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The Truth Behind Why Cats Bring You Dead Animals

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Most cat owners are familiar with the moment when they hear their pet meowing, only to discover that their beloved kitty has brought them an unexpected gift: a dead bird, mouse, or animal. So, why do cats bring dead animals to their humans?

Read on to learn the most likely reason your cat brings you dead animals and how to handle it.

3 Reasons Why Your Cat Brings Home Dead Animals

#1. They love you!

While it's not valid for all cats, some cats believe that bringing home gifts will get them more attention from you then they will likely continue doing so until they realize it doesn't work anymore.

#2. Natural Instinct

For indoor cats especially, bringing live prey into the house allows them to experience the hunt and feel like she's living in the wild. This stems from their natural predatory instincts, where mother cats would teach their kittens the basics of foraging for food in the wild.

#3. Underlying behavioral problem

Notably, bringing home dead animals is common among cats that are not spayed or neutered. And even though these kitties may seem innocent, they need to be fixed, so they can stop bringing and leaving dead animals around your house for you to find.

How can you stop your cat from bringing home dead animals?

  • Provide a meat-based nutrition

Researchers have discovered that introducing a premium commercial diet containing meat proteins reduced cats' number of prey animals brought home by 36%. Feeding your cat with a meat-rich diet can go a long way in stopping them from hunting birds and other wildlife during their outdoor explorations and bringing you dead animals?

  • Engage your cat in physical stimulation

According to research, 5-10 minutes of daily play with an owner reduced cats' number of prey animals brought home by 25%. Providing your cat with a means of expressing their natural impulse to hunt can go a long way toward satisfying their desire to hunt for prey.

If your cat enjoys stalking, pouncing, or chasing around a toy mouse or even a feather toy, you might want to consider joining in on the fun. Playing with your cat is an excellent way for you and your pet to bond better, and a means for you to satisfy your cat's instinct to hunt.

  • Attach a bell to their collar

One of the simplest ways to prevent your cat from successfully hunting and killing wildlife is to attach a bell to its quick-release collar. Should your feline have an encounter with wild animals and birds, the bell will alert the wild animals of your cat's approach, allowing them enough time to escape or flee. However, research has also shown that some cats learn to hunt successfully despite wearing a bell.

  • Restrict their outdoor time to daytime

Another efficient strategy to keep your cat from killing prey is to keep them indoors at night and early morning when small mammals and birds are most active. However, with cats being crepuscular creatures, this strategy may not work for all cats, particularly feral cats who love exploring the great outdoors.

Final Words

Cats are mysterious animals, and some of their behaviors can be downright weird, like bringing you dead animals they find in the backyard or when hunting.

Don't be alarmed if your cat occasionally brings you back a dead bird or mouse from outside; this behavior is normal and healthy. You may discourage your cat from bringing home dead animals and make a significant difference for wildlife by taking a few tiny and easy steps to improve your cat's health and happiness.

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