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Why Do Cats Bring You Dead Animals As Gifts?

That is something that many cat owners recognize. You let your cat outside, only to find hours later a dead mouse on your doormat or, god forbid, one still alive on your kitchen floor. Numerous individuals refer to this as your pet delivering you a present. This may be too simple or human-like. In any case, cats are not little, hairy humans.

Continue reading "Why Do Cats Bring You Dead Animals as Gifts?" by BestForPets (bestforpets.org) for further detail.

Taking Care of Their Young

It is reasonable to state that felines are more susceptible. But, they are not unique in carrying food to another animal. Numerous other animals, including birds and wolves, do the same way with their offspring.

You will observe this in young altricials who are born helpless and dependent on their parents for survival. Moreover, canines will bring prey to their dens to feed their puppies. This gives one explanation for this phenomenon.

Your residence is your cat’s den. It implies a connection between parents and offspring. The domesticated cat’s ancestors separated from other felines between 8 and 10 million years ago. They have always been lonely creatures. Existing social group consists of adults and their kittens.

This makes us question how our cats see us. Are we substituting for their offspring?


It is difficult to live as a predator. In any case, it is not certain that you will always be successful when hunting. Very few animals are killed, especially among solitary species.

African Wild Dogs had the highest success rate, at 85%. Cats are less lucky. Even lions carry food home just 25% of the time. At 32%, domestic cats surpass the king of the jungle.

If your pet brings its prey home, it is reaping the benefits of a good hunt, even if it does not immediately consume it. Food is difficult to find in the wilderness.

The Pet-Owner Bond

Some pet owners view their cats bringing home dead animals as a kind gesture. Scientists have conducted extensive study on the relationship between canines and people.

We know far more about our relationship with dogs than with cats. Nonetheless, interest has risen as more research into these bonds has been conducted. There is scientific proof that cats build relationships with their owners.

We’ve discovered that our dogs can detect our emotions. They are able to learn their names. They plan our schedules in order to meet us when we get home. Many of us would term such value-driven love.

Our cats are lavished with food, treats, and toys. Logic dictates that our dogs exhibit the same feeling as us. It may not be scientific, but it is undeniably comforting when your cat curls up next to you.

Instinct Behind the Drive

It is reasonable to assume that cats have a unique perspective on the world. They behave unlike dogs. In contrast, they appear to be more in touch with their wild side than our canine companions.

This is a reasonable notion, given that cats lived near humans but not necessarily alongside them at first. Perhaps that still holds true now. How many pet owners, after all, would let their pets go free during the night?

The centuries-long impact of domestication on canine behavior has been profound. It is important to note that humans tamed dogs around 40,000 years ago.

Prior to 12,000 years ago, we did not do the same action with cats. This indicates that our feline companions are more in touch with their wild nature. Many of their habits mirror their lives before to being pets.

Consider some behaviors you’ve surely witnessed in your cat, such as its fondness for boxes or its penchant for chasing birds outside your window. To catch a mouse, your cat is just acting on instinct and allowing its prey drive to take control.

It carries its reward home since it resides there. Your pet has recognized the area as a safe haven. Why wouldn’t it hunt there?

It is important to note that certain felines, such as leopards, hide their meals. These felines will place their prey in a tree for protection.

Similar behaviors are shown by other species, such as squirrels burying nuts they have discovered. Scientists have also witnessed the European Wild Cat storing food. Interestingly, this animal is an ancestor of the domestic cat.

Deterring This Behavior

We get why you would not wish for your cat to share its prey. It is unpleasant if you must kill the rodent yourself. Although you may be impossible to prevent your cat from behaving naturally, there are measures you may do to dissuade it.

A pet that is full is less inclined to search for food elsewhere. We recommend giving your cat food made for its life stage, in the quantity advised by the manufacturer.

As food becomes scarce, survival and instinct step in. These factors will motivate a cat to hunt and maybe bring home something to share. We advise feeding your animal a high-protein diet. This will make your cat feel fuller for longer and less inclined to seek out additional food.

Rodents and other animals frequently contain parasites and other disease-causing bacteria that can pose a health risk to you, your pet, and your family.

The second aspect involves pest control. Many pesticides include components that might potentially be hazardous to your cat.

Keeping your pet indoors is one of the most effective strategies. But, we recognize that there is not a guarantee that the conduct will be deterred.

Final Thoughts

As said in “Why Do Cats Bring You Dead Animals as Gifts?” by BestForPets (bestforpets.org), many creatures run on autopilot, exhibiting survival-promoting habits.

Your cat likely does similarly. Taking food to its den gives it a safe spot to savor its hard-won feast, away from other predators that may attempt to steal it.

Nonetheless, we get it. We also appreciate the thought of our pet sharing its perspective with us as a token of affection. After all, it makes things appear less disagreeable even if we don’t enjoy it.

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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