When was the last time you saw cats in the wild? Have you had a chance to watch them eat?
Wild stray colonies don’t count, because their food is largely dependent on humans.
Nevertheless, even if it’s true that feral cats are rarely seen in the wild, knowing about their diet will give us extremely important information, because that’s what our pets should be eating. So, what do cats eat in the wild?
A cat’s diet in the wild
The most common diet of wild cats is:
- Small rodents such as mice, shrews, rats, and even rabbits or hares;
- small birds like sparrows or robins;
- insects and reptiles such as spiders, grasshoppers, lizards, and snakes.
The latter type of prey, although small in size, should still be considered an integral part of a wild cat’s diet because, firstly, it provides the cat with nutrients like any other prey and, secondly, they are the easiest to catch and, sometimes, the cat consumes them in large quantities.
Cats can also eat squirrels, bats, moles, and other large animals, but this is not common. Nevertheless, the above list gives us a rough idea of what a feral cat eats.
What does a cat’s diet in the wild depend on?
In general, a cat’s prey is any animal that is smaller than its size, or in some cases even larger.
Studies, however, show that a cat’s hunting success gradually decreases with increasing prey size. This can be explained for three reasons: firstly, larger animals are harder to capture, secondly, larger animals tend to be smarter and harder to fool, and thirdly, cats are more cautious when attacking larger games.
Also, not all cats eat everything, a cat’s diet depends on different factors:
Availability of prey. If the region is rich in rabbits, as in Australia and New Zealand, the cat’s diet will consist mostly of rabbits. In Europe and North America, cats eat mice and rats. Also, cats attack squirrels more often in the United States because the gray North American squirrels are more attractive to cats than the red European squirrels.
Seasonal changes. For example, it is much easier to catch baby rabbits in the spring, most birds are vulnerable and easier to catch in the winter, and rodents are hibernating in the winter.
A cat’s abilities and personality. Some cats specialize in one type of prey. For example, birds. Catching birds requires high skill and to maintain it, the cat goes out hunting birds as often as possible.
The social structure in which cats live. Cats live in a variety of social structures, such as free-standing cats or colonies where cats share food with each other. Sometimes this can affect the choice of prey. For example, to chase rabbits, cats are grouped and the more cats in the group, the better.
Cat gender. Some studies show that she-cats attack larger prey, such as rabbits, more often than he-cats. This is because the cat has free time to raise kittens and does not have time to hunt often, so they choose large prey because it provides more food and does not need to go out to hunt often.
The feral cat’s diet teaches us how domestic cats should eat
When it comes to nutrition, it’s not just what cats eat that matters, but how they eat.
Cats usually eat their prey whole, including muscle tissue, internal organs, bones, and feathers. So, if you feed your cat only raw meat, you will do more harm than well-balanced dry food.
Also, as you may have noticed, there are no plant foods such as fruits and vegetables in a feral cat’s diet, only grains, which cats eat along with their rodent stomachs. And it is already in a ready-to-eat state, and nutritionists still have no evidence that grains have any nutritional value for the cat.
What do cats eat in the wild? Cats diet
What do cats eat in the wild? Unlike indoor pets, these creatures do not wait until dinner time to eat. Moreover, they prefer fresh prey and do not vomit, so these animals are the cleanest in the wild. Besides, their diets are high in protein and essential nutrients. Here are some examples of what cats ate in the wild: Grasshoppers, Spiders, and Roaches
In the wild, cats eat many different things, from mice and insects to birds and reptiles. While in urban environments, they mainly eat rats and mice, which are rich in fat and protein. In the subantarctic islands, they eat noddies, terns, and penguins. They were originally introduced to Australia to control the European rabbit. However, they also eat opossums, ground-nesting birds, and reptiles.
Small mammals such as bats, rats, and mice are the major sources of protein for wild cats. In addition, foxes and rabbits are also common prey for wild cats. In subantarctic areas, cats feed on squirrels and bats. They are more difficult to catch, but a trained cat can easily capture them. Finally, cats can consume many types of fish, and they are especially useful in the wild.
Feral cats are often found in urban areas, but their diets can vary significantly. Their diets are highly protein-rich and low-fat. The average daily energy intake of feral cats is 52% protein and 46% fats, while only 2% is N-free extract (which is mostly carbohydrates). Although these foods may sound a bit strange to humans, wild cats have a diverse diet and a healthy immune system.
While domestic cats and wild cats eat small animals, their diets are more similar. They are both carnivores, and their main food is animal tissue. A cat that lives in the wild prefers to eat a rabbit in the forest because it is large enough to be a hearty meal, but small enough to be caught easily. Nevertheless, some cats may also choose to feed on humans.
Cats are opportunistic hunters and eat many different animals, including mice, birds, and reptiles. The average cat eats up to 14 different species of animals. Their diets also vary on a larger scale. In North America, they primarily eat flying and ground squirrels, while in Europe, they eat mice and grass. During the winter, they gorge on bones, feathers, and grass, which are indigestible.
A cat’s natural diet contains meat, vegetables, and fruits. Its dietary requirements are very specific, and it is best to consult a veterinarian if your cat has any special dietary requirements. If you’re concerned about your cat’s health, you should also make sure that the food you give him is suitable for his lifestyle. A balanced diet includes both raw and cooked food and vegetables. Regardless of what type of food you feed your pet, he or she will be happy.
While cats are not strictly vegetarians, they can eat almost anything that suits them. The diets of wild cats are varied, and their diets include rodents, birds, and even insects. While they can eat larger animals, most cats prefer smaller animals as food. So, what do cats eat in the wild? It depends on their environment. You can try to mimic their diet by letting your cat hunt at home, or you can also feed them at the park.
Besides meat, cats also eat non-animal tissues. These parts of the prey animals’ stomachs were probably digested by cats. So, what do cats eat in the wild? This information can be very helpful when it comes to choosing the best pet food for your cat. But it is important to remember that what they eat in the wild is not the same as what you serve your cat at home.
While domestic cats generally prefer meat, they can also eat other kinds of food. Their preference for small rodents and birds is similar to that of wild cats. They also eat plants, but they do not consume plant materials. In addition to meat, they can eat insects. In fact, these animals can survive without meat. A cat’s diet in the wild is far more varied than the diet of a domestic cat.