Why Do Cats Bring You Dead Animals? Weird Cat Behaviors Explained

Joan Agie
Feb 24, 2024 By Joan Agie
Originally Published on Oct 20, 2021
Hunting tortoiseshell-tabby cat alert.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.7 Min

Even though it's been 10,000 years ago since the domestication of cats, these little furry friends like to bring gifts to their owners such as dead rodents or small birds to their door.

So why do they need to hunt and kill even though we can provide them food? In this article, we will be talking in-depth about why a cat catches and gifts us their prey and the ancestry behind it.

Various behavior about house cats can be interesting. One catch about this furry friend of yours is they cannot taste most things which you give them, like sweetness.

Female cats are more prone to bring home dead animals, which for them is equal to bringing gifts to their family.

Several types of cat behavior might be a bit weird for you and your family but in reality, they are just ways through which cats show their love to you and your family.

Gift bringing in an animal such as a cat includes bringing a dead bird, catching a mouse, or killing other prey and bringing it to their owner.

This is something cats do in nature.

A cat may also scratch the owner a little or prey play with you. Teaching both male and female cats about a certain thing is important, as otherwise, it may be become a problem because it is their instinct to scratch toys, pee at the door, or prey play with your house bird.

What may seem like a cute furry cat can actually be very troublesome if you don't properly train your pet.

Their predatory instincts such as giving you or your other pet a chase around the garden, brining you gifts, urinating, or punching at your furniture are all behaviours that can be seen untrained pet cats. Although, it's not something they do to create problems, this is just their natural instinct.

It is also very common for a new cat mother to show completely different behavior characteristics such as house soiling, aggression, or scratching.

You also might want to think twice before getting a cat if you have a pet hamster or a pet mouse because their natural instinct is to harm or kill such small animals. It can be a tricky subject when your cat brings home dangerous dead animals and reptiles such as snakes.

Proper training and careful observation of this behavior in your furry friend can help you and your cat to connect to you better and to help them suppress their natural cat behavior.

It should be known that cats are very different than other pets such as a dog. They don't require much attention and respond very differently than your average pet.

For example, your cat may not like music which most pets enjoy a lot.

If you enjoyed this article, why not also read about why do cats lick each other or why do birds sing here on Kidadl?

Why do male cats bring you dead animals?

Cats were domesticated 10,000 years ago with the first evidence of them being domesticated in ancient Egypt where they also named the first discovered cat species, Mau. Yes, they named the cat after its own sound, which does not too much creativity! Even after the domestication of cats, their instinct to hunt is still as active as back then.

Cats have survived for centuries by being one of the most deadly hunters in nature. They survive by hunting, chasing, and catching wild prey.

This ability of a cat to move very quietly and see things even in pitch-black darkness makes it one of the deadliest hunters out there.

Their ancestors' instincts are still guiding them and encouraging them to hunt. Male cats bring dead animals as a sort of gift to their owners because these cats teach their young ones how to hunt at an early age.

A cat will bring its young dead animals such as mice or birds to teach them how to hunt and feed themselves.

To cats, the cat owner looks like young cats due to our fragile skin and the fact that we cannot hear a cat's actual adult voice. Male cats bring us dead animals so we don't starve and in a way, they try teaching us how to hunt the feline way.

Many a times, it is the female cat that teaches her young kitten basic manners and hunting techniques, similar to how Arlene (Garfield's wife) teaches her young kittens to delve into their inner hunting instincts.

Do cats show their hunting skills by bringing you dead animals?

Why do cats need to teach us, humans, such killing techniques when we are also the ones providing them food? In short, the answer is that cats are generally showing off.

They show off in different ways such as by shaking their fur or in this cas,e their hunting skills by bringing gifts to their owners in the form of dead animals.

Cats think that their owners, being a very fragile species, require the same level of care and attention as that of a small cute kitten. Cats believe that we should learn how to hunt and will bring you the occasional dead prey that they hunted in your backyard.

But this can be a blessing in disguise as your cat can practically take care of all the pests in your house and bring them to you whether alive or dead.

Plus, cats are pack animals who share their bounty with the rest of the pack. The mother, especially, would teach her young ones how to hunt and eat their prey.

Your pet bringing you a dead animal in their eyes is just equal to them considering you a part of their family, a caring gesture. Their hunting instincts are telling them that this is what is required to survive and they are passing down this knowledge to you.

Some people might think that this behavior, including scratching or bringing dead animals, is something related to them not being fed enough. Famous cat life experts, however, don't think so.

It's just a part of their cat behavior and nothing to do with them being hungry. For your pet, they are bringing you a gift, while for you they are just dropping home dead animals.

A predator catches a chick in the field.

What different kinds of dead animals can a cat bring?

We know that cats like to keep bringing us dead prey and are trying to teach us how to hunt and kill prey. However, what kind of pest or prey will a cat likely to bring home dead?

The answer is a lot. Like for example, 'Garfield' likes to bring back a lot of prey or gifts such as rodents and wild pigeons.

Indoor and outdoor cats like bringing home dead animals of various types such as dead mice, birds, or small insects lying in your neighborhood.

They bring such prey as these animals contain raw meat with sufficient nutrients and may train and strengthen a kitten's teeth for cutting through such meat.

Can you stop a cat from bringing you a dead animal?

It may become unappealing to keep burying your cat's prey which they catch and give to you, which may be alive or dead. So how do we stop this behavior?

To know how to stop your pet from trying to teach you how to hunt, you need to realize that this is natural for the cat to hunt such food.

It is in their nature to hunt and teach this ability to their kittens whether it be an indoor or an outdoor cat.

Even trying to teach them to drop their prey by giving them toys or treats makes them think that the more prey they get, the more treats they shall get. You can imagine the training that you will have to give to your cat.

Proper training is important because otherwise they may repeat some of their habits such as bringing back dead animals into the house, playing catch with any pet in the house, or just killing surrounding birds, as a part of playful cat hunting.

The best ways are to make sure that your cat can't go outside. If they can't go outside, they can't hurt and if they can't hunt, they won't keep bringing a dead animal to your doorstep.

You can make them busy with puzzles, providing a treat for solving them. You just have to ensure there is enough to play with inside the house.

If this above step looks a bit tedious, there is another method to make sure they are using their hunting instinct. Make them chase toy mouse and this toy can be a fun plaything for your kitty.

Females can also teach their kittens how to hunt, rather than bringing dead animals to your doorstep. You will get cute looking toys while your cat teaches you how to hunt, which is an amazing upgrade from dead animals.

So next time your cat brings gifts to you such as a dead mouse or any other such animal, you will know why they do it and what you can do to make sure they stop bringing home dead animals.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for [ why do cats bring you dead animals?

is it a prey or instinct? then why not take a look at why do cats like milk so much? should you treat your kitty, or purrrfect facts about the Ragamuffin cat kids will love.

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Written by Joan Agie

Bachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

Joan Agie picture

Joan AgieBachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.

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