Why Does Your Cat Bring You Gifts?

cat-carrying-toy

Guest post by Will Hodges

A few months after Anya, our first feline family member, walked into our lives, I began to find one of her favorite toys in my bedroom every morning. This seemed odd to me, as all of her toys were kept on the main floor of our home, and bringing a fluffy toy ball all the way up the stairs and into the bedroom was definitely not an easy chore.

As a person who became a first-time cat guardian later in life, I found Anya’s behavior to be quite curious, until my son-in-law told me of a cat he had owned as a child that used to bring dead mice and birds into their house and leave them on the kitchen table. I also saw a news story that featured a report about Dusty the Klepto Kitty, a Snowshoe Siamese like Anya, who stole hundreds of items from neighborhood residents, including shoes, stuffed animals, and even underwear, and brought them home to his guardians. I realized then that Anya’s behavior wasn’t unique.

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Anya caught in the act of bringing me her favorite toy ball

The reasons behind feline “gifting” or “collecting”, however, may be as elusive as the many reasons cats purr. And there are a number of possibilities for why a cat may bring “gifts” to her human caretakers.

• A cat may just be responding to an inherent “prey–retrieval” instinct. Since our felines are born hunters, she may be acting on their natural urge to kill and retrieve, bringing her “prey” back into a safe place. Those of us with indoor-only kitties, like Anya, may find that the catch of the day is a toy or object that our cats play with – like she might play with prey before catching and killing it.

• Some behaviorists believe that a kitty may be giving you her highest compliment when she brings you the result of her latest “hunt”, and that the gift is brought because she loves you and cares about you.

• Others believe that cats look upon humans as poor hunters, unable to provide sustenance for themselves. So, the gift of a toy mouse (or a real mouse) is to provide for the human caretaker.

• Similarly, some believe that many spayed female cats (like Anya) who have no young have a natural tendency to pass along their hunting wisdom. More female cats are gifters than male cats. So perhaps these nightly activities are meant as lessons for us, as our cat is acting out her natural role as mother and teacher.

• Others think that our feline gifters are trying to encourage us to get up and play with them, or perhaps join them in a hunt for various treasures around the house.

• Finally, some behaviorists think that gifting may be an effort to “thank” the caretaker for providing food and a home for them.

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Anya showing off her catch on New Year’s morning

In the four years that Anya has lived with us, she’s honed her gifting skills with anywhere from two to six toys appearing on the bedroom floor every single morning. She never forgets. In fact, she often cuddles with me when I’m drifting off to sleep, but immediately gets up – remembering the task at hand. I’m then treated to several brief sleep interruptions as she reports every delivery to me – with her special “look what I’ve got!” meow.

toy-in-shoe

This gift didn’t make it up to the bedroom, but was lovingly placed in my shoe.

So, whatever the reason your cat brings gifts of toys, socks, clothing, or living creatures to you, remember that she loves you, and is sharing that love with each special delivery.

We would love to hear your stories of how “gifting” has affected your life and your relationship with you cat.

Will Hodges shares his Utah home with his wife and kitties Anya and Oscar. Keep up with Anya and Oscar on Anya’s Facebook page.

52 Comments on Why Does Your Cat Bring You Gifts?

  1. Rowena Prentice
    July 10, 2019 at 11:51 am (1 month ago)

    Last night my 2 year old female cat brought in what we thought was an empty sweet bag however, when we looked inside, it had a live baby mouse, a snail and a spider. It appears she had collected these ‘gifts’ for us and put them all in a bag she had found to bring them all indoors at the same time. We thought this was extraordinary and worth sharing 🙂

    Reply
  2. Stephanie
    June 16, 2019 at 9:14 pm (2 months ago)

    Could anyone tell why would male cat bring home a live kitten from off the street out of the pouring rain

    Reply
  3. Savage
    May 20, 2019 at 10:59 pm (3 months ago)

    My cat will literally pile underwear, pants, bras, gloves, you name it! In my room while I’m away during the day, especially if I am gone later than normal. I really don’t know what this is supposed to mean, but I’m starting to try and pet him whenever he does this, not because I want clothes in my room, but because he obviously wants attention otherwise he wouldn’t be doing it. He’s so sweet a cat, but I won’t go on about him. Anyway this article helped a lot on informing me About the different reasons! Thanks!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      May 21, 2019 at 5:21 am (3 months ago)

      That is so funny! My guess would be that this is a way for your cat to surround himself with your scent while you’re gone, but he sure seems to go to a lot of effort to do that!

