How can cats be both predator and prey?

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Nature is arranged in an inevitable food chain dominated largely by size in concert with predatory ability. Cats, like any other creature, are dominant in their niche, terrorizing the small rodents and birds that are their prey.

However, cats themselves, can and do easily fall prey to larger, more aggressive animals like dogs and even owls. This is a problem that has become increasingly serious for pet owners in suburban areas.

As our cities have spread outward and less and less untouched land is available, hard-pressed wildlife has begun to come into the cities in search of food. While it is true that in some cases that means scavenging in the garbage, it also means snatching small family pets including cats and small dog breeds.

In areas of the American southwest, coyotes and bobcats represent a serious threat, to the point that some homeowners are even concerned about unattended toddlers. Hunger is a powerful motivating factor in nature, and is usually the force that drives wild animals literally into our backyards.

This stark reality of nature demands extra vigilance on the part of pet owners, including keeping cats inside where they are safe and protected. If you feel that your cat absolutely must have “outside” time, investigate a secure cat enclosure, but do not lose sight of the fact that, valiant hunter though he may be, your cat is only a small creature in a very big world.

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