Why cats bring us toys/gifts

Cats bring us things for a few different reasons:

Boredom: As pet parents, we should aim to play with our cats at least once or twice a day. Cats get bored when there’s a lack of activity and attention. One of the biggest signs our cat is bored? They might bring us toys and thrill or meow as a not-so-subtle reminder to play with them. They also get bored when they’re unable to hunt; they need to feel like real predators in the wild. Play with your cat, completing the hunting sequence of hunt, catch, and kill at least once or twice a day. When a cat is unable to satisfy their prey drive, you may see their prey drive manifest in undesirable ways.

Hunting Instincts: Cats are natural hunters, and bringing you “presents” is a way for them to show off their hunting skills. It’s their way of providing for their “family” and showing that they can take care of you.

Attention-Seeking: Cats may bring you things as a way to get your attention. They may want to play or interact with you, and bringing you a toy or object is their way of initiating that interaction.

Bonding: Bringing you things can also be a sign of affection and a way for our kitties to bond with us. By bringing you a gift, they are showing that they trust you and want to share their resources with you.

Communication: Cats are not able to communicate with us in the same way that humans do, so bringing us things can be their way of trying to communicate their needs or desires. It’s their way of saying, “I want something” or “I need your help.”

Overall, when a cat brings you something, it is usually a sign of their love, trust, and desire for interaction with you. It’s a behavior that is deeply rooted in their instincts and natural behaviors.

Fun fact: In the wild, a mother cat will bring prey to her kittens showing them how to hunt. This behavior is still ingrained in domestic cats who see you as part of their family like a mother sees her kittens.

Article by Krista Schulte

I am a fear-free, force-free, and positive reinforcement Certified Cat Trainer and Behaviour Specialist in Canada. I volunteer in shelters and work on feline enrichment and socialization, and behaviour modification for TLC cases. I threw myself into the Cat Behaviour community and began a path of rigour study, gaining various certificates to attain this goal and will always continue my education. After helping get cats out of the shelters, I transitioned to a Behaviour Counsellor with Toronto Cat Rescue (still with them) to keep cats from going back to the shelter. I am passionate about these cats and their welfare.


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