      Reply
  4. Shade's Fur-less momma
    April 14, 2019 at 11:35 pm (4 months ago)

    My almost 1 year old American short hair Shady, brings me live and occasionally dead bugs to bed! Crickets, hoppers, spiders, and potato bugs. He brings them right on the bed and plays with them, or watches them. When I take them away, he seems confused and searches for them. Imagine it’s 2 am and you feel your buddy hop onto the bed and and all of a sudden somethings hops across your arm and it’s most certainly NOT your buddy…For the love of God, if I did’t scream the first time! It’s not pleasant but very endearing though I don’t know if he just wants to play or if he wants to bring me his thing he hunted so I can be proud, or if he thinks I’m his fur less momma cat and I can’t fend for myself? lol I don’t know but it seems normal regardless so that’s pretty good. I love him so.

    Reply
    • David
      August 5, 2019 at 2:22 pm (3 weeks ago)

      I love your cats name. ❤️

      Reply
  5. SARA E HARMS
    April 4, 2019 at 2:37 am (5 months ago)

    My seven year old female cat, whenever I leave my house she brings me individual bags of chips and places them all over my room. I finally realized what she was doing, she was leaving me presents, or that is what I believe she is doing, she makes me laugh, she only does it on the days I leave for a long period of time. I love her so much, she also sleeps in my lap everynight.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      April 4, 2019 at 5:36 am (5 months ago)

      That is so funny! What a thoughtful little girl!

      Reply
  6. Janet Squire
    March 29, 2019 at 1:23 pm (5 months ago)

    My 2 year old Calico, Narcine, is truly a devil cat. She has injured me more than any other cat and I’ve had a truckload during my lifetime. With that said, she’s also the most loving of my 4 girls…..and brings me gifts nightly. If I’m still awake it’s a crinkly toy to play with…if I’m asleep It’s usually a piece of paper off the kitchen counter. She’s my worst nightmare and my sweetest dream……life would be dull (even with 3 other kitties) without my Devil Narcy!

    Reply
  7. Jamie
    January 24, 2019 at 4:59 am (7 months ago)

    I have a 15 year old Maine Coon/Persian mix named Mitzy but my mom and I call her Momma.
    I have been paying attention to her behavior a lot since it has now been just over a year since my precious boy Leo(I call him Buddy)passed away from Lymphoma and some time after that my mom moved out of state (Mitzy is my moms cat, but my mom couldn’t take her) and I had to move out of state as well..it was a very hard time for me and I felt it had to be hard for Mitzy too, she used to free roam a small 2 level house and for almost a year she is confined to a room, a hallway, and a bathroom with her litterbox. Occasionally with supervision I let her roam around the rest of the house when I get ready for work and she seems very happy then(there’s another cat that was here first and they do NOT get along…she growls and hisses and he stalks her and will jump her, sometimes hes sleeping and she can roam in peace.).
    She tolerated Leo, but he was king of the house and she just wants to be the only cat. They used to snuggle when they were younger, but she just grew away from him I guess. They lived together for 13 years, his whole life and a large part of hers. He was a Siamese/Tabby mix if you’re wondering.
    So anyways, she had always brought toys as gifts. Leo did too, and he was the talkative one.
    But since everything that’s happened, my mom leaving, Leo passing, her new environment.. I dont know if it’s all of that or if it’s just her getting older, but her bringing gifts has increased drastically. It is always socks.. she starts the cry when I have left for work and it is the incredibly loud cry, not just a meow. When I get home there is 1-3 socks at the doorway to the hallway.
    Random times when I’m home and in the same room she will cry and move the socks or just cry.
    She constantly wakes me up in the middle of the night and before my alarm goes off whether she’s crying while bringing me a sock to my bedside or just crying in general.
    I’ve been working towards getting my own place and I’m very close to doing so, so I’m eager to see how her behavior changes…if her cries no longer sound like some dying animal or if that is just what she does now.
    I am also worried that some of her crying is because she’s experiencing tooth pain (I noticed the possible bad teeth smell lately, she had a vet visit next week!) but I read that cats dont tend to show signs of discomfort unless its really bad…like what I witnessed with my Buddy.
    I came here hoping for some light to be shed..fortunately nothing says anything about a cat being in discomfort or unhappy, but unfortunately I’m still left wondering about some things.
    I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s comments!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      January 24, 2019 at 6:23 am (7 months ago)

      Have you had her checked out by your vet? If not, I would do so as soon as possible to rule out any medical issues.

