cat with brown mouse toy in mouth

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

Ever feel baffled by your cat’s strange habit of bringing you toys, like that squeaky mouse they drop at your feet? You’re in good company. Many cat owners wonder what’s going on in their furry friend’s mind when they present these gifts.

Here’s something to catch your interest: it’s not just a quirky behavior. It’s a sign of trust and a way for cats to communicate with their humans. In this article, we’re going to explore the reasons behind these gift-giving moments and what your cat might be trying to say.

We’ll also show you how to respond to these gifts. This can help make your bond with your cat even stronger. Ready to dive in? Let’s get started. You’re about to understand your cat’s mysterious actions much better!

Key Takeaways

  • Cats bring toys to show affection, seek attention, share their hunting “catch,” or express a desire for new playthings.
  • A cat’s natural instincts drive them to hunt and sometimes they want to teach us, just like they would teach their kittens.
  • Always respond kindly when your cat brings you a toy to keep encouraging this behavior and strengthen your bond.
  • Cats might also bring toys as a sign of gratitude or for safekeeping in special spots they consider secure.
  • Play with your cat using the toys they offer to give them mental stimulation and physical activity.

Reasons Why Your Cat Brings You Toys

Cats bring toys for various reasons, such as seeking affection, alleviating boredom, and satisfying their natural hunting instincts. They may also want to teach you how to hunt or simply engage in play and attention-seeking behavior.

Looking for Affection

Your cat bring you toys for many reasons, and one big reason is they want your love. Just like people hug or give gifts to show they care, cats do this too. They might pick their favorite toy mouse or a ball with catnip, then drop it at your feet.

It’s as if they’re saying “I like you!” This means they feel safe and happy with you.

They also might want some cuddle time or a pat on the head. If your kitty brings a toy and meows, it could be asking for a little play session together. After giving them affection, don’t forget that sometimes cats just get bored.

They might need more fun things to do..

Sheer Boredom

Sometimes, a cat is just bored. They need something fun to do! Cats love to stay busy and when they can’t find anything interesting, a toy might end up at your feet. Think about it – for indoor cats especially, the world doesn’t change much day by day.

No new smells or sights like they would find outside. So bringing you a toy is their way of spicing things up!

Playing is important for cats, but sometimes they’ve played with their toys all alone too many times. They want some excitement and someone to share in the fun – that’s where you come in.

If your feline friend drops a slobbery stuffed mouse on your lap, it’s not just because she loves that toy; she might be asking you to add some zest into playtime by tossing it or playing fetch together.

cat chewing on fish toy

Their Hunting Instinct

Cats are natural hunters. It’s in their blood to chase and catch things. This is why they might carry a cat toy to you. They see it as their prey, like they’ve caught a mouse or a bird outside.

Your feline friend wants to play because this hunting game is fun for them! When they bring you a toy, they’re sharing their “catch” with you.

Think of it as a kitty showing off what they can do. Your cat may want to give you lessons on how to snag these little “prey” toys too!

Teaching You to Hunt

Cats’ hunting instinct is not just about satisfying their own needs but also about teaching you to hunt. When your cat brings you toys, it’s a way of showing you how to catch prey.

This behavior mimics what mother cats do with their kittens – they bring back live or injured prey for the kittens to practice hunting and killing. So when your cat offers you a toy, it’s essentially trying to teach you these same skills.

Your cat views you as part of its family and wants to ensure that everyone can fend for themselves. By bringing you toys, they might want to encourage your hunting abilities and show care by sharing their “prey” with you.

Wanting Play and Attention

When cats bring you toys, it could be their way of asking for playtime and attention. They may meow to get your focus and let you know that they’re ready for some fun. Cats see their pet parents as playmates, so when they bring a toy to you, it’s their way of inviting you to engage with them.

This behavior is often an expression of their desire for interaction and companionship, so responding positively can strengthen the bond between you and your cat.

It’s important not to scold or ignore your cat when they bring you a toy; instead, take the opportunity to engage in interactive play. By doing so, you fulfill your cat’s need for mental stimulation and physical activity while also nurturing a deeper connection with them.

Needing Replacements for Broken Toys

When your cat brings you toys that are old and worn out, it may be seeking replacements for its broken or damaged playthings. Cats often form strong attachments to their toys, especially those they have successfully hunted and captured.

When these cherished possessions become tattered or unusable, your cat might bring them to you in the hope of receiving new ones. Providing your feline friend with fresh toys can not only keep it engaged and entertained but also prevent it from feeling distressed over the loss of its beloved playthings.

