This is a situation that many cat owners have already had to face: picking up a dead or mortally injured animal, kindly brought by their feline. These can be mice, lizards, birds, or any other animal that has fallen prey to your cat. However, the latter is fed enough not to need to hunt… So how can such behavior be explained? Are these “gifts” that it wants to give you?
It’s the instinct that speaks
Even if our feline friends eat their fill every day, their hunting instinct remains particularly strong. Indeed, as you have already noticed, cats sometimes adopt strange behaviors that they have in fact inherited from their wild ancestors.
However, for thousands of years, long before their domestication 10,000 years ago, cats hunted for food. So when your furball sees a small animal running away from it, it instinctively chases it…and sometimes kills it. However, since it is not hungry, it takes this activity as a game. So there is no ounce of cruelty in it.
It is also interesting to note that cats that are not sufficiently stimulated physically and mentally on a daily basis are more likely to chase prey. Thus, it is essential to devote time to your cat to play with them every day.
A prey as an educational tool or trophy
Your cat hunts by pure instinct, it’s a fact, but why does it insist on bringing their prey back to you? And why does it most often bring them to the foot of your bed?
In reality, this strange habit can have two explanations. Either it wants to teach you how to hunt, as their mother normally did with them when it was a kitten. In this case, the prey it brings home is usually still alive. This shows that it considers you a full member of their family. Indeed, their instinct, especially if your feline is a female, tells them that it must pass on their hunting skills to you to allow you to survive.
Either it is so proud of their catch that it wants to share their joy with you. In this case, its prey acts as a trophy. It is therefore not really a “gift” that it gives you.
In any case, do not scold your cat when it brings you a dead animal. Indeed, it is their way of making you understand that it takes care of you and that it loves you…