Why Do Cat Bring You Dead Animals? 3 Main Reasons!

If you’re a cat owner, you’ve probably had the experience of your beloved feline friend bringing you a “gift” of a dead animal.

While it’s an awful situation, there’s actually a reason behind this behavior.

So, why do cats bring you dead animals? It is a survival instinct that makes your cat bring you dead or live animals. They are trying to show you that they are capable hunters.

In the wild, mother cats usually teach their young babies (kittens) how to survive, which of course includes finding food and eating it. And the same applies to domesticated moggies. The reason may also be that they want to share their catch with their family.

But this was just a quick answer.

Let’s dive deeper into the reasons your kitty may be leaving dead prey on your doorstep, along with tips on how to deal with this disturbing behavior!

5 Reasons Why Does Your Cat Bring You Dead Animals

The following are the five most common reasons why your cat brings you dead animals:

Hunting Instinct

As we’ve already mentioned, the hunting instinct is the most common reason behind this behavior. Cats are natural born hunters, and their instinct is to kill and eat their prey.

According to some cat behaviorists, cats will bring home prey that they have killed and hunted to an area that feels comfortable and secure.

While it may be gross and disturbing, your cat is simply trying to show you that they are a capable hunter.

Since cats are natural hunters, even cats that would never go near a mouse will bring you the remains of their latest catch to show off for ‘kitty treats’ and hunting skills or just because they can’t resist showing it off to their favorite humans and mother cats.

Cats that return with pack animals often try to please you, but if they’re showing off a kill, they may expect a ‘treat‘ for their efforts. That ‘treat’ does not have to be from a pet store. It could be a bowl of milk, stuffed mice, tuna, or even a cat’s food.

Bring You Gifts As A Sign Of Love

Another reason your cat may be bringing you dead animal gifts is as a sign of love and affection. While it may sound strange, most cats see their owners as part of their family, and they want to show their love by giving them gifts.

So, remember the next time your feline companion brings you a dead or live animal, it may just be his or her way of telling you he/she loves you and cares for you.

In other words, it may just be their way of saying “I love you.” 

Teach You How To Hunt

Another reason why your cat brings you dead or injured animals is that they want to teach you how to hunt. 

In the wild, when a mother cat catches prey, she will often bring it back to her kittens to teach them life saving skills. And in some cases, domesticated cats may be trying to do the same thing with you.

According to some studies, cats do not differentiate between humans and cats. So, if they do not see you killing, it might make sense for them to teach you this basic survival skill.

The problem is that it can be harder to tell if your kitty is trying to share or teach you how to hunt. In both cases, the cat will bring you the dead bird or animal in an undeniable manner. And, there will be either dead or alive prey in both situations.

One thing that may hint that your kitty is trying to teach you is its gender. For kittens to survive and grow, female cats are almost solely responsible. But male cats are almost always absentee fathers and sometimes kill their babies. This is why female cats often bring dead animals as a way to teach kittens how to hunt.

In the nutshell, if you have a female cat that brings you dead animals, she might be teaching you how to hunt or sharing with you. In contrast, if it’s a male cat, he’s more likely just wanting to share with you what he knows.


Sometimes, your cat may just want to play with you. And, in their mind, the best way to do that is by bringing you dead or live prey.

While it may sound gross, some cats see playing with dead animals as a fun way to bond with their owners. In their mind, they are just trying to have a good time with you.

If your cat brings you a dead animal and seems to be having fun, then it’s likely that they just want to play with you.

Preserve Food for Later

You know, when we go to restaurants, eat a lot of stuff, and pack up the leftover food for later use. In the same way, cats bring food, thinking they will preserve it for later use because they are self-petite and eat a small portion of their prey.

Because they are fed at home properly, your kitty might be full while she plays a challenging prey game. She thinks her home is safe and stores the food for later use.

So, if you see a dead animal on your doorstep or inside your house, it’s probably because your cat is trying to save it for later.

Now that we have discussed why cats bring you dead animals in detail, let’s see what you can do to stop domestic cats from prey-catching behavior.

