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Why Do Cats Bring Dead Animals to Me?

Why Do Cats Bring Dead Animals to Me?

Does your cat bring you a gift from the outdoors? Here’s why it happens.

It’s the all-too-common horror story of many a cat owner. Indoor-outdoor cats often bring home a gift to their owners in the form of a small rodent, lizard, or bird. Sometimes it is dead, and sometimes it is still alive. Your cat may not necessarily eat the poor critter, but it is appalling nonetheless. Why do cats bring dead animals to their owners? Below is the agreed-upon understanding.

Hunting Instinct

Big cats in the wild, particularly females, naturally train up their young by hunting prey and bringing back the kill. Domesticated house cats have those very same instincts. They often cannot resist the thrill of the hunt and will go after their prey with gusto. The most fundamental reason that cats bring dead animals to you is because they are treating you as family, presenting the catch to their clan, and attempting to teach you to do likewise.


Because of their predatory and carnivorous nature, cats make excellent rat catchers in barns and other populated areas. In the typical house, however, practicing their instinct may turn from a means of survival to that of play. They likely bring you their toys regularly for this reason, if not the live animals.  

What You Can Do

Cats enjoy pouncing on objects of prey and even killing the object, whether animate or inanimate. That is why they prefer toys like feather wands, moving toys, stuffed mice, and laser pointers. You can point your cat in the right direction by providing toys like these and playing with your cat. Doing so will expend your pet’s mental and physical energy and reduce the likelihood that it will threaten the wildlife. 

Cats kill billions of animals, both rodents and birds, per year. If out of control, cats can be seen as an invasive species and a menace to the native wildlife. Some cats live happily as outdoor cats, and, according to research, do kill animals regularly. However, some outdoor pets are more relaxed than others, preferring to laze on the grass rather than spend its energy. 

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 11th, 2020 at 10:57 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.