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Do cats play with mice because of toxoplasmosis?

pereiropereiro Registered User new member
Hey.
Toxoplasmosis can finish a full cycle only in the cat's body. To get into the cat's body, toxoplasmosis changes the behavior of rodents and makes them not only not afraid of cats, but even striving for confrontation.
I once heard a thesis (in my opinion, logical) that cats play with mice because they check if the mouse is afraid. If the mouse is not afraid, the cat gives up and does not eat the mouse. I mean any sources that can prove the thesis that the behavior of cats can result from evolutionary adaptation. Can u help me?

Posts

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Cats don't play with mice any more than anything else they can capture, kill, and eat. Cats have powerful hunting drives that make them unable to really resist going after prey, and once they catch and kill it, their decision to eat it depends on if they are hungry.

    Shadowfirediscriderzepherindispatch.oHappylilElfLovelyQuidDaenrisTofystedeth
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Cats are amazingly efficient hunters, they have a 32% efficiency rate when it comes to killing their prey, and kill millions of birds a year. Here’s a great bbc short video on them

    Aridhol
  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    They also don't stop hunting when they're well fed. A lot of predators become more peaceful when they're not hungry, but there's a number of cat species that continue to hunt and kill even full, and your front yard has a distinct lack of hyenas to steal them.

    dispatch.ozepherinShadowfire
  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against the Irish) Registered User regular
    pereiro wrote: »
    Hey.
    Toxoplasmosis can finish a full cycle only in the cat's body. To get into the cat's body, toxoplasmosis changes the behavior of rodents and makes them not only not afraid of cats, but even striving for confrontation.
    I once heard a thesis (in my opinion, logical) that cats play with mice because they check if the mouse is afraid. If the mouse is not afraid, the cat gives up and does not eat the mouse. I mean any sources that can prove the thesis that the behavior of cats can result from evolutionary adaptation. Can u help me?

    The immediate counter of your thesis is that this behavior is not unique to cats and rodents. Ipso facto, it has nothing to do with the potential of prey to carry toxoplasmosis.

    EncIncenjucarfurlion
  • evilmrhenryevilmrhenry Registered User regular
    I assume this would have more to do with the dangers of prey fighting back. Humans cheat, but most predators need to finish off prey by actually attacking it with teeth or claws. The problem is that most prey animals are large enough compared to their predators that they can get a lucky hit in, predators don't have doctors, and they need to hunt a lot over the course of a lifetime. Even a mouse has the ability to bite or scratch a cat, creating the possibility of infection, and you only need one bad day.

    So, if a predator can corner prey, many of them will harass the prey until it's exhausted and much less likely to fight back because this is lower-risk than going for the kill immediately. I could see a predator also using this opportunity to make sure the prey doesn't look diseased or what not, but that's not the main reason.

    furlion
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