Do you need veterinary advice, or do you cure yourself? Let’s explore it.

Why do cats bring you dead animals

How Do I Stop My Cat from Bringing Home Dead Animal?

First, don’t panic: it’s not like your cat is out murdering animals and playing a twisted game with you. It’s normal behavior for cats; they feel the instinct to hunt and chase animals to kill them.

However, if you’re tired of finding rodent corpses and spraying pest control on your doorstep or in front of your apartment door, read below for tips on stopping your cat from prey drive.

Keep Your Cat Indoors

The best and easiest way to stop your kitty from ever bringing you dead animals is by keeping your pet cat indoors only.

Of course, for cats used to going outside all their lives, it can be a difficult change, and some adjustments will need to be made to make the transition easier. 

To begin, take it slow and don’t restrict your fellow familiar completely. When they return from their trip, feed them indoors and gradually decrease the amount of time they spend outside.

Keep Your Cat’s Hunting Instincts In Check with a Leash

Another best way to stop cats from killing birds and other small animals is by taking them outside on a leash. 

If you find that going outdoors is an exciting and fun activity for your cat (and you want your pet cat in the great outdoors), letting a cat roam freely in public places like parks is dangerous. 

A cat will more likely encounter other cats, pets, and birds/rodents. This way, it will act more likely to a cold-blooded killer. So, it’s best to clip a leash onto your kitty when taking her outside. this way, the cat can enjoy natural stimuli without encountering any potentially harmful situations.

What To Do When Your Cat Brings You Dead Animals

Put A Bell To The Cat’s Collar

Putting a bell on your cat’s collar is the best way to stop it from hunting and killing animals. The bell on the collar of an outdoor cat will alert wildlife to its presence, allowing them to fly or scurry away.

Always make sure it’s a quick-release collar, as this will undo it if your pet cat gets stuck on something.

Take Away Predator Cues

If you let your pet cat outside, try removing stimuli that might attract predators and prey. Keep your cat away from small mammals like mice and chipmunks that might attract her.  

Cats are more likely to hunt if they see any prey nearby, so remove their temptation by getting rid of these items in your yard.

If mice have any way of getting inside your house, your kitty may hunt mice even if they are inside your house. Therefore, make sure all entrances to your home that may give mice access to your home. are secured and patched.

Don’t Expect Your Cat to Adapt Overnight

Cats take time and patience to get used to change: it’s not easy convincing an animal that has been roaming free its entire life to stay indoors or on a leash.

If you expect your cat to adapt overnight without too much fuss, you might have some difficulties along the way. Cats can adapt pretty quickly, though; be patient with them as you try out different tips for keeping your cat from bringing dead or alive animals indoors from your back porch.

Things You Can Do Right Away!

The following are some tips that cat owners can do to right away.

  • Buy your kitties some toys they can have fun with, and practice their hunting instincts without killing any animal and bringing dead or inured prey to your doorstep.
  • Create labyrinths and box puzzles using cardboard boxes by cutting windows in them and hiding sweets throughout.
  • Purchase a cat perch or cat tree, or construct one yourself! Set it at various heights throughout the space. Never think to give your kitty a dead rodent or anything that can provoke their prey habit.
  • Indoor cats are lazy and overweight because most don’t go out. They also need exercise to stay healthy. You can play with them with a laser pointer; by considering its prey, they will chase it and remove the frustration of chasing the laser pointer.

Final Words

I hope this article has helped you better understand why cats bring you dead or injured prey and how to deal with it easily if you’re a lifelong cat lover.

In most cases, cats bring dead or injured animals because they see us (the humans) as inexperienced hunters, or perhaps they’re showing affection.

Although cats are natural hunters, they only feel the need to hunt if their prey is within sight. So removing hunting stimuli near your home will help stop your cat from bringing you dead rodents and other small creatures left at your doorstep.

If you let her outside, clip her leash and take her out on a walk. That’ll keep her/his busy while ensuring she doesn’t escape and find dead animals to bring back home.

Please tell us in the comments below what tips you have for keeping your cat from bringing home dead animals.

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