      Reply
  8. Yu
    January 22, 2019 at 12:18 am (7 months ago)

    I adopted 3 cats: a mom and two of her sons. Fromt the beginning, she started bringing us toys during the night. Then she started opening the drawers to steal socks and bring them to the living room 😀 Also, one of the boys brings us his toys and cries until we play with him. Sometimes it’s a spring (he plays fetch!), the cat dancer, a plushie… If we ignore him he will end up sitting on the toy, looking us in the eyes and demanding our attention.

    Reply
  9. Amber
    November 19, 2018 at 3:59 pm (9 months ago)

    My boy Sam is a rescue.

    not your typical rescue but I saved him from a disheveled drug house on our street where I used to live . They got him for their child that they had irregular access to, from about 9 weeks old this kitten was left outside on his own on a busy street often in the front yard…it went on like this for months, Sam grew and was disregarded as a no longer amusing ‘toy for the child, said child would often harass him badly and chase him with eater guns etc .

    Eventually he lived full time outside, they would leave no food or water out for him not would they let him inside…it truly broke my heart.

    Being a big animal.lover and cat mum of 2 already I couldn’t turn a blind eye. I called several local animal welfare shelters to investigate…none of which really seemed to care or try all that much, the furthest they went was to knock on her door and leave a letter in her mailbox when she refused to answer. So I called yet another ‘cat society ‘ and they actually suggested I take him somewhere to be put down…I couldn’t believe my ears ..This poor creature was less than a year old and full of life.

    I gave up on seeking outside help.

    Shortly after we had a horrible night of thunderstorms and pouring rain, and I found Sam hiding under the car for shelter.

    I coaxed him inside , he was terrified and so unsure of the other cats that he was getting aggressive. I let him to my room where we sat and ate our first meal together- chicken and peas..he loved the peas haha .

    It was a long road building my relationship with Sam because he had been outside fending for himself so long that he had become somewhat feral. Slowly I showed him love and nurturing and that he could trust humans again .

    Every night I would leave my bedroom window open or open it when he came and meowed and he would jump in, if shut the window and he would settle in for the night in a warm cosy bed.

    The old owner began noticing him at our house alot and started making some annoyed comments…I played dumb to avoid any drama or unpredictable behaviour.

    Sam and my relationship grew strongly and he trusted me …and only me. He began to snuggle upto me at night and shared a bed with me every night.

    He would bring me big beautiful leaves to the window and meow…sometimes 3 would be laying there! Haha ..he even brought me some random neighbour’s socks a few times :’) none of my other cats have ever done this.

    I slowly introduced him to my other 2 cats and the rest of the house…it was a process for sure! He didn’t trust the other animals…i think he thought of them only as threats.

    Fast forward I had to move house…and there’s no way I was going to leave him behind! I caught him and put him in the cat cage (this was a nightmare) and took him to the new house, where he then lived as an indoor cat only! He adjusted sooo well and even got along with the other 2 cats, especially Aslan my other boy. They would run up and down the halls chasing each other haha.

    His demeanor only got better and better , we have just moved house again and ofcourse I brought my Sammy with me 🙂 ive had him for almost 2 years now, and he was wonderful again with this move.

    He sleeps with me every single night snuggled on my chest or right by my side, he still on occasion has a wild side that comes out when he is scared and lashes out…but that’s not his fault I attribute that to his past and I don’t punish him for that.

    He is getting better slowly but surely with others but will not sit ir lay with them like he does me..Also their pat Time is limited to 2 or 3 ! Haha

    He makes me proud every day of how much he has grown and adapted to where he has come from.

    Sams new gifts that he brings me are tea towels from the kitchen when i am sleeping haha he leaves them at the bedroom door when he can’t get in …the over when they hand is at foot height so he can get them easily but even when i have left them on the bench I still find them on the floor outside my door in the morning :’) sometimes 2 or 3 at a time..it always makes me giggle. I found 2 again just this morning..oh and his biggest fear so far was bringing a full sized towel down the house to me hahahaha.

