are domestic cats apex predators

Cats are one of the most common household pets and are often seen as cuddly and cute. However, they are also apex predators, which means they are at the top of the food chain. This designation is due to their hunting abilities, which are highly evolved and effective.

What are apex predators?

Since apex predators are at the top of the food chain, they have no natural predators in their environment. In their particular habitats, big cats like lions, tigers, jaguars, and lynx are regarded as apex predators.

Saying that domestic house cats are the top carnivorous creatures in the food chain might seem like a stretch. However, cats are actually highly evolved ambush predators because they can jump many times their height from a standing position, narrow their shoulders and chest to fit into small spaces, and nearly always land on their feet after falling.

Cats are nature’s rodent control

Aside from the unfortunate songbird statistics, cats have been an important part of the past 10,000 years as apex predators: as agricultural practices spread, cats were nature’s best rodent control. Farmers benefited from keeping these pests away from food sources, which resulted in the domestication of house cats.

It turns out that cats eat their prey to obtain taurine, an essential amino acid, so what is it about mice and rats that triggers their predatory instincts? Cats must consume taurine through their diet, which is only found in animal sources, as they are unable to synthesize it on their own like many other species (including humans and dogs). This is why cats are considered obligate carnivores.

Domestic cats are naturally referred to as “mousers” as a result of these cat and mouse games. ”.

If your cat spends a lot of time outside, you’ve probably woken up one morning to discover that it has left a small “gift”—a dead mouse or bird—on your doorstep. Our best guess for this behavior is that your cat is attempting to instruct you.

Cats are more adept hunters in the open, where their prey has nowhere to hide, according to an Australian study. The cats that were studied were successful in killing their prey 80% of the time in open areas. In contrast, tigers only kill their prey once every twenty times, and leopards only succeed once every seven times. Cats are among the world’s deadliest feline predators pound for pound because of this.

Cats don’t just hunt mice or birds. They target snakes, lizards, and frogs. Cats have the potential to seriously contribute to the extinction of numerous endangered species in areas where they are prevalent. Even though domestic cats don’t need to hunt, a lot of them still do so because it comes naturally to them. Cats frequently don’t even consume the prey they kill.

It’s estimated that domestic cats kill hundreds of millions of small animals every year in the U.S. alone. Worldwide between pet cats and strays, it’s estimated that the total number of animals killed by cats venture into the billions. These latter figures are disputed given how hard it is to count the number of stray cats, but it’s safe to say that cats kill a lot of animals.

But kills from domestic cats still add up. If you have a cat, the best course of action is to simply keep your cat inside. It’s safer for the cat and the surrounding animals. Therefore, you don’t have to give up your pets; just make sure to give them more attention.


Are cats the apex predators?

Wild cats are apex predators. This means they are at the top of the food chain. Almost nothing preys on them and their biggest threats are humans.

Are domestic cats predatory?

Domestic house cats are highly skilled predators and outdoor cats living near or adjacent to natural areas are likely to prey on many of our nature neighbors. A domestic cat’s motivation to hunt is strong and even your well-fed cat will prey on local birds, small mammals, and reptiles if given the opportunity.

What kind of predator is a house cat?

But the truth is, cats are perfectly evolved ambush predators: They can lengthen their spines to allow for bursts of speed, narrow their shoulders and chest to squeeze into tiny spaces, jump many times their height from a standing position, and land on their feet almost every time they fall.

Are house cats good killers?

Despite their small stature and memeable mugs, domestic cats (Felis catus) are perfectly adapted killing machines, armed with retractable claws, sharp fangs and night vision. And these potent predators are anything but picky.