You may look over at your cat and see a playful little fluffball that’s every bit as goofy as you are. But there’s more to a cat than just that. They prefer to hunt at night and hunt they will, possibly bringing their kills back to a not-so-impressed owner.
When your cat brings you a dead animal or bug, even if it’s still squirming around a little bit, existing somewhere between life and imminent death, it’s for two reasons. The first reason is that the cat thinks it’s teaching you, and the second is because you’re part of its pack.
This is especially true if your cat is a female. It’s the female’s job to teach its young how to hunt as proficiently as she can. Your cat is telling you that she is sharing her kill with you. And that you need to get up off of your lazy behind and catch some cockroaches with her.
The fact that she brought you a cockroach has no additional symbological value other than it just so happened to be the unlucky creature to cross her path when she was in full-on hunt mode.
Or, it means that your home has a more significant problem, and it’s either a potential or full-fledged cockroach invasion.
How Should You React?
If you react repulsed, flip out, throw the roach away in front of your cat, or do any number of things other than politely receiving the incredible gift that your little huntress has delivered to you, your cat will get the wrong impression.
That wrong impression will only lead your cat in one direction, and that direction is to go find something bigger and more fearsome than the cockroach, such as a mouse or snake.
So you will be stunned at her hunting abilities. And will try so much harder to emulate her instead of watching yet another Netflix series.
Remember, your cat feels like it’s contributing to the home with which you share. If you let your cat know that its contribution is unacceptable, it will only try harder. Maybe you’ll get a lizard next time, or a fluffy bunny rabbit, or a squirrel.
The point is the contribution will only increase unless you work proactively to head off your cat’s instincts to hunt.
Redirect its focus and get your cat to burn its hunting energy on something far more frivolous that doesn’t involve dropping a chewed-up, still squirming roach on your face while you’re sleeping.
How to Redirect Your Cat’s Hunter Instinct
If your cat is solely an inside cat, you may not have to do much in the way of redirection as you will towards just getting rid of the cockroaches. However, if your cat is bringing you multiple roaches, you probably either have an invasion going on or a burgeoning one.
There are plenty of ways to go about doing this that will have your cat expending all of its energy on other things. That way, she won’t hunt down cockroaches and lay them on your pillow at night and early in the morning.
- Get rid of the cockroaches
- Spend more playtime with your cat
- Purchase distraction types of cat toys
- Wand and feather toys
Cockroach Bait Traps
Bait traps are an excellent choice because—even if your cat can reach it, all it can do is bat it around—they’re generally harmless to your cat and will kill or trap roaches.
One cheap and effective bait trap is the Coachmaster Pest Trap, which is essentially a glue board that is enclosed in an open-ended box.
It won’t outright kill the roaches, but it will trap them permanently for you to dispose of at your leisure.
The Black Flag Roach Motels are another good choice. Designed just like the Coachmaster Pest Trap, the difference is, Black Flag is full of poison, which will kill the roach in time, but not until after it has gone home for the day and infected every other roach it comes into contact with.
You can also grab some Hot Shot Liquid Roach Bait Traps that are yet another mechanism in which roaches have to go inside in order to get poisoned. So there are plenty of options when choosing your roach-killing device that is harmless to your cat.
Diatomaceous earth does to roaches what Borax and Boric Acid do, which is tear them to pieces from the inside and out.
At a microscopic level, Diatomaceous Earth is made up of thousands of tiny pieces that are razor-sharp, attach themselves to a roaches leg, and proceed to cut them to pieces.
It’s a great choice in combatting roaches because it is generally harmless to your cat, even if your cat accidentally ingests some of it.
Spend More Play Time
Your cat needs exercise, and it needs it on a daily basis. Sure, it may be boring for you, and you may feel like you don’t have the time. However, when you acquired the cat, you took on the responsibility of taking care of it. A major part of taking care of your cat is giving it attention and playing with it.
It won’t take much either way. Cats are more than happy to engage in play, but it’s not like they will keep it going for hours on end. The main point is to get them to burn off a great deal of energy, which also happens to reduce their hunting instinct.
Purchase Distraction Toys
The online marketplace is absolutely loaded with cat toys made up of just about anything you can imagine. However, automated and interactive toys are the ones to focus on.
These are just some prime examples of really great ideas to keep your cat entertained, and these kinds of toys work to reduce that hunter and killer instinct, not by removing it but by engaging it.
These are the kinds of toys that will both distract and exercise your cat. For example, detering your cat from hunting a cockroach or other bugs in the middle of the night. And deliver to your pillow in the morning.
Wand and Feather Toys
Anything that you can dangle in front of a cat and bounce around will immediately get its attention. A few minutes, maybe five or six times a day, will be more than enough to temper your huntress or hunter cat.
Regardless of what you use, the idea is simply to get some of that energy out.
Mouse or Bug Toys
Cats are natural hunters. Therefore, toys that resemble prey will keep them entertained. Choose toys that look real in color, movement, and noise, as your cat will get more entertainment from them.
Don’t worry; your cat is not going wild or returning to some primitive, instinctual roots if it drops a cockroach in your lap, even if the cockroach is still alive—which will be worse. Instead, when your cat brings you a mouse, bug, snake, cockroach, etc your cat is simply letting you know that you are part of her pack.
As a part of her pack, you need to learn to hunt as well. So take it as your cat treating you as one of her pupils, instructing you in the ways of survival.