Why Does My Cat Bring Me Toys? Here Are The Reasons

Cats are extraordinary pets with some weird habits, you might wonder why. But if you are observant enough, answers lie right in front of you. Observe your kitty well to understand their little gestures. 

Aren’t you curious about why they bring those little tokens of love? Let’s get started with some basic questions.

Why does your cat need toys?

We all know that cats are domesticated, obligate carnivorous animals. Even as evolution progresses their inherent hunting qualities remain intact.

 In the company of humans, especially in the case of indoor cats, they barely get a chance to expose their hunting talents. By repressing this innate nature they could easily fall prey to stress and behavioral imbalances. [1]

To combat this, spend some quality time playing with your cats. You could do it effectively by buying them some good toys like artificial mice, a wand teaser, balls, etc.

Okay, now we know why we provide them with toys, but why do they bring it back to us? Why do they show up like a mailman with surprise mails out of the blue?

Is it because we don’t play with them often?

The cat and mouse game is over. Let’s get to know the reasons why : 

1. To satiate their hunting instinct

Aforementioned, cats are natural hunters. They were domesticated 10,000 years back, but their urge to be a predator fuel their hunting expeditions even today. The dead mice, squirrels, and birds that show up at your doorstep are great examples of this behavior.

 When they live in the wilderness, their only means of sustenance is hunting; but when it comes to indoors they needn’t fend for themselves. We provide them with all the delicacies. But what would replace the cravings for freshly hunted raw meat of a mouse or a bird? They chase it and bring it to you to show that, this is how they do in their way. 

There are also other reasons, they might be trying to say that-

They are better hunters:

Cats think that humans are poor hunters, and they take advantage of this. They love to display their prey from the latest hunt as an accomplishment by dropping the dead animal inside the house.

They are teaching their kittens how to hunt:

They are earnestly passing down their age-old legacy of hunting to their kittens. In the wild, mothers teach their kittens how to hunt and even if they are domesticated this habit doesn’t change.

They are teaching you how to hunt:

 Your cats haven’t seen your hunting, so they might think you are incompetent, unable to provide for yourselves. So, they are trying to help by presenting their gory catches before you. They think you might benefit from it by going for a hunt or cooking a good meal out of it.

They consider toys as their prey:

For indoor cats, hunting is not possible unless they manage to slip outside. Thus, playing replicates hunting here. So, they try to make use of the toys inside to satiate their hunting dreams. They may find the toy, readily available to them, as the catch of the day and console themselves.

2. To reciprocate their love for their owners:

Cats express their love for their owners by giving them a part of their treasured collections. Parallels could be drawn from their hunting behavior where they cache their collections secretly. If they catch you by surprise by bringing you tokens of love like toys, or something they found, it just shows that they care for you.

If it is an animal they hunted it shows that they are proud of themselves and is demanding appreciation from you.  A little petting would do no harm.

3. To lure you into playing:

Cats will bring their toys to you for playing with them. A quick game of chase and catch or similar games would relieve them of boredom.

Playing would also create an outlet to vent out their predatory instincts, and they will develop their behavioral and social skills. [3]

4. To show  they are also a part of your family:

Being a part of a huge community, wherever they are, cats tend to establish their space. They want you to know that they are also a part of your family, that they deeply care for you. They try to contribute their part by providing you their good catches. If they are indoor hunters they will present you toys or their favorite things.

5. To trade the toy for food and affection

 Your cats value your attention and care more than anything, except for food. They expect you to respond to their needs while giving you the toy. This is usually their last resort when their earnest meows and vocalizing are not answered.

6. To replace broken or odd-smelling toys

  When they feel that their toys are damaged or unfamiliar they bring them to you. Cats are good smell and touch detectors, so they will know their shortcomings without the aid of vision. You can fix it or find an alternate toy in place of it. But do remember that they might not get accustomed to their new toy easily, it will take time. [4]

7. To win your heart by gifting

Another heart-warming possibility is that they are offering toys as a gift for you. In return, they expect your affectionate petting and care. Even though it is a simple gesture, it means a lot for your cat. So don’t hesitate to pick it up and thank your cat. But if you don’t want any undesirable gifts such as dead animals keep her indoors. [5]

Conclusion

To understand your kitty’s emotions and manners you need to observe her very keenly. Spend more time with her. Know her behavioral changes. Interpret her little gestures. Every time she presents you something, check how she holds her tail, how she vocalizes, how she moves her body etc. This will help you to understand what she really feels when bringing you toys. Never forget to give her affection she deserves after putting up such a chivalrous act.


References & Citations:

1. https://www.loc.gov/everyday-mysteries/item/how-did-cats-become-domesticated/

3. https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-advice/how-play-your-cat

5. Sung, Wailani, Why do cats bring gift to their owners? Retrieved from https://www.petmd.com/news/view/why-do-cats-bring-gifts-their-owners-38127

 

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