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Please help! I am a novice cat owner. I have a two year old male (neutered) Maine Coon-type cat that showed up as a stray over a year ago. He decided to move in with me and my two terriers. He is a great cat, quite a character. He is an inside/outside cat, because I have a pet door for the dogs and also if I tried to keep him in he yowls and drives me nuts. I suppose that is because he was a stray and used to living outdoors.

Anyway...the problem is that he has taken to killing rats, and more recently, EATING them!! He has kept them outside until the other day when I came home to find some innards of some sort in the living room. Outside, I found the flattened, decapitated body of a rat. Yuck!

I normally only feed Joey a high quality dry cat food. Could his rat-eating be due to his need for fresh meat? I sometimes give him tuna, but maybe not enough. Is there anything I can feed him to prevent the rat eating? Please, any suggestions will be appreciated!

Bridget
 

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Nah, no matter what you feed Joey, it's normal that cats still retain their hunting instincts. Especially if he used to be a stray. Rats, birds, etc. Nothing you can do about it unless you keep him inside completely, and I don't know if it's possible in your case.

This is different from the rat hunting thing. I noticed that you mention feeding him only dry. If ya do a search in the forum on foods, you'll find some compelling reasons to maybe start him on wet also.

Good luck!

Oh, and
 

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Yeah, maybe he'll just grow out of it as he fully adjusts to "pet" life. All of my cats have hunted strange creatures. Just check him often for cuts and bites that he may have gotten from rats etc. You don't want him contracting a disease from any of these critters. Good luck with him. Oh, I have a female Maine Coon too. :D
 

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Thanks for the replies.
For the past few days there have been a couple of those large, mean, black, yellow and white birds (?) squawking loudly outside from morning through night. They are very aggressive and swoop and terrorize my dogs and Joey the cat whenever they go outdoors. I imagine they have a nest in one of the trees. Well...today it is quiet. I went outside to find one of the birds decapitated and lying in the bark. Joey strikes again!!

He is really a friendly cat, and was neutered when he showed up at my house, so may have belonged to someone but decided to stay here. I don't know. I advertised to find his home and no one claimed him. Everyone who comes to my house just loves him, he is so social and a great big love bug. He is also huge, as Maine Coons are.

I may well try feeding him tuna for a while, to see if it curbs his appetite for eating his prey. It wouldn't be as bad if he didn't eat them. Bleh! :?

Thanks again. I will ask you experienced owners the next time I have another confusing cat behavior!
 

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I have male maine coon (still only a kitten)

They say that a cat hunting and bringing their catch back to their home is their way of trying to teach us to hunt - like they would do their own kittens so I wouldn't get too mad at him. And I guess in the wild they would naturally eat their prey so to me it sounds kinda normal.

I however do not know if eating rats could have any affect on your cat health wise etc. Dr Jean is best person to know that I guess!

Hayley x x
 

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Make sure you keep yer little fella up to date on all his shots, flea and worm treatment, rats and other animals carry lots of nasties which could kill your baby.
 

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Please do not feed Joey tuna! It's not good for cats, for many reasons. The worst one is that, as a top-of-the-food-chain predator, tuna is full of heavy metals, wastes, and other toxins that we humans have so thoughtfully been dumping into the oceans for 100 years. You can give a little bit of tuna or tuna juice as an *occasional* treat, but not more than that.

Dry food is definitely not an adequate diet for cats. It's very high in carbohydrates (which cats can't adequately metabolize). I'm not surprised that Joey has taken to acquiring his own supplementation of fresh meat, though I'm very impressed with his prowess! For more info, see:
http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.php?a ... cannedfood
You can also supplement him with raw or lightly cooked ground turkey or chicken, as long as it doesn't amount to more than 10-15% of his total diet. Organic is best; and stay away from beef because of the horrid contamination problems in the meat-packing industry.

Feeding better food may cut down on the eating of what he catches, but once a cat has learned to hunt so successfully, only keeping him indoors will stop his depredations.

Boy, I sure wish I'd known Joey the summer that dratted magpie woke me up every day at 5:30 AM!! Please give him my congratulations! :wink:

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks again for your information.

Being that this is my first ever cat, I am learning each day. I have had dogs my whole life, but always wanted a cat.

I thought that tuna would be a safe bet for Joey, being that it is "safe" for human consumption and is just fish. Looks like I will have to give away the 10 cans I bought for him yesterday! Oh well.... :lol:

I will see if I can find a decent canned cat food, although I am very wary about any commercial pet foods - too much rendered yuck. Seems the industry is using our pets as living garbage disposals!

Update: rat head in the dining room. I don't know how much of this I can take! :eek:
Thanks for the support, all!
 

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Just return them to the store; they'll take them back.

Where are you in Sacramento? I used to live in Rancho Cordova! :) You can get decent cat food at Western Feed & Pet Supply, 1600 34th St, Sacramento, CA - 916-452-4741. It's between Stockton and Folsom Blvd. It's real easy to get to from either the Cap City or 50.

You're right about the pet food industry, but there are better and worse foods. Here's how to tell the good from the bad:
http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.php?a ... w&item=004

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hello - I live in Carmichael, near Ancil Hoffman park. There is a Western Feed here in the area, too. I don't know what brands are good.

I would make Joey food myself, but am a vegetarian and don't like to buy raw meats and wouldn't be able to stomach cooking it! I cook for the dogs (some veg stuff) but know that cats need meat (or so I have learned!) I hope that feeding him canned food will help.

There are two rats and one bird in the trash, just from the last few days!

I checked out your site. It's great. One day I may be a cat expert! Joey is a good beginners' cat (despite his murderous habits!)

I would post his picture someplace, but can't quite figure out how - will work on it. :D

Bridget

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myfalla said:
For the past few days there have been a couple of those large, mean, black, yellow and white birds (?) squawking loudly outside from morning through night. They are very aggressive and swoop and terrorize my dogs and Joey the cat whenever they go outdoors. I imagine they have a nest in one of the trees. Well...today it is quiet. I went outside to find one of the birds decapitated and lying in the bark. Joey strikes again!!
That sounded kinda scary hehe j/k. I'm sure Joey was fed up with this bird swooping around and bothering him and the dogs. I just find it really amazing how some cats are really good hunters..... :wink:
 
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