The answer to the question may astound some of you. What do cats eat? Your probable answer, of course, would be cat food. Sure, cats eat store-bought cat food, but they eat so many other things and you may be surprised at what some of those things are. What happens when a stray cat adopts a family and the family never feeds the cat? The cat has to live on something, right? We have no pet cats in our compound but a stray cat (starting as a kitten) has decided to make us humans his pets.
We have quite a few stray cats come in and out of our compound. Each one will run as soon as it’s spotted, except for one because he lives in our compound now. I’m not sure where these stray cats actually call home, but I suspect it’s a vacant lot next door.
Two of the cats are fish thieves. When relatives are cooking fish along with other odoriferous foods in a makeshift dirty kitchen, they have to stay in that area. Each time the fish are left unattended, either a large yellow-colored tabby or a black and white whatever will steal one or more fish, right from the frying pan.
These particular cats are missing parts of their tails. They happen to be the same cats I hear in cat fights almost every night and I assume they’re fighting with each other.
The Cat Who Adopted Us
This cat is no different in appearance from all the rest. He’s a not a tabby and his colors are dark gray and white. The dark gray is almost black, but not quite. I first noticed this cat when it was still a kitten, roaming around the compound and meowing every morning for something to eat. Unlike the other stray cats at the time, this kitten never ran from anyone. No one fed the kitten, but the kitten found scraps to eat from people eating outside their homes.
I recently found out where the cat is hanging out when he isn’t roaming around the compound, harassing people. I saw him lying on a tarp or something on the tin roof over a brother-in-law’s house. That part of the roof is very near to one of our privately-owned street lights and one of his food supplies: Insects that congregate around that fluorescent light.
I found out about his preferred place when I walked out on my balcony and he jumped off the roof, onto the hood of my car, down to then driveway and then considered jumping over the expanse between the driveway and my balcony. It was a little too far for him to cross by leaping from a standstill and I’m kind of glad because I didn’t want him getting into my bedroom.
When this cat is not looking for something to eat, he is one of the most affectionate cats I have ever seen. When I or one of my relatives is sitting on one of the lawn chairs between our houses, he will jump onto laps, purring and snuggling as he goes. Everyone puts him down immediately because he’s bound have a lot of fleas on him (although he appears pretty clean).
What Do Cats Eat?
Of course cats will eat store-bought cat food — that food has been formulated just for cats and mimics the flavors they really love, like chicken and fish (and the more expensive cat food actually has these as ingredients). Cats eat other things, naturally, and some things you probably wouldn’t approve of.
I write from experience because I’ve had many opportunities to observe cat behavior over the years. Cats at my parents’ home, when I was young, would run up the side of the wall with the outdoor light on it, just to munch down on a few stray cicadas. I don’t know how they catch them here, but I’ve seen at least one cat feasting on them.
Cats eat mice and that’s a given. Why else would so many cartoons use it as a plot device? I haven’t actually seen any mice being eaten but our unnamed cat has been seeing playing with a couple of dead mice.
Cats eat snakes – at least the small ones. The fish thieves have been spotted tearing apart small snakes behind one of the houses on more than one occasion. It’s probably why I never see snakes in the compound and you have to know there are a lot of snakes in the tropics.
Cats are more finicky than dogs. Dogs will eat almost anything they consider edible. Cats seem to prefer some forms of meat or fish and some kinds of insects. If they eat anything else, I’ve never noticed. One thing is odd though with the cat with no name. He will eat fish or chicken with rice if he finds it that way. I have never seen any other cat eat rice, even when starving for food.