why does my cat yowl when she hunts ?

by Gina
(Fair Oaks CALIF. USA)

My cat has a stuffed rat and when ever she gets it she yowels like shes in pain. I thought cats hunted silently. Does she think its a dead kitten ? I feel like shes so upset and i dont know what it means. Shes a rescue cat. She was abused and rescued and caged at the ASPCA. She was so scared that they had to use leather gloves to handle her,that was the first 2 years of her life.Shes a brown tabby and i adopted her at 2 years old, shes 6 now. Shes still skittish but pretty much a lap cat, very sweet. She brings her stuffed rat to me day and night, sometimes i wake up with it in my bed, i call it Ratatoui and ask her where Ratatoui is, but what troubles me is she seems so upset when she hunts it, yoweling with it in her mouth as she carries it, its in her pet bed a lot,sometimes she sleeps with it, sometimes its in the hall or in the living room. I dont know if she ever had kittens, she is fixed but i feel awful the way she cries. Ive had a lot of cats but this is new to me. Any ideas ?

Thank You

Answer from Kate
No dont worry this is not distressed calling. Some cats get very excited when hunting and if they are a vocal ct anyway will often make yowling sounds when hunting. ALso she will realize that she is not actually hunting but playing and so making a noise is just part of the game.

I have had cats who hunt mice etc and are as silent as can be but when playing wth stuffed toys will act out hunting but will also yowl etc.

I know a cats yowl can sound distressing to us but it is noting to worry about. Cats often make noise for our benefit anyway and so she may just be sharing the game with you.

best wishes Kate

Comments for why does my cat yowl when she hunts ?

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Hunting yowl
by: Anonymous

My cat does this, too. She's always had a loving home sonce a little kitten and is super friendly. She's had the same stuffed toy, a small red Ernie, all her life. It's a wild cry but we are just amused by her hunting.

Our cat does this too
by: Anonymous

We have a rescue cat who does this too. She was a kitten on the street, who always ran away, so we bought a trap and brought her inside. She's gradually (over a couple of years) gotten more friendly, though she still doesn't like to be picked up.

Anyway, she also yowls when she plays with a little stuffed toy. She doesn't really make noise at other times, unlike one of our other cats who often meows but never yowls.

I'm curious about why it happens too, but as the other poster said, it doesn't seem to be a distress thing. Maybe if she was still on the street, this would serve to summon other cats, who could help make sure the meal didn't escape.

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