He’s a Hunter

My cat is a savage beast

He may look all sweet and innocent, but don’t be fooled.

This baby boy wandered into our lives last summer and quickly made it his mission to become a part of our family. 

My daughters gave him a name. This was step one in the adoption process.

Step two was finding myself on the cat food aisle of my grocery store during a routine shop and buying him food. Once feeding him commenced, we had reached a tipping point in our relationship with said cat.

The third step was allowing him inside to interact with our dog. (Well, maybe it wasn’t really allowing him in. He simply made a dash for it every time the door was opened!)

And the final step? Buying him a litter box. And figuring out that he knew how to use it!

Chicken Nugget, as my kids named him, loves scratching our sofa, chairs, and any other upholstered furniture, is in love with the sound of cans opening, and deeply appreciates a lap to sit in. He has favorite spots to sleep in and is particularly fond of my husband’s recliner.

But have we achieved the next level in our relationship?

The other morning, he came to the back door asking for entry. What my daughter didn’t know when she let him in that he was bearing gifts! 

He brought us a bird. The poor thing was still alive. I had no idea what to do, and it was clear that the creature was not going to make it. We sent both of them back outside. Nugget was very proud of his prize. 

I’ve never had a cat who was a hunter. All of my previous cats were afraid of their own shadows. This is all new to me. 

But this boy lived on his own, maybe for several months. He hunted to survive. And he enjoys spending time outside.

I find myself in the midst of an ethical dilemma. 

I’m Anne the Vegan, after all. How could I allow my cat outside where he can hunt? But is it right to not let him go out? At least by spending most of his time indoors, we are reducing his impact on the local wildlife, right? 

I can’t change the instincts of a cat, that’s for sure. 

Maybe I should get him one of those cute collars with a bell so it’s less likely that he can sneak up on his prey. I wonder, though, if that tiny little bell is enough to alert birds to his stealthy presence.

Chicken Nugget, lurking as I work! Photo by author.

As a human and vegan, I don’t understand the drive to go out a pursue another living being to conquer, especially when I provide Nugget with a bottomless bowl of kibble! He will come and get me to bring me to his bowl to show me that he can see the bottom of it, asking for a refill. And he’s extremely punctual about his 6:00 PM can of wet food. 

By all accounts, he is highly domesticated. 

But one thing is certain: this sweet kitty has a fierce side, and I’m not so sure what to think about that!


Do you have a cat? Does your cat go outside? Does it bring you gifts? I’d love to hear about it. Short of keeping a once completely outdoor kitty inside, how can I reduce his ability to hunt?

As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy. 

Published by annecreates

I am a physical therapist, wife, mom, runner, artist, and vegan. I'm passionate about helping others find wellness, speaking about the human experience, and in fighting for social justice. Assistant Coach for the Sports Backers Marathon Training Team. Current ambassador for: Boco Gear, SaltStick, SPIbelt, Goodr, Noxgear, and Switch4Good.

5 thoughts on “He’s a Hunter

  1. If he’s a tree climber, a collar can be dangerous. Ours used to bring offerings, including a mole and the occasional baby rabbit. It’s hard to deny a cat it’s hunting instincts, if it’s an outdoor cat.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have Borrito (Boris) the black cat, also named by my daughter, but adopted from the spca. Fortunately not much of a hunter (other than a few mice indoors a particularly cold winter), but he does like to go outside & watch. I also had Mouse (grey cat), she was the same level of murderer Chicken nugget is. We let her in & out her entire life & I lamented the day when she no longer wanted to go out. I had her 17 years & she was & always will be my ❤️ kitty, predilection toward murderous mayhem & all

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Chicken Nugget is SO CUTE! Our cats are indoors so they don’t bring “gifts”, but I personally wouldn’t be too worried about it if they did (just my opinion though and I totally understand and respect yours!), even though I’m vegan. It’s just their nature–they are hunters and carnivores. I hear even indoor cats deter house mice just because the mice smell their scent and stay away, so I get the benefit of the “hunter” without the actual prey!

    Liked by 1 person

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