    Thanks for reading everyone! I know it’s a lengthy comment, but I wanted to share his story with you all 🙂

    Cats truly are special.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 20, 2018 at 6:36 am (9 months ago)

      Thank you for giving Sam a chance, and for sharing this wonderful story, Amber!

      Reply
      • Jan
        December 29, 2018 at 2:31 am (8 months ago)

        I found this article when searching for the reason my newly adopted Siamese Male started leaving Nerf bullets at my bedroom door. My husband and we’re always confused and wondered how they were all iver the house. Now im certain its him. He even brought one this evening to the living room eith his special chirping meow!

        Reply
        • Mary
          December 29, 2018 at 8:45 pm (8 months ago)

          Please be careful with the foam nerf darts- one of our cats ate a half of one, ended up needing surgery, $2500 later he’s doing well, but nerf darts are banned in our house.

          Reply
      • Eileen
        March 30, 2019 at 5:36 am (5 months ago)

        Sammy is lucky you adopted him! I hope he’s still doing well. It’s wonderful when time & effort with a cat pays off.
        I had neighbors who got 2 kittens for their kids but the whole family lost interest when they became cats and the novelty wore off. They asked me to take them but I already had 2 very territorial cats. I ended up having to find homes for the unwanted cats when the family moved away and left them.

        Reply
  10. Linda Sparrow
    November 17, 2018 at 12:39 am (9 months ago)

    My Maine Coon is about a year old. Everything is a toy and he’s a scavenger. I was sick and stayed in bed, he brought me a toothbrush and a blush brush. When I went downstairs to stay on couch, he brought them down to me! He also drops all sorts of things in his water bowl. I cracked up when I found 2 pairs of my husband’s underwear on the couch. Such a nut! He also plays fetch.

    Reply
  11. Jennifer
    November 16, 2018 at 9:34 am (9 months ago)

    My new cat has started bring live mice into bed. He then let’s them go and chases them. Sometimes he kills them, but the live ones drive me nuts. He woke me up at 4 this morning looking for one he lost in my bed. Joy. I looked and didn’t find it but he spent a good 2 hours looking for it. He must think I’m a terrible cat and has a serious need to feed me. Nor teach me. Not sure where he’s going with this.

    Jenn

    Reply
  12. Hannah
    November 15, 2018 at 1:49 am (9 months ago)

    Glad to know it happens to a lot of people! I have had 3 cats and the youngest is the first one to gift, I wake up most morning with usually three of his favorite fuzzy balls and too many plastic poop bags to count sometimes he even manages to bring my shoes all the way upstairs. Nothing makes you feel as appreciated as waking up the their gifts though!

    Reply
  13. Ronda Heathcott
    September 16, 2018 at 11:21 pm (11 months ago)

    I read your story about Anya taking gifts of toys to her Human every night. I wanted to tell you about our Charlie! He is solid black and rescued behind the library when he was about 2 months old…..we love him so much! Charlie goes in and out of the house as he pleases and about a month ago we noticed green walnuts at the back door, then there were hickory nuts, and then there was bark from trees. Lol! Several times a day we find one of the items or all three at the back door. We see him coming across the yard carrying his treasures……he sometimes is forced to drop the bark outside the fence or the pet door going in the garage due to its size….but sometimes he maneuvers it in the pet door. Lol! I thank him and love on him for every gift….he once was bringing small critters and I was not very pleased about that! I am now very happy with his gifts and keep them all…..I have a small box by the back door and it is full of walnuts, hickory nuts, and tree bark, I will be getting a bigger box soon.

    Reply
  14. Dawn svoboda
    August 31, 2018 at 3:06 pm (12 months ago)

    Right before reading this my cat came in and brought me a unicorn headband, it was hilarious! I love him <3 he’s sleeping peacefully now next to me its so cute i wish i could do a pic.

    Reply
  15. Ev
    August 9, 2018 at 6:09 am (1 year ago)

    I have severe insomnia and get to watch some kitty behavior that regular people wouldn’t bc they’re actually asleep at 3am. Anyway, we have 3 cats and two dogs. If either of our two boys passes our girl or the two dogs nothing interesting happens for the most part. When one walks by the other boy, it can get a little more interesting. On many occasions I have seen the following scenerio:

    Cat A will be bringing us his toy, Cat B will instigate a minor scuffle between them. Now these aren’t fights, they’re just rough housing extremely actively. The kitty who wins the scuffle gets to be the one who brings us the toy that Cat A was carrying. There’s no pattern for which cat starts bringing the toy nor is there any pattern for which cat wins more often.

