When the cat brings "presents": handling the prey

If you live with a free-range cat, you will occasionally bring a small "gift" home with you: bird, mouse or other animals - some cats like to share their prey with their owners. What is the appropriate behavior in such a case? After all, the cat doesn't mean it badly, but simply follows her instinct. "Look, I've caught myself!": This young cat is proud of its prey - Shutterstock / Andrey Stratilatov

Many a cat's behavior causes despair in the owner and owner - for example, when the beloved pet regularly brings prey home. The victim may even be alive and used by the cat as a toy. The question quickly arises how to get rid of this behavior from the house tiger.

Why does the cat bring its prey into the house?

There are different theories regarding the question of the Waru: One assumption is that a cat notices that we humans are not particularly good at hunting. And because she is very caring, she brings a "gift" to her loved one to practice with. In this way, cat mums teach their kittens how to catch mice. However, it remains questionable why cats also bring prey home to their owners.

Another possible explanation is that your cat feels safe in the house and brings her prey into the house so that she can calmly turn around there. However, this does not explain why the fur noses appear to proudly present their hunting success to humans and rarely eat their victims completely.

Another reason for the not always desirable behavior could be that the cat just wants to play - and that is sometimes the most fun in your own four walls.

The behavior typical of cats has not been fully researched. Perhaps it is a mixture of all three theories.

These are your cat's favorite prey

Your cat's "gift" is usually a mouse. She enjoys it the most. Other cat prey include:

  • frogs
  • dormouse
  • Rabbits
  • rats
  • bats

Bats and other plumage often die from stress, which their sensitive minds cannot tolerate when hunting cats. However, it rarely happens that cats hunt for birds and the like: the birdies escape them too quickly. Your cat can avoid frustration by focusing on wingless prey.

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Cat brings prey home: do not scold

Even if you feel sorry for the little animal that your cat carries into the house: do not scold your little tiger. The cat just followed her hunting instinct and wouldn't understand why you don't like her behavior. For this reason, it is difficult for you to stop the cat from behaving.

Instead, thank them briefly for the "gift", praise and pet your little big cat and wait a moment until they lose interest in their prey. Then you can discreetly dispose of the souvenir.

The cat's prey is alive! What to do?

However, you can only dispose of the prey if the animal is no longer alive. What can you do with live prey?

For example, if the mouse is still alive but seriously injured, you should not take it away from your cat. The rodent would probably die in agony if you put it outside now. Instead, wait until your cat has completely killed the prey.

If your cat lets go of the animal before it is seriously injured, you can try to bring the "victim" back into the garden - if possible so that your cat doesn't notice it. After all, she shouldn't immediately catch the prey and bring it back.

Not sure if the wounded prey can survive? Veterinarians or animal shelters that specialize in wildlife can also help with minor injuries. As a precaution, put on sturdy gloves before carefully handling the injured animal and taking it to the specialist. This will prevent possible injuries and infections.

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