When Your Cat Brings a Mouse into Your Home, Is It Presenting You with a Gift of Love?

When Your Cat Brings a Mouse into Your Home, Is It Presenting You with a Gift of Love?

Have you observed this kind of behavior from your cat? Bringing home a live or dead mouse after having fun outdoors?

Yucky it may be, but is your cat actually presenting you with a gift to show her love and gratitude?

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Actually, bringing home a live or dead prey has nothing to do with a cat's love and gratitude for her fur parent. She's just bringing home a special meal that gave her pleasure in catching it to eat it in peace.

Nope, she has no desire to share it with you or any other predator.

It's part of feline nature, a hunter's instinct that's been passed down from generation to generation since the time of their ancestors, the African wildcats. These wildcats thrived by predating on smaller animals like birds, rodents, frogs, reptiles, and insects.

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And the desire to hunt has never been erased from cats, even after their domestication about 10,000 years ago. It's wired in their brains, and they don't hunt just for food. They crave the good feeling that hunting gives them.

Yes, it's in their nature, but it doesn't mean that you should just let your cat keep on hunting small animals, especially wildlife. According to the American Bird Conservancy, domestic cats (Felis catus) have been partly responsible for the extinction of 63 wild species of birds, reptiles, and mammals and are now a threat to global biodiversity.

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So, how can you stop your pet cat from hunting wildlife?

Here are great tips from International Cat Care:

  • Choose a very appetizing food for your cat with high meat content.
  • Follow a cat's natural feeding pattern by feeding your cat small, frequent meals. Many cat owners find that timed feeders and puzzle feeders are a big help in this effort.
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  • Cats are neophilic, or lovers of things that are new, and so you should put variety into the food that you give it.
  • To satisfy your cat's hunting drive and expend its energy, engage your pet in short and frequent play that resembles its predatory behavioral pattern. You should also choose toys that look like its natural prey.
  • Keeping your cat inside during those times when its natural prey are active will help a lot, too. Prey species are usually active at dawn and twilight.


Doris de Luna

For more than 20 years now, I’ve been devoting my heart, energy, and time to fulfilling my dream, which – many people may agree – is not among the easiest aspirations in life. Part of my happiness is having been able to lend a hand to many individuals, companies, and even governments as an investigative journalist, creative writer, TV director, and radio broadcaster.

At home, I spend my free time learning how to cook various cuisines. Tiramisu, chocolate mousse, and banoffee pie are my favorite desserts. Playing with our dogs, Mushu and Jerusalem, is also a special part of my day. And, of course, I read a lot – almost anything under the sun. But what really makes me feel alive is meeting people from various walks of life and writing about their stories, which echo with the tears and triumph of an unyielding spirit, humanity, and wisdom.

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