by Eva Maria Snyder
All cats are obligate carnivores that by instinct need to hunt for and feed on meat.
Before we ever learned to domesticate cats and make cute little pets out of them, this was the norm.
All modern domestic cats are descendants of the wild cats and their biological ancestor was a solitary hunter.
Each cat had a territory they patrolled and hunted for food. Because they hunt alone most cats must hunt for things that are smaller than they are.
A pack of wolves can take down a large antelope.
A pride of lionesses can take down a small elephant. But a single small cat needs to look for smaller prey.
Because they must eat meat they must hunt for living things to eat. Therefore rodents, small snakes and lizards, small birds, and bugs are the usual prey of choice for cats.
The current theory of how cats came to live with humans is that cats followed the mice out of the grasslands and into our grain storage barns. Because the cats ate the mice that were eating our grains we encouraged them to stay as free pest control.
It is only in the past hundred years that we have begun to treat cats as companion animals and provide them with food instead of expecting them to live off their own kills.
Cats chase small things that move because hunting is their primary instinct. Cats must eat meat, so cats must hunt.
Even if they get all their food out of a bowl filled by a human they can’t escape their instinct to hunt for small moving things.