Why Does My Kitty Bring Me ‘Gifts’ And What Does It Mean?

Cats are notorious for their peculiar habits, and one that often leaves their human companions puzzled is the act of bringing ‘gifts.’
In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind this feline behavior and decode the meaning behind the seemingly strange presents your cat may deliver.

1- Hunting Instincts

A Natural Behavior

Cats are natural hunters, and bringing ‘gifts’ to their owners is an instinctive behavior.
In the wild, mother cats teach their kittens to hunt by presenting them with captured prey.
Bringing ‘gifts’ to humans is an extension of this maternal instinct.

2- The Significance of ‘Gifts’

Expressing Affection and Providing

Cats view their owners as part of their “family” and may bring ‘gifts’ as a sign of affection.
In the feline world, sharing food is a bonding activity, and by offering you their catch, cats express their desire to provide for and nurture their human companions.

3- The Prey Analogy

Teaching Survival Skills

In the wild, mother cats teach their kittens essential survival skills through play and by presenting captured prey.
When your cat brings you a ‘gift,’ they may be attempting to teach you these skills or view you as a family member who needs to learn how to hunt.

4- Interpreting Different ‘Gifts’

Birds, Mice, and Inanimate Objects

The type of ‘gifts’ your cat brings can vary.
Birds and mice are common offerings, showcasing your cat’s hunting prowess.
In some cases, cats may bring inanimate objects like toys or household items, interpreting them as valuable contributions.

5- Reciprocity in Cats

Building Trust and Bonding

When your cat brings you a ‘gift,’ they are engaging in a form of reciprocity.
By reciprocating the act of hunting and providing, cats strengthen their bond with their owners.
Acknowledging and accepting these offerings fosters trust and mutual affection.

6- Responding Appropriately

Acknowledging Your Cat’s Gesture

While it may be tempting to be dismayed by a ‘gift’ of a deceased creature, it’s essential to acknowledge and appreciate your cat’s gesture.
Thank your cat verbally and, if necessary, discreetly dispose of the ‘gift’ to avoid discouraging their natural behavior.

7- When to Be Concerned

Dealing With Excessive ‘Gifts’

While occasional ‘gifts’ are normal, excessive offerings may warrant attention.
If your cat’s behavior becomes obsessive or if they bring potentially harmful creatures, consult with your veterinarian for guidance on managing and redirecting this behavior.


Embrace the unique and sometimes perplexing behavior of your cat bringing ‘gifts.’
By understanding the instinctive nature behind this act and responding with appreciation, you strengthen the bond with your feline friend, creating a harmonious relationship.

FAQs About Cat ‘Gifts’

Q: Why does my cat bring me dead animals?

A: Cats bring dead animals as a way of expressing affection and sharing their hunting successes.
It’s a natural instinct rooted in their maternal and familial behaviors.

Q: Can I train my cat not to bring ‘gifts’?

A: While it’s challenging to completely eliminate this behavior, you can redirect it by providing alternative activities and expressing appreciation for non-living ‘gifts’ instead.

Q: What if my cat brings in dangerous creatures?

A: If your cat brings in creatures that pose a risk, intervene to protect both your cat and yourself.
Consider providing safe alternatives and consulting with your veterinarian for advice.

Q: Should I discourage this behavior?

A: While you can’t eliminate the behavior entirely, you can redirect it by expressing appreciation for non-living ‘gifts’ and providing engaging alternatives. Avoid punishing your cat, as it may lead to stress.

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