This article first appeared on iCatCare here.
It’s been suggested that cats play more with ‘dangerous’ prey such as rats in order to practise manipulation and handling while avoiding being bitten.
Or it may be that the cat hasn’t learned how to kill it properly and so can’t quite reach that final stage quickly and cleanly. Movement is then necessary in order to maintain the cat’s interest in killing the prey and throwing it around causes movement.
Of course, it could be that cats simply enjoy the hunting game.