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Have you ever opened the door to find a gift from your cat – a deceased mouse or a bird? This behavior of cats bringing dead animals is surprisingly common. While it might seem like an odd present, leaving these trophies at your feet is your cat’s way of communicating.

This article will explore the reasons behind this instinct and offer solutions to keep your home free of unwanted surprises.

Why Do Cats Bring You Dead Animals?

Natural Hunters

Hunting is in your cat’s blood. Even well-fed house cats retain this primal urge. So, when they catch something “for fun,” bringing it home feels natural. However, hungry cats, or those with a history of food insecurity, might stash their kill for later.

Nurturing Through the Hunt

In the wild, mother cats introduce their young to the ways of the hunt by bringing them injured prey. This allows kittens to practice killing and eating. So, when your cat leaves you a dead spider or mice, it might be their way of nurturing you in their special way, replicating how a mother cat teaches her kittens. This cat bringing dead animals behavior might seem odd, but it’s a sign of affection in their language.

Sharing Within the Family

While you might not share their feline heritage, your cat considers you a close companion. So, when they excel at their instinct, your cat might bring you dead animals as a way of sharing their success. In their minds, they’re providing for the family unit, even if the offering isn’t quite what you had in mind.

Do Cats Actually Eat Mice?

Well, the truth is, yes, cats do eat mice sometimes. But it’s not like every cat out there is constantly on the hunt for mice. Cats are natural hunters, and mice are a common prey for them.

However, not all cats have the instinct to hunt mice, and some might not even like the taste of them. It really depends on the individual cat and its upbringing. So, while it’s true that cats can eat mice, it’s not something that happens all the time.

How to Prevent Your Cat from Bringing Dead Animals?

Since hunting is rooted in cats, eliminating the behavior might be tough. However, there are ways to discourage your cat from presenting you with these presents.

Manage Outdoor Access

The easiest way to stop your cat bringing dead animals inside? Keep them indoors. They can’t bring back “gifts” if they don’t have access to outdoor critters. But, if your cat craves fresh air, consider supervised outdoor time: leashed walks, an outdoor enclosure, or letting them hang out in a secure tent.

Playtime is Key

Another option is to redirect your cat’s hunting instinct with engaging play sessions. A wand toy is perfect for stalking and pouncing, allowing your little hunter to satisfy their instincts without harming wildlife. Aim for one or two short play sessions daily to curb their hunting desire.

Bell the Cat

Attach a quick-release bell to your cat’s collar. The jingling sound alerts potential prey, giving them time to escape and may prevent your cat bringing dead animals.

Strategic Bird Feeders

If you have bird feeders and a cat, be mindful of placement. Avoid low-hanging feeders easily accessible to your cat. If your cat is a climber, feeders might need to be eliminated altogether.


So, the next time you find your cat bringing dead animals to your doorstep, remember, it’s your cat’s way of communicating. With a little understanding and some creative solutions, you can keep your home free of unwanted surprises and strengthen the bond with your furry friend.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How to knock out a cat without killing it?

A: To knock out a cat without harming it, gently wrap it in a towel until it calms down. This technique helps to restrain the cat without causing injury, allowing you to handle it safely.

Q: What does it mean when cats bring dead animals?

A: When cats bring dead animals, it’s a natural instinct to show affection or provide food for their humans. This behavior stems from their hunting instincts and their desire to care for their human family members.

Q: What to do with dead animals your cat brings you?

A: If your cat brings you a dead animal, dispose of it properly to prevent any health hazards. Use gloves to carefully remove the animal and place it in a sealed bag before disposing of it in the trash or burying it.

Q: How should I react when my cat brings me dead animals?

A: React calmly when your cat brings you dead animals, praising it for its hunting instincts while gently discouraging the behavior.

Q: What are those animals called that eat dead animals?

A: Animals that eat dead animals are called scavengers, like vultures and hyenas.

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