Why Do Cats Bring Dead Animals to Their Humans?

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Why Do Cats Bring Dead Animals to Their Humans?

Has your cat ever hunted an animal and brought it for you? Does that kind of behavior scare you? Do not worry! If your feline friend brings you its kills, it is probably its way of showing affection. This unique behavior of hunting and then bringing the cat kills to human beings has intrigued researchers and cat owners alike.

Our guide explores the reasons for this behavior, the possible motivations behind it, and what you can do to divert your cat’s attention. The bottom line is that the behavior of bringing dead animals is completely natural and does not indicate that your cat is wild or harmful.

A Cat’s Wild Instinct

Before we delve into the specific reasons why a feline shares its cat kills with you, we should talk about a cat’s natural hunting instinct. Cats are being tamed and kept as pets for about 10,000 years now. However, despite that, the instinct to hunt has not gone away completely. There was no loving cat owner or family in the wild that could feed the cat, and to survive, they learned how to hunt and catch prey from a very young age.

This is an instinct that cats have had for thousands of years as well. While many wild, feral habits of cats have been controlled over the years, this habit of hunting has not, and it appears unlikely that our feline friends will even grow out of it. It is, therefore, this automatic habit that causes cats to kill their prey in the first place.

Domestic cat carrying small rodent rat

They Want to Share the Food With You

Now the most common reason why cats bring cat kills to you is simply because they want to share it with you! Yes, you read that right. Just think about it for a few moments. When you hear good news or accomplish something, you want to share it with your friends and family too.

Similarly, cats have this instinct, too, where they want to share the good things they do with you as well. This is why researchers often talk about cats bringing “gifts” to their owners. These gifts are not prettily wrapped presents and are usually dead animal carcasses. However, the intention behind these is a gift, which shows you just how much your cat cares for you!

They Want to Keep Their Food

The second reason cats bring dead animals to you is that they want to save the food. This is a lot like human behavior. When you go out to eat or find something delicious and want to keep it for later, don’t you bring these foods home as well? Just like this, cats also bring these “delicious” animal carcasses home to you.

Your cat may not be able to eat all of the animals, or it may not be comfortable doing so out in the wild. That is why it brings these cat kills to you so that you can store them for later when your cat can eat them. This sounds familiar, too, right!

They Want to Teach You!

A peculiar reason cats bring their cat kills to you is that they want to teach you to hunt as well! This is a relatively new theory that researchers have suggested. According to this theory, cats cannot distinguish between the behavior of human beings and cats at times. This is why cats seem to think that human beings should behave like them in certain respects.

This is why your feline may think that maybe you are not hunting because you do not know how to hunt. To overcome this weakness, your cat may therefore hunt an animal in front of you and then bring its dead body to you to show you how you can hunt as well. That sounds pretty thoughtful of them, right?

However, you should know that the parameters of this theory are yet to be explored. Researchers often have difficulty telling apart scenarios in which your cat is trying to share its food and instances when it is trying to hunt. However, both of these theories think that the cats care for you and want to help you!

How to Divert This Drive to Hunt?

However, at times, the habits of felines bringing their cat kills to you can be a bit problematic. This is because you may not know how to dispose of the carcass, or you do not want your house to be home to the carcasses of small animals! In addition, while the habit of cats hunting is natural, it can also bring some germs into your house.

A kitten is playing with fishing rod toy

Therefore, to divert the habit of your cat hunting, you should try and engage your cat in healthy, useful activities. So try to spend quality time with your cat and engage it in games using laser pointers and cat toys. All of these activities will divert your cat’s attention from bringing in dead animals since it will be too exhausting to engage in hunting!

Protect Other Animals by Warning Them

Another important concern when it comes to cat kills is that they can be harmful to your environment. You do not want your kitty to go around hunting small birds and animals for the fun of it. It is not like a pet cat needs to hunt; you feed it well enough already.

This is why, to warn potential animals that your kitty is approaching, you can attach a small bell to your cat’s collar. The sound of this bell will alert possible prey that your kitty is approaching, giving them plenty of time to escape.


Hopefully, our guide helped you understand the motivation behind pet cats bringing dead animals to you. Their intentions are entirely innocent, and this act shows how much affection your cat has for you. However, since this habit can bring germs into your home, you may want to curb it by engaging your cat in other useful activities.

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