptiles primarily constitute cats’ favorite meals in the wild.
Cats in the wild have varied sources of food to eat; they prey on small animals like rats, birds, lizards, snakes, and insects. Felines in the wild are agile hunters with sharp instincts, and they thrive preying on these animals.
As a result, they can easily catch the small animals and eat them whole; that is everything even hair and nails. In fact, several studies and research show wild rabbits as the favorite diet for cats in the wild
Cats acquire taurine, a critical amino acid responsible for normal vision, digestion, heart muscle function, and a healthy immune system, from the muscle meat of their prey. Therefore, cats benefit from a balanced supply of nutrients from their prey.
Wild cats can also eat larger animals like squirrels, but usually, avoid hunting them because they find a lot of trouble to catch them.
On the other hand, cats tend to avoid wild veggies and herbs. Unlike dogs and other carnivores, cats in the wild, and in general all cats, lack the genes responsible for the digestion of starches found in most herbs.
As a result, their digestive systems can only break down animal tissues and extract all the nourishment they need. A detailed analysis of a wild feline’s diet showed that only 2% was not animal tissue. And there is a probability cats consumed it as the stomach content of their prey.
Wild cats also drink water to quench their thirst, and to facilitate other body processes like digestion. However, the wild cat can only drink clean flowing water. The water drinking points are far from the place where they feed on their carcasses. This is a practice they have learned since they were young to avoid drinking contaminated water.
Clearly, your cats can also be fed on a meat diet and they can also prey on rodents in the house. Provide enough clean drinking water in designated spots far away from their feeding places.
How Often Do Cats Eat In The Wild?
A cat eats often in the wild, it buries its prey and then feeds on it bit by bit many times. In a day a cat would eat up to 10 times to supplement its energy needs and beneficial nutrients to keep it strong and healthy.
A wild cat feeds in moderation; it can regulate its food intake to avoid overfeeding. Although, when it has gone without food for long it tends to eat very fast and end up overfeeding. This may cause discomfort and may even vomit the food.
A wild cat’s feeding habit is influenced by its health condition, availability of prey, and environmental conditions.
Therefore, how often do cats eat? They eat often, especially when they are in good health. You can develop a feeding schedule for your cat to eat small bits of food often.
Do Cats Eat Eggs In The Wild?
Do cats eat eggs? Yes, cats like to eat eggs very much.
Wild cats raid the nest of a bird to eat eggs and sometimes they sneak into our homes too to eat eggs laid by a chicken. Being obligate carnivorous they eat more animal products, wild cats benefit a lot from the proteins found in eggs.
Wild cats eat raw eggs and it has been found to have no negative effect on them. cat eats the whole egg including eggs in the wild based on the taste and preference of the cat. Not all cats like to eat eggs, though most of the cats like to eat eggs.
The egg protein is healthy and safe for the wild cat to eat, you can also feed your pet on eggs to supplement their protein nutrients.
Do Cats Eat Fish In The Wild?
Yes, some wild cats eat fish.
However, fish is not part of the cat’s natural diet and it does not have many beneficial nutrients to the cat. Cats that eat fish in the wild eat it as a snack to supplement their diet.
The fishing cat is an example of a cat that eats fish in the wild. It can swim into rivers or wade in shallow waters to scoop out fish. Their teeth are adapted to catch the fish with the help of their paws.
Even with the availability of fish in the wild, cats love meat. Naturally, Cats eat more meat and less of the fish. Cats also do not like getting wet and since fish is found underwater, they avoid preying on it.
So, yes cats eat fish, though not all cats do and fish is not their preferred choice of food. You can feed your pet fish once in a while if they like to eat it.
In conclusion, we can now answer our question what do cats eat in the wild? With this information, you will know how best to feed your cat.
Cats are obligate carnivores; they eat mainly feed on meat for beneficial nutrients. Meat can be supplemented with vegetables and fruits in small portions.
Since cats love to eat eggs, your cat can also be given cooked or raw eggs. The egg is safe for your cat and contains healthy proteins.
Ensure to give drinking water to your cat but it should be placed far apart from their feeding points. They like it this way in the wild to avoid drinking contaminated water.
Some cats in the wild can eat fish but most of them do not eat fish. Fish can be eaten as a snack by the cats but it has little beneficial nutrients to the cats. What the cats eat in the wild can be given to domesticated cats based on their taste and preferences.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I Feed My Cat Similarly to Their Wild Counterparts?
First and foremost, not all domesticated cats are the same. Some prefer specific diets to others. Also, it might be impractical to feed your indoor feline similarly to cats in the wild. Therefore the best option is to borrow ideas from what cats in the wild eat and incorporate them into your cat’s diet.
For instance, when buying cat food, consider meat with taurine, amino acids, and necessary nutrients similar to the wild prey as discussed. Finally, and most importantly, always consult with your vet to find the perfect nutritional needs for your kitty.
Do Cats in The Wild Instinctively Know What Not to Eat?
Primarily it’s not because of only instincts but also experience and training to keep them from consuming toxic things. Also, the color of the prey plays a significant role in determining a suitable diet.
For instance, cats in the wild are aware that the monarch butterfly ingests toxic milkweed that contributes to its body color, giving it an awful taste. Therefore, they tend to avoid this kind of prey.
Also, if cats had the instinct to distinguish harmful food from good food, there wouldn’t be cases of animals eating poison concealed in meatballs or tasty wrappers.