Cats with their toys Source: flickr via creative commons

Newer neophyte cat owners may sometimes become baffled when their beloved pets will come to them and offer up their favorite toys, or when their outdoors-y cats will also sometimes bring home some of their prey to their “masters/mistress”.

But why cats do that? And should the cat owners stop this sort of behavior?

Well, that really depends…

Cats – despite being cute, adorable, and even though most cat owners coo at them like a permanent baby – are predators. Nothing can breed that out, even after millennia of being domesticated to today’s standards. It’s basically the “nature of the beast”. So naturally; it will always show up, and them bringing you stuff is one of many of their inborn creature habits.

Here are a couple of the reasons as to why they may be doing that, but no matter which one it is below, it’s part of how they shower you with love and appreciation:

  1. if they’re indoor cats and they start bringing you their favorite toys, it means they might want to play with you. You can try to set some time for that when they do so. I know one of my mom’s cats loves to somehow sneak into their bathroom and bring her some of her unopened “napkins” if the little thing couldn’t find their toy ball to play toss/fetch with. We always have that handy pet laser pointer for them to hunt and chase around inside as exercise.
  2. if you have cats that venture outdoors, they may sometimes bring home prey. Cats are natural hunters, it’s within their instinct. However, just because they caught prey doesn’t mean it’s dinner all the time though. Sometimes it’ll be just a game to them, and sometimes – especially female cats – will bring home extra prey for YOU. You’re their family, naturally, they’ll want to take care of you, too – and sometimes bringing home LIVE prey means they want to teach you how to hunt. And if you respond in kind by rewarding them, they’ll make a habit of it as learned behavior.

Some owners don’t like it though when their outdoors-y cat brings home dead animals, so if you’re one of those that don’t, try to keep them more entertained indoors and never let them venture outside (see the first bullet point about indoor cats above). Personally, it’s better if they’re indoor cats 100% of the time. Less chance of them running away, getting stolen, or accidentally getting locked out of the house when you weren’t looking because they were too fast for you.

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