    This behavior has been going on for such a long time my wife and I have theorized that it’s no longer about just showing off the toy they’ve found. Instead, when one carries the toy it indicates to the other that it’s time for very rough play. The toy ends up going to whichever wins, who then gets to show off that he won tonight!

    Reply
  16. Stefani
    August 6, 2018 at 6:35 pm (1 year ago)

    Percy, my year old neutered male is an indoor/outdoor kitty with a dog door. In the last few months he has brought me 3 birds (2 alive), 4 adolescent opposums (all alive), 3 snakes (2 alive), a mouse (dead) and dozens of lizards. Usually he take it into the living room and meows. He’s very proud of himself. When I take it away and put it back outside, Percy isn’t concerned at all. His job is done.

    Reply
  17. Tina
    July 30, 2018 at 11:34 pm (1 year ago)

    One of our cats brings dirty clothes up from the laundry room (socks, washcloths and underwear are his favorites, biggest ambition was a pair of pants but they must have been too heavy bc he stopped half way up the bottom steps). He will also create a trail of dirty clothes up from the laundry room to bedroom. Most socks in one day was 13. Our other cat brings me live mice. He flips them around in the air, by me, sometimes on the bed. Then looks at me like, come on, play with me!

    Reply
    • Jane
      August 1, 2018 at 2:23 am (1 year ago)

      My 8 year old female cat has just within the past year started bringing me a gift every day. She’s indoor/outdoor, but never brings me dead animals, but paper objects. It started with photographs, but can be a business card, ticket or a boxtop. They are things she has to go out of her way to find, not ones that are lying around close by. She meows loudly while carrying it and always lays it on the corner of the living room rug, by the door, not close to me. She drops it and then goes about her business.

      Reply
  18. Jessica
    June 15, 2018 at 1:49 pm (1 year ago)

    I have a kitty who is almost one. She brings me her favourite toy mice every night while I sleep. I wake up to either the pink one, blue one or both at my face. When I wake up and shake them she comes over (from the end of the bed where she sleeps) and licks me like crazy. Maybe she really does appreciate the things we do for her! 🙂 my other two cats don’t do this so I think it’s so cute!
    (Although my oldest will actually kill and bugs and stuff and just eat it,, specially spiders,, he knows I’m scared! :P)

    Reply
  19. Nikki
    April 18, 2018 at 11:38 pm (1 year ago)

    My male cat brings me his favorite stuffed toy almost every night. I’ve never SEEN him bring it in, but while i’m sleeping he slips off into the living room and brings it back into the bed. When I wake up, both my cat and his toy are next to me with him eagerly awaiting me to tell him what a magnificent gift it is…. once it was gingerly placed ON my head lol 🙂 <3

    Reply
  20. Christa
    April 12, 2018 at 11:35 pm (1 year ago)

    I have a male cat that uses the doggy door. He has brought in live rabbits, baby squirrels, lots of mice, lots of birds, and dropped a snake at my feet last night while I was doing a workout in my garage. He’s a night roamed, so I’ve now put his food outside and blocked the doggy door. The snake was the last straw for me lol.

    Reply
  21. Pam Yarbrough
    April 12, 2018 at 6:34 pm (1 year ago)

    My bobtail ragdoll brings great gifts. It started with bedroom shoes, a stuffed snake, a 3yr old’s lamb’s wool lined denim coat. We have found various balls, safety vests and hats, a lottery ticket. And this Easter Sunday, he brought a stuffed yellow duck. When he cannot find these types of goodies, he will go across the ditch and find leaves that we do not have in the yard. It is always interesting to open the door when he does that ” I have you a present” meow. I love dogs, but cats are my favorite.

    Reply
  22. Judy
    April 12, 2018 at 8:42 am (1 year ago)

    As I was reading this my little kitty actually brought me her green mouse. Dropped it right in front of the keyboard, announcing it with her “I brought you this” voice. <3 my cats.

    Reply
    • Gayle Brady
      April 12, 2018 at 12:58 pm (1 year ago)

      Aren’t they the best…sometimes they can drive you up a wall, but then they do something like this and you just love them all the more.

