Let me tell you a story…
It was a typical morning, I was getting ready for work, sipping my hot espresso. My cat, Snowball, came to me with a crumpled ball of paper in his mouth. I was happy at first, but when he brought a mouse for the third time, I got worried. Then I tried to find out what’s the reason behind it.
After toiling hard, I found out that my cat wanted to share his belongings with me… Ah, relief!! Then another question popped into my mind, “Why does my cat bring me toys?” While uncovering the secret of that, I learned some more astounding facts that I had to share with you.
That’s why I’m sharing all my findings from my experience with you in case you don’t have to look for those reasons in a hard way, like me. Rather, you can get to know them easily without getting confused. So, let’s jump into the depth of that question…
Why do cats bring their owners toys?
Ever notice how your cat’s eye lights up when they bring you a toy? It’s like they are saying, “Look hooman, what I got for you! Aren’t you proud of me?” But why do they do this sweet little gesture? Here are the reasons:
Natural instincts of cats
Cats are natural hunters and predators. They have a strong prey drive that makes them chase, catch, or hunt anything that moves. Even if your cat is well-fed and pampered, they still want to have some fun and show off their hunting skills, just like bringing toys to you.
Another natural instinct of cats is marking their territory. They can scratch, rub, or even bring back stuff that they think belongs to them, consider it as their territorial thing.
Instinct to hunt and kill prey
As we mentioned before, cats have a strong prey drive. It makes them hunt and kill prey. It’s just in their DNA, you know? When your brave cat brings you a toy, it’ll look like a normal toy to you, but for them, it’s their catch of the day.
For example, if they bring you a mouse, it can be like they caught a cunning intruder that tried to enter your cat’s kingdom. Your cat may be proud of their victory, and want to share it with you.
Moreover, they may also be trying to teach you how to hunt, and who knows, maybe one day you will become a hunter like them!!
Gift-giving behavior in cats
But here where things get interesting, did you know that gift giving behavior is actually a thing in cats? That’s right, they see their toys as gifts for their beloved hooman friend. It’s a way to show their love, affection, and gratitude to you.
Of course, not every time, they will bring you some plastic toys. Sometimes they may bring you some alive things (or can be dead already) just to impress you, and express their endearment to you. It may not be very appealing to us humans, but they are still meaningful to our little furballs. As Mark Twain once said, “what greater gift than the love of a cat?”.
[also watch Why do cats bring home dead animals, with just one click!]
Bonding with their owners
And the last reason why your cat brings you a toy is that they are bonding with you. Cats are playful creatures, and they want to have some fun with their owner. It’s not just to satisfy their hunting instincts, but also a way to communicate with us.
When your cat brings you a toy and meows, whether it’s in the early morning or middle of the night, they are just inviting you to play with them. It can stimulate their physical and mental abilities.
Besides, it’s all about play, enrichment, stimulation, and affection. By accepting their invitation, you are strengthening your relationship, trust, making them feel happy and safe.
What types of toys do cats like to bring to their owners?
As we said, your cat can bring you all kinds of weird things or toys. I mean, let’s be honest, it’s always surprising when your cats present some of their latest toy, or treasures.
Some of them are dead or alive, others are just plain silly things. Let’s explore what types of toys cats like to bring to their beloved owner.
- Small toys: If we list cat’s toys, some small toys like mice, balls, and strings can be placed first. You know, the ones you see at the pet store that are just too cute, and you couldn’t resist buying them. Well, those are often their favorite toys to give you as a gift.
- Household items: But it’s not just those official cat toys that get them going. Oh yeah, our cats are also the biggest fan of household items like socks, hair ties, and paper balls. Like those times when you can’t find your other pair of socks, or hair tie, in that time your cat is probably planning to give those things as a gift. Like, they are saying, “hey, is this what you’re looking for? You’re welcome”.
- Outdoor objects: And finally, let’s not forget about the outdoor objects that our cats love to bring us, such as leaves, twigs, and bird feathers. It can be some simple earthy things to us, but to our cats, they’re the most fascinating and valuable toys that our cats can’t wait to share with us.
There’s no doubt that our cats can have some pretty unique play preferences. They always love to surprise us with their favorite toys. But no matter what type of cat toys they bring, we know it’s a gift of love from our little furry friend.
What should you do when your cat brings you toys?
Have you ever been in the middle of work, and your cat comes with a toy, “hey look, what a cool thing I found for you!” as if they’re saying. But you’re left wondering how to respond in these moments. Well, don’t worry, let’s see what you should do when your cat brings you their precious toys.
Providing cats with appropriate toys and playtime
Give your cat lots of toys and playtime. They need to have fun and exercise. Make sure to have a wide range of different cat toys and items to stimulate their “hunting instincts” (e.g., mice).
Also, toys that have rambling movement, and mimic prey are very exciting to cats. You should switch up your cat’s toys every now and then to keep him interested. [also read how to keep indoor cats entertained]
Rewarding cats for good behavior
When your cats bring you a toy, they’re not trying to bug you or make you a mess. They are actually trying to communicate with you and show their affection. Instead of ignoring, praise them, and thank them for their gift, with a gentle pet, or a little hug.
You can also reward them for their good behavior with something they love, like yummy treats, catnip, fun games, or grooming. You know, sometimes being Santa Claus for your cat isn’t a bad thing at all.
Understanding and respecting a cat’s preferences
It’s important to understand and respect your cat’s preference. Not all cats will bring you some normal toys, whatever they bring you make sure to accept those gifts or toys with a positive attitude and gratitude, respect their preference. It will make your cat feel special, loved and close to you. Always remember this, “A happy cat equals a happy home!”
When should you be concerned about your cat’s behavior?
While you become happy or disgusted with your cat toy gift, there are some things you should be concerned about. Like bringing toys, but with aggression. Here we discussed when you should be concerned about your cat’s behavior.
- Aggressive behavior towards toys or owners: If you notice that your cat becomes aggressive or starts hissing toward toys or you, it could be a sign that something is bothering them. Try to find out what’s making them a grumpy cat.
- Changes in behavior or frequency of toy-gifting: If your cat is acting differently than usual, or there’s something unusual in the frequency of toy-gifting, then it could be a matter of concern. For example, they suddenly stopped bringing you toys, or started hiding their toys instead of giving them to you.
- Possible medical or behavioral issues: if your cat brings you toys and doesn’t show interest to lay, it could indicate that they’re experiencing an underlying medical or behavioral issue. In this case, it’ll be wise to talk to your vet or animal behaviorist.
That’s all folks, I hope you got your answer for, “why does your cat bring you toys”. So, next time your cats bring you a toy, don’t ignore it or throw it away. Instead, try to understand what they are trying to tell you and respond accordingly.
You may be surprised by how much your cats love you and want to share their world with you. So, let’s cherish the moments and love your cat more than before.
And please don’t forget to leave a comment below with your own experiences about your cat’s toy-gifting.