Manipulating prey can take a number of forms but usually involves pawing the prey. Other common manipulations involve the cat tossing it in the air using the paws and/or mouth, pouncing on captured prey (see ‘Pouncing’ for description), leaping on and around it, kicking or raking it with the hind legs while lying on its side and holding the prey with its front paws and/or mouth. Many of the behaviours exhibited when manipulating prey are also seen in play behaviour (see Play).
Cats pawing mice
Cat leaping while pawing bird