      Reply
  23. Jennifer
    April 11, 2018 at 10:01 pm (1 year ago)

    If the Barbie dolls are left where she can get at them, one of my cats brings me them every night. I would wake to anywhere from 1 to 5 in my bedroom, sometimes even on the bed. As I am trying to fall asleep, I’ll hear the thumping as she drags them up the stairs by their hair. We even once had her gift us a Barbie head without the body. With several other “dead” Barbies in the background, all we really needed to complete the picture was some crime scene tape.

    Reply
  24. Jill
    April 11, 2018 at 12:26 pm (1 year ago)

    We have two cats, our 1 year old, Olive, brings us her toys, she loves paying fetch. What she does is bring us a toy, drops it next to us then waits for us to wake up and throw it. If we don’t wake up she will sit and stare until she gives up and goes to sleep. The senior cat, Cleo just walks around the house howling with a toy mouse in her mouth then tries to rip its head off. I’ve seen Olive bring Cleo a toy to play with too, she drops it in front of Cleo and looks from her to the toy as if to say, “my favorite toy you should try it”

    Reply
  25. Joy
    April 11, 2018 at 12:23 pm (1 year ago)

    My old girl Cleo, does something similar. It is my socks , she brings them to the bed. Then I wake up with her laying on them. An her looking at me like see here you go. An nuges me to let me know the here.

    Reply
  26. Ron Barnes
    April 11, 2018 at 12:02 pm (1 year ago)

    The window gets left open for my Gilbert while I’m in the house. I was in the bath when I hear some suspicious scrabbling noises that are a “I’ve caught something and brought it to show you” giveaway.

    A few minutes later and I have a live mouse swimming around in my bath (superb swimmers btw) and an excited cat running round the house trying to find it. I’m getting quite adept at catching mice now – his training regime is certainly working!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      April 12, 2018 at 5:48 am (1 year ago)

      I can honestly say that’s the first time I’ve ever heard of that happening, Ron! Too funny!

      Reply
    • Tish Anderson
      April 12, 2018 at 4:40 pm (1 year ago)

      My daughter is often awoken with what we call DIY Murder Presents brought to her room – a live bird, several live mice along with dead ones. We are pleased he wishes to honor her with gifts but we can’t seem to convince him that once they are admired they need to be escorted out of the house.

      Reply
  27. Joze Smith
    March 29, 2018 at 2:46 pm (1 year ago)

    Our cat would bring us every night a gift. It started with a empty toilet roll, then some leaves, a stone, some tree bark and again to leaves. I find this very puzzeling

    Reply
  28. Harold Anderson
    January 24, 2018 at 9:38 pm (2 years ago)

    My First Cat that I had as an adult Mischief 1993-2013 carried around a yellow toy mouse her whole life, it was one of the first toys she had and throughout her life she carried it everywhere, in fact she never played with any other toys, every night she carried the mouse and put it in my bed, if it ever was stuck or in an inaccessible location she would meow very loudly until I “rescued” it. When it came time to send her to Heaven the mouse went with her.

    Reply
    • Roberta
      April 11, 2018 at 10:53 am (1 year ago)

      OMG, my Toni had a black “mouse” that she hunted and wouldn’t stop meowing until be acknowledged her “catch” I lost her in 2016, couldn’t burying it with her, it’s apiece of her that I had to keep.

      Reply
  29. silvia shanahan
    January 24, 2018 at 1:54 pm (2 years ago)

    Some years ago, during the fall season, one of my cats used to gather a lot of dry leaves in his mouth and bring them inside…it was so sweet to watch. He’d have some in his mouth and then pick up a few more

    I wish he did this now….it’s usually either a live or dead mouse.
    I have learned that I need to walk though the kitchen with my eyes on the floor to avoid stepping on them…yukk

    Reply
  30. Beth
    January 24, 2018 at 12:02 pm (2 years ago)

    Tigger, our 4 year old tawny tabby, is our gifter. He brings us wand toys and crinkle balls. We always praise him, and will then play with whatever toy he has brought us. He is the first cat we have had that plays “fetch” until he tires out. Then he keeps the toy by laying on it.
    He has also caught a few mice in the house. A couple he has killed. The others we managed to get away from him and free them outside. He is a natural hunter for sure.

