Why Do Cats Bring You Dead Animals?

Nov 15, 2023 | Behavior & Training

Why do cats bring you dead animals? Have you ever woken up to find a dead mouse or bird on your doorstep and wondered why your beloved feline friend has presented you with such a gruesome gift? While it may seem disturbing, it’s actually a common behavior among cats. In this blog post, we’ll explore the reasons why cats bring you dead animals and what it says about their instincts.

Instinctual Hunting Behavior

Cats are natural-born predators, and a cat’s hunting instincts kick in even if they’re domesticated pets. They have evolved to hunt small prey, such as mice and birds, and their natural instincts tell them to bring their kills to a safe and secure location, which in many cases is their owner’s doorstep.

Sharing Their “Prize”

In the wild, female cats often bring prey back to their kittens to teach them how to hunt. In domestic settings, cats view their owners as their family, and offering a dead animal can be seen as a sharing of their “prize” or a similar nurturing behavior.

Seeking Approval or Praise

Cats are known for their aloof behavior, but they do crave attention and affection from their owners. By bringing you a dead animal, a cat may be seeking approval or praise for their hunting skills. It’s their way of trying to impress you and show their loyalty.

Marking Territory

Cats are territorial animals, and bringing a dead animal to your doorstep can be seen as a way of marking their territory. They may also be trying to create a space for themselves within your household and assert their dominance.

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Lastly, some experts theorize that cats bring dead animals as a form of gift-giving, especially if they perceive their owner as a caretaker or “mother” figure.

Cats are incredible hunters, with keen instincts that make them experts at catching prey. While this may be impressive, it can also be a little unnerving to find your beloved feline bringing you dead animals as a “gift”. Though it may be tempting to get mad at your cat for this behavior, it’s important to remember that it’s simply part of their natural instincts.

Trying to reprimand or scold them for this behavior may only confuse them and create unnecessary tension in your relationship. Instead, consider redirecting their hunting instincts with toys or games that simulate their natural prey drive. By understanding and working with your cat’s natural instincts, you can build a stronger and more positive relationship with them.

domestic cats

What Do I Do When My Cat Brings Me A Dead Animal?

As a cat owner, it is common to experience moments where your feline pal brings you dead animals. While it is their instinct and way of showing love, it can be overwhelming for many of us, especially if it happens regularly. There are a few things that you can do if your cat brings you dead animals to keep your pet happy while ensuring that you do not get stressed.

Understand Why Cats Bring Dead Animals:

Cats are natural hunters, and they bring dead animals to their owners as a sign of affection. Many cats want to share their reward and show their hunting skills to their owners. However, some cats bring dead animals because they are bored or need attention. If they do it repeatedly, try playing more with your cat, providing toys to distract them and giving them more attention.

Do Not Scold Your Cat:

Avoid scolding or punishing your cat. Your cat does not understand that you do not like it or that they did something wrong. In fact, it is not recommended to punish any pet since it does not help in correcting their behavior. Instead, if your cat brings you a dead animal, do not give them any attention or remove the animal and distract them with toys.

Dispose of the Animals Properly:

Dead animals can bring infections and germs to your household if not disposed of correctly. If your cat brings dead animals and drops them on the floor or near your home, ensure you carefully pick them up and dispose of them in a sealed plastic bag. Also, wash your hands thoroughly with soap to avoid any infections.

Consider Training Your Cat:

You can train your cat to bring you toys instead of dead animals by rewarding them when they bring toys. This type of training helps them understand better what you expect from them. You can also train your cat to come back inside your house when calling them out to play, so they do not wander off and find dead animals outside.

Get Help From Professionals:

If your cat repeatedly brings dead animals and other unwanted gifts, it might be a sign of a deeper issue, such as high-stress levels or boredom. In such cases, it is best to get professional help from a vet or pet care expert to help you identify and solve the problem.

As a cat owner, it is essential to understand why cats bring dead animals and what to do when it happens. The tips mentioned above can help ensure you handle the situation calmly while keeping your cat happy and distracted with appropriate toys. However, if the problem still persists, consider getting professional help to identify and solve the issue.

Is it Dangerous?

Cats are known for being natural hunters. Their predatory instincts are strong, and sometimes, they bring you the results of their hunting. You may have seen your cat proudly presenting you with a bird, mouse, or even a lizard, as a gift. But the question remains – is it dangerous for your cat to bring you dead animals? As a pet care company, we understand that this concern may be a cause for worry, but don’t worry; we’ve got the answers.

Cats are natural hunters, and it’s a part of their instinct to hunt and capture prey. They do this for various reasons, including play, boredom, hunger, or to show off to their owners. When they bring the catch home, they may present it as a gift to their owner. While this may be cute in some cases, it may also be a cause for concern, especially if the animal is still alive or carrying diseases. Some common diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans include rabies, toxoplasmosis, and cat-scratch fever.

indoor cats

Although the risk is relatively low, it’s essential to take the necessary precautions when handling dead animals brought by your cat. Always wear gloves when handling dead animals, and make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling them. You should also dispose of the animal properly to prevent other animals from being attracted to it.

Another risk associated with cats bringing dead animals home is the potential for them to ingest harmful substances. When cats hunt prey, they don’t discriminate between poisoned animals and healthy ones. If the prey has ingested poison, your cat may also ingest the toxic chemicals, leading to serious health consequences. Make sure to monitor your cat’s behavior after they’ve brought a catch home, and seek veterinary attention if they’re exhibiting symptoms of poisoning.

It’s also essential to be mindful of your cat’s behavior when they bring home dead animals. In some cases, it may be a sign of boredom, hunger, or a lack of stimulation. Make sure to keep your cat entertained and well-fed, with plenty of toys, games, and interactive activities. By doing so, you can help reduce the urge to hunt.

However, there are some benefits to letting your cat bring you dead animals. One significant advantage is that it’s a natural behavior, and by allowing your cat to do what comes naturally to them, they won’t develop behavioral problems caused by frustration. When a cat is unable to practice their natural hunting instinct, they may become anxious or stressed, which may lead to behavior problems such as scratching or aggression.

mother cats

In all, it’s normal and natural for cats to hunt and capture prey. While there are risks associated with cats bringing dead animals home, the risk is relatively low. By taking the necessary precautions when handling dead animals and monitoring your cat’s behavior, you can minimize the risks and prevent potential health consequences. Remember, cats need adequate stimulation and playtime, proper nutrition, and love and affection to keep them healthy and happy.

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Kate’s K9 Pet Care

Kate’s K9 Pet Care Services has it all! From daycare to private visits, we offer comprehensive pet care services for your furry friend. We understand that each pet is unique and welcome all breeds and sizes with open arms. What’s even better, we have personalized solutions each client can tailor to their specific pet’s needs.

Whether you’re looking for a one-time outing or require regular care, Kate’s K9 will be a breath of fresh air to pet parents wanting peace of mind. With excellent attention to health and safety protocol, Kate’s K9 ensures each visit is fun for the pup and stress free for the owner. Call or contact us today to start giving your furry family member the quality care they deserve!


While it may be unsettling to find a dead animal on your doorstep, it’s important to remember that cats are simply following their instincts. As natural hunters, they bring dead animals to their owners as a form of nurturing or sharing their “prizes”. However, if this behavior bothers you, you can try discouraging it by providing your cat with plenty of toys, catnip, and other forms of playtime to help them channel their energy and hunting instincts in a positive way.

We understand the importance of understanding your pet’s behavior and needs, and we provide personalized care that caters to your feline friend’s unique personality.


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