Why Do Cats Eat The Head Off Of Their Prey? (Explained)

Cats are renowned for being great hunters and it’s something that comes naturally to them. Whether it is chasing rabbits, birds, and/or mice, they are always on the lookout for prey. This hunting instinct is what makes them complete specific behaviors when dealing with their prey. You may even ask, why do cats eat the head off of their prey?

Cats prefer eating the head as it is tasty and ensures they have killed the prey. Cats will often leave the spleen behind as it is not the preferred part of the body to consume.

Each cat is different when it comes to these preferences. Some are going to enjoy taking the time to eat the head, while others are just going to grab a few bites before moving on. It all comes down to how hungry they are in the grand scheme of things.

Key factors include:

  • Hunger of the Cat
  • Time Spent Hunting

Cats can start playing with their prey before eating. This is often done as a way to prolong the experience and enjoy it depending on how hungry they are at that moment.

For those asking “Why do cats eat the head off of their prey?” you will want to begin by understand what causes a cat to start from the head.

This article will answer your question along with highlighting some of the reasons that come along with a cat biting the head when eating.

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Reasons Cats Eat The Head Off Of Their Prey

1. Quick Kill

When hunting, the cat is often going to optimize its hunting process.

Their goal is to conserve energy and the best way of doing this is to quickly kill the prey. By targeting the head, they can make sure the prey doesn’t squirm as soon as it is caught.

This is a common strategy that is employed by all sorts of cats whether it is domestic or wild cats. As a result, when asking “Why do cats eat the head off of their prey?” you have to focus on what the cat is seeing as soon as it catches up to the prey.

It is natural for the cat to want to eat the head as this will ensure the prey is dead on the spot. Once they are dead, it is easier to eat the rest of the body.

why do cats eat the head off of their prey

2. Tasty Part of the Body

When asking “Why do cats eat the head off of their prey?” you will also want to consider which parts of the body are preferred by a cat.

Most are going to enjoy eating the meatier parts and that does include the head.

If the cat has the opportunity to settle into place, it can have a dramatic effect on how the cat eats its prey. This includes what part of the body it eats.

Cats will often eat the preferred parts of the prey first and this includes the head.

Most cats will pick and choose what they end up eating.

This is critical whether it’s figuring out the cat is going to eat the head or the rest of the body. Most are going to leave specific parts of the prey such as the spleen due to its unsavory taste. It might also be harder to digest, which is why they focus on the meatier parts.

why do cats eat the head off of their prey

3. Easier to Consume

Another detail to think about when asking “Why do cats eat the head off of their prey?” it comes down to simple consumption.

A cat is going to want to conserve energy while ensuring the meat goes through its digestive system without issue. This is why most prefer eating the head off of the prey.

Cats want to keep their digestive system in good health and the head can be a good place to start from this perspective.

A mice will have a much simpler time chewing on this part of the body.

It will also ensure there are no digestive issues that continue to linger for a long time.

Related Questions

1. Why Do Cats Kill And Not Eat Their Prey?

Some cats will kill their prey without eating it. This is due to their natural hunting instinct even when they are not hungry enough to digest the food.

2. Do Cats Take The Heads Off Birds?

Yes, it is common for cats to take the heads off birds. This is done to help kill the bird and make sure it is easier to consume.

Final Thoughts

“Why do cats eat the head off of their prey?”

The average cat will eat the head off of their prey. This includes mice, birds, and/or other animals. Cats will often do this to make sure they don’t have an issue eating the animal.

Here is more on cats – Learning about a cat’s kneecaps, reasons cats have nipples, advice for removing a cat’s sheath, and finding the best possible toothpaste for a cat.