    Reply
  31. Beth B
    January 24, 2018 at 9:02 am (2 years ago)

    Our female cat, Huli, brings in live mice from time to time, to whatever room I’m in, and lets them go while looking at me (just me, the only woman in the house, not ever the guys). She is obviously expecting me to catch them. I do get them with a live trap and return them to the outdoors. We have one vet who is also an animal communicator and we asked her to discuss this with Huli and ask her to stop doing it. According to the vet, Huli responded that she wasn’t sure she could stop, but that she would follow my wishes as to whether they were alive or dead when she brought them to me. I chose alive. When asked what she expected me to do with them, she reportedly responded, “Cook them up!” 😀

    Reply
  32. Janine
    January 24, 2018 at 9:00 am (2 years ago)

    Miss Kiki used to always put toys next to my pillow at night, but she seems to have outgrown it now. I miss waking up to one of her presents. My other two never really gifted us with anything.

    Reply
  33. Gayle Brady
    January 24, 2018 at 8:09 am (2 years ago)

    My Whitey brought a live mouse to my bedroom in the middle of the night. I was sleeping and heard a weird meow which woke me up, there was just enough light in the room to see him with a mouse dangling out of his mouth by the tail. He dropped it and it scurried under my bed. My Snuff brings me her favorite toy every night….

    Reply
  34. Paula D.
    January 24, 2018 at 7:59 am (2 years ago)

    Our Pandora is the “gifter” of the family, her (biological) sister never brings us a thing! “Pandy” will also come to bed with us and only after everyone is settled, will get up & go downstairs for a “gift.” The cutest thing is to hear her meowing as she’s carrying it up to us! After some lavish praise, she finally settles in. A sweet way to end the day!

    Reply
  35. Owner of a great hunter :)
    January 24, 2018 at 7:43 am (2 years ago)

    This behaviour is so adorable! My cat brings me his favourite toy mouse several times a day. I usually tell him what a good hunter he is, pet him, and throw the mouse, and he fetches it. So I think that he brings it because he knows that he gets attention and playtime. He can fetch it up to 10 times and clearly has a lot of fun. But his relationship with that mouse toy is very special. He carries it everywhere with him. They go to eat together and they come to bed together. Sometimes the cat stops eating, looks at the mouse, a feet away from the food bowl, and brings it closer, as if he thinks that the poor mouse was left too far from the food. The cat also always, always eats only half of the food provided, with astonishing geometrical accuracy. As if he leaves half for his toy. It’s so amazing and funny. He acts like the mouse is both his prey and his friend or offspring. He chews the mouse so that they only last for few weeks and have to be replaced because they completely fall apart – he has had about closer to a hundred of them. They are said to include catnip, but he does not react to any other toy with either catnip of matatabi (silver vine), so we really have not figured out what makes these toys so very special, expect for that he has had one ever since he was born, because these soft cute mice were the first toys given to the kittens, when they were very little.

    The cat also gets to hunt outdoors when we walk him on a leash, and he catches a bird or a rondet sometimes. He always runs directly towards home with his prey, and we of course tell him what a great hunter he is, although we feel sad for the animals he kills. They are never let to suffer but we kill them if his birst bite was not deadly.

    One possible explanation for this giftbehavior in general, that was not listed on this great post, was that maybe the common evolution of cats and humans has favoured this behaviour. Cats that brought rodent prey so that humans saw it were considered good hunters and probably favoured over cats that were not seen doing anything useful. Mayb ethe cats were bringing food for their kittens in the first place, but this behaviour turned into just bringing the prey where humans see it, even when there arent any kittens to feed at the moment. I know a case where a farmer said out loud that he will probably shoot one of his cats, because he never hunts and is of no use for him. The cat brought three dead voles at his door the next morning, and was let to live. A terrible person and a terrible story, but true.

    Reply
    • Will Hodges
      January 25, 2018 at 2:10 pm (2 years ago)

      Interesting story, and what a sweet situation with your cat and his favorite toy mouse.

      Reply
  36. Patricia
    January 24, 2018 at 4:28 am (2 years ago)

    I had a cat named Mitsu, who always brought home her catch of the day for me. I consider it her gift to me. She would drop it right on my doorstep.

    Reply
  37. Adriana Gasperi
    January 24, 2018 at 2:26 am (2 years ago)

    So cute! A couple of my cats do that and I wake up to thank them in the middle of the night 🙂

    Reply

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