Replacing broken toys is essential as cats rely on these items to satisfy their natural hunting instincts and stay mentally stimulated. By offering new toys, you’ll help fulfill this need while also strengthening the bond between you and your pet.

Sharing with Another Cat

When your cat brings toys, it might not only be directed at you – they could be sharing with other cats in the household. This behavior can signify a gesture of goodwill and bonding within their feline social structure.

By offering toys to fellow cats, they are expressing affection and creating a sense of community among themselves.

Cats may exchange toys as a form of communication, establishing trust and camaraderie with their feline companions. This act also reflects their natural inclination towards territorial sharing and reinforcing social connections within the group.

cat with purple mouse toy in mouth

Offering Gratitude or Providing

When your cat brings you toys, it can be a way of showing gratitude and love. By offering their favorite toys or even prey, cats express appreciation for the care and companionship you provide.

This gesture reflects their affection for you and is their unique way of complimenting and engaging with their human companion. So if your feline friend presents you with a toy, it’s a sign of endearment that strengthens the bond between you both.

Remember not to overlook these offerings from your cat, as they are meant to convey love and thankfulness towards you.

Safekeeping Their Toys

Cats often bring their toys to specific spots, such as under the bed or in a particular corner. These favorite hiding places are like treasure troves where they keep their prized possessions safe from other pets or potential intruders.

Whether it’s a felt mouse or a jingling ball, your cat’s chosen hiding spot for its toys is akin to our secret stashes – safe and hidden.

Cats can be quite territorial about their toys and see them as valuable possessions. For them, these toys hold significant meaning and serve as security blankets of sorts, providing comfort and familiarity.

How to Respond When Your Cat Brings You Toys

When your cat brings you toys, here’s how to respond:

  1. Show appreciation by praising and petting your cat when they bring a toy. This positive reinforcement encourages them to continue this behavior.
  2. Engage in playtime with your cat using the toy they brought as a way to bond and fulfill their need for interaction and activity.
  3. Avoid scolding or ignoring your cat when they bring you a toy, as this can discourage them from engaging in natural behaviors.

What Does It Mean When Cats Bring Other Gifts?

Cats often bring other gifts, such as dead animals or random objects, as a way to show affection or provide for their owners in the same way they would care for their fellow felines.

Dead Animals as Gifts

Cats often bring dead animals as gifts, such as birds or mice, to their owners. This behavior is a way for cats to share their hunting success and show affection. It may seem unusual, but it’s a natural instinct for them.

When your cat brings you a gift, they’re trying to include you in their hunting routine and express love.

While the sight of a dead animal may not be pleasant for humans, it’s important to understand that from the cat’s perspective, this is an act of kindness and care. It’s essential for owners to appreciate this behavior as a form of feline communication and recognize it as a display of love from their pets.

cat with dead mouse in mouth

Inappropriate Gifts and How to Respond

When your cat brings you inappropriate gifts, it’s important to respond in a way that respects their natural behavior and nurtures your bond. Here’s how to handle this situation:

  • Gently remove the item without scolding or punishing your cat. This can discourage the behavior without causing stress.
  • Redirect their hunting instincts by engaging them in interactive play with toys designed for chasing and pouncing.
  • Consider providing an outdoor space or safe area for your cat to express their hunting behaviors.
  • Offer positive reinforcement and praise when your cat engages in appropriate play behaviors.
  • Avoid displaying strong negative reactions as it may confuse or distress your cat.
  • Ensure a balanced environment for mental stimulation through interactive toys and companionship.


In conclusion, understanding why your cat brings you toys helps strengthen the bond between you and your feline companion. By responding positively when your cat brings toys, you encourage their natural behaviors and show them affection.

Recognizing the various reasons behind this behavior allows for a more fulfilling interaction with your pet. Embracing these insights can lead to a deeper connection and mutual understanding within your household.

Remember, acknowledging and engaging with your cat’s toy offerings can enrich both their lives and yours. Fostering this unique form of communication nurtures a relationship built on trust, love, and companionship.

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Written by Tom Cashman

I have grown up with pets for almost fifty years. My family has strong ties to the animal shelter community in Chicago. Currently I have two cats: an orange tabby named Zelda, and a gray mixed named Zander. Like all of my pets, they were adopted from a local animal shelter. Pet Zone represents my passion for sharing with the pet community.

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Why Does My Cat Bring Me Toys?

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  1. I never realised how much depth there is to why cats bring us toys. It’s fascinating how they communicate and bond with us through these little gestures! 😊