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How To Stop A Cat From Bringing Dead Mice Home?

Cats are natural predators. They would hunt tiny rodents, small animals, and small birds in the wild. They would observe, stalk, leap, and kill prey.

This is not always enough to satisfy a cat's drive to hunt, even if you offer them with two square meals a day, frequent treats, and lots of time and attention with a fake bird on an elastic string at home.

There are several possible explanations for why your cat brings you dead or partially-killed rodents and other animals. But, if you do not appreciate getting these "gifts," there are actions you may do to reduce their frequency or prevent them from occurring in the future.

Learn more about this unusual behavior and whether you can take any steps to prevent it by reading "How to Stop a Cat From Bringing Dead Mice Home?" by BestForPets (bestforpets.org).

Why Does My Cat Keep Bringing Me Dead Animals?

Before determining the most effective means of preventing your cat from bringing you dead mice, you first establish why it engages in this amusing behavior. Nobody truly knows what goes through a cat’s head, however there are a few probable explanations for why cats deliver dead mice:

  • The Thrill of the Hunt: In the wild, cats watch, stalk, pounce, and kill prey. They are natural hunters. Although if finding the food dish behind the kitchen cabinet is the closest your cat comes to obligatory hunting, it is still an intuitive response.This is visible in kittens that have never left the house but nevertheless twitch when they observe birds and other possible prey through the window. Basically, your cat may bring you dead animals since it is instinctive for them to do so.
  • Safety: If your cat is a natural hunter and loves eating the prey it captures, it may be searching for the safest area to consume its prey. If you discover prey at the back door or elsewhere in the garden, it’s possible that your cat is bringing its catch back to a location where it knows it can eat it without being harmed.
  • Teaching: Your cat likely considers you to be a subpar hunter. They are able to capture birds and small animals, whereas you can only catch a shopping bag. As a teaching exercise rather than a present, they may bring you home dead animals in an effort to demonstrate how it’s done.
  • Gifting: Despite the fact that your cat may not view you as a hunter, they likely view you as a provider because you can place food in their dish. In addition to providing affection and attention when desired, you fulfill all of your cat’s other needs.

The dead mouse at the front entrance might be your cat’s way of expressing gratitude for your efforts. They went to the trouble of stalking and hunting that mouse.

Neighbor's Cat Leaving Dead Animals

Your neighbor’s cat may also bring you dead animals for the same reasons. If you have limited interaction with the cat, it is more probable that food thieves avoided your doorway since it was a handy spot.

If you feed your neighbor’s cat, they may be repaying a favor, and if you let them inside your home, they may have detected your ineffectiveness as a hunter and are attempting to teach you the necessary skills.

Stray Cat Leaving Dead Animals

Similarly, a stray cat may have left food on your porch for one of the following reasons: Stray cats are typically more possessive of their food and more prone to consume the tiny animals they do catch.

Hence, safety and convenience are most likely. Remember that stray cats do not know where their next meal will come from, so it is rather risky for them to leave food for you.

How to Stop a Cat From Bringing a Dead Mouse Home:

If your cat brings you dead mice, you should resist the urge to become angry. You should attempt to thank the cat for the present and take the procedures below to reduce the quantity of dead mice you receive in the future.

1. A Necklace With a Bell

Put a bell around your cat’s neck, and it will alert its prey that it is approaching. That eliminates one of your cat’s most potent weapons: stealth.

While purchasing a collar for a cat, safety should be kept in mind. A stiff collar that fits snugly around the neck might become caught on branches and other objects. This might prevent the cat from returning home. Even worse, it may constrict and prevent your cat from breathing. Make sure the collar has a fast release.

2. Dictate Time Outside

One strategy to prevent your cat from hunting is to prohibit it from entering the outdoors. However, if you want to minimize the trapping and killing of animals but still want your cat to spend time outside, you should limit their time outdoors.

Before dusk and just after daybreak, birds are more likely to attack. They are a little drowsy and their senses are not as sharp as they are during the day, so your cat is more likely to jump on them.

Your cat has a greater chance of capturing mice at night since mice are more active at night. This is the reason why you are more likely to discover a dead mouse on your back porch in the early morning.

Determine when your cat is most likely to deliver gifts, and prevent it from spending too much time outdoors at these times. Plan mealtimes and activities that will encourage your cat to remain at home at these times.

3. Avoid being an easy target

Feeding tables and birdbaths are beneficial to wild birds because they provide a reliable food supply and a place to rest and bathe. They provide a definite spot where birds will congregate without necessarily catching their attention, which may be highly useful to your cat.

In a similar manner, feeders may attract other animals, such as mice that ingest food remnants on the ground near the feeder’s base. Even if you keep the bird food in a shed or garage, there is a chance that mice have found it and your cat has worked out where they are going.

Keep feeders out of the reach of cats, use difficult-to-access baths, and protect tiny animals from feline predators.

4. Perform Further

Regardless matter how frequently you play with your cat, it may still hunt for food among the local fauna. But, if your cat has been bringing home a significant number of dead rats and other animals, it may be doing it for amusement.

Even if this is not the case, your cat will be able to satisfy its feline impulses to seek items if you play with it more.

Toys that are interactive, like as fishing poles with artificial birds linked to an elastic rope, fascinate the hunter cat tremendously. The irregular movement of the bird mimics that of a wild animal, and the catnip covering will excite your pet’s senses.

In addition to amusing your cat, laser pointers are also simple for you to use. You may unwind in your favorite recliner while encouraging your cat to run about the room to expend excess energy.

5. Training

This approach may fall under “hopeful but unlikely,” but you may learn your cat to perform desired behaviours and avoid performing bad ones.

Teaching your cat to stop bringing you dead presents can be challenging, not least because you are seeking to prevent your cat from engaging in a behavior that is natural and embedded in their nature. Yet, because cats are also quite independent.

When your cat brings you a dead mouse, you should praise it and offer it a catnip-scented toy to play with before disposing of the mouse when your cat’s attention wanders. Your cat may ultimately opt to bring you catnip toys instead of dead mouse toys if you continue to do so.

Cats and Dead Mice

Cats are outstanding hunters. They are very adept in observing, stalking, ambushing, and quietly leaping on their victim. They chase mice, tiny birds, frogs, and even butterflies.

Some of these creatures may be brought to you as gifts or as training aids, and it may be difficult to convince them to quit. 

You may attempt to stop your cat from bringing home dead mice by using the five methods listed in “How to Stop a Cat From Bringing Dead Mice Home?” by BestForPets (bestforpets.org).

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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