Red Ginger Maine Coon Cat Playing With Feathered Toy

Why Do Cats Bring You Toys?

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We all agree that the mind of the average feline is a mysterious one. But one question above all else often crops up, why do cats bring you toys? – after all, they aren’t dogs, so what makes them go into retrieval mode? Let’s explore.

Understanding Cat Behavior

Being a cat parent, you already know that cats are fascinating creatures with unique personalities and behaviours. One of the most endearing yet puzzling cat behaviours is when they present their owners with “gifts” (dead birds, mice, hairballs, etc.). Understanding why cats have this tendency can help you better appreciate your furry feline.

Instinctive Hunters

Cats are…well catty.  This is not meant to be derogatory, in fact, it is meant as a rather sincere compliment to their natural hunting abilities. While in a general sense cats may be domesticated, their natural hunter/prey instincts are still very intact. Bringing their owners assorted “gifts” is simply how cats show off their stealthy hunting skills and how they share their “kill” with the human they “den” with.

In the wild, cats bring their killed prey back to their den to feed their feline family. Bringing various dead animals, big bugs, and toys to their human owners is a way for cats to mimic that instinctive behaviour and to share their “kill” with their favourite human.

Playful Nature

Cats are very well known for their playful ways. Bringing toys to their owners is their way of getting attention to play and bond with their favourite human. By offering up toys cats are, in effect, inviting their human to play. Such behaviour is an important part of a cat’s mental and physical health. Playtime is a big part of bonding and it surely reduces stress and anxiety (for the cat and you!).  This purrfectly natural behaviour helps prevent cat boredom plus it keeps cats active and fully engaged with their home environment.

Because you’re a good cat owner, you’ll know that cats bring toys to their owners as a way to share, to play, or to get the loving they crave. Understanding this behaviour can help you better connect with your special cat and shower them with the positive stimulation they desire.

tabby kitten plays with coloured balls

Why Cats Bring You Toys

1 Showing Affection

Think about it….when your cat brings you a toy or something else, it’s often about their desire to show affection towards you. It’s their way of saying “I love you” and “I want to make you happy”. “Now, pet me, purrrrrrrrrrrr!  By the way, when a cat rubs you it is leaving its scent — it is claiming you!

This is especially true if your cat purrs and rubs while bringing you the prize or eagerly rubs its purring head against you. It’s important to acknowledge your cat’s gesture by thanking them and playing with the gift the cat brought to you.

2 Teaching You to Hunt

Cats are natural hunters, so when they bring you prey, they may be trying to teach you how to hunt. Think about it. By bringing you a toy, they’re showing you how to catch prey and providing you with the opportunity to practice your hunting skills. This is really true when your cat brings you toys that resemble prey, such as mice or birds. Playing with your cat and their toys can be a fun way to bond and really experience a kinship with them.

3 Seeking Attention

Cats are famous for their independent nature, but they also crave attention from their owners. When your cat brings you a toy, they may be seeking your attention as in “Hey you, remember me??”. They want to play and interact with you, and bringing you a toy is their way of initiating playtime. It’s important to spend quality time with your cat.  Play with your cat regularly to keep it happy and healthy.

In summary, cats bring you toys for various reasons, including showing affection, teaching you to hunt, and seeking attention. It’s important to acknowledge your cat’s gesture by thanking them and playing with the toy they brought you. By spending quality time with your cat and playing with their toys, you can strengthen your bond and provide them with the attention they need.

There are tons of good cat toys for sale today.  Here are a few types that are sure to please your feline furball:

Types of Toys Most Cats Like

Stuffed Animals

Stuffed animals are a popular toy that cats simply love to bat around. These toys are usually soft and cuddly — cats love to snuggle up with them!  Some cats even carry them around like they are their babies. Stuffed animals come in all shapes and sizes.  Treat your cat to some cuddly soft toys today! 

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Balls

Balls are another common toy that cats like to bring to their owners. They are great for cats to chase and bat around. Some cats prefer small balls, while others like larger ones. There are several types of balls like ordinary ping pong balls, toy balls with bells inside, and even balls with feathers attached.

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Feathered Toys

Feathered toys are a favourite among cats. They love to pounce on them and bat them around. Feathered toys can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from simple feathers on a stick to more elaborate toys with multiple feathers and bells attached.

Cats will bring all sorts of toys to their owners. Stuffed animals, balls, and feathered toys are just a few favoured toys that cats love and will bring to you. 

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What to Do When Your Cat Brings You a Toy

It’s important to remember that cats bring toys to their owners as a way of showing affection and love. So the next time your cat shares a toy with you, even if it’s wet and gross, remember to say “thank you” and then shower the cat with love and affection.

If your cat brings you a toy, it’s so important not to be squeamish but to respond affectionately to encourage not discourage this behaviour. 

Here are some tips on what to do when your cat brings you a toy:

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a great way to encourage your cat to continue bringing you toys. When your cat brings you a toy, praise them lovingly and even give them a treat. This will help your cat associate bringing you toys with positive experiences.

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Interactive Play

Interactive play is another great way to encourage your cat to bring you toys. Play with your cat using the toy they brought you. This will help your cat understand that you like their gift and you want to play more.

During playtime, try to mimic hunting behaviours by moving the toy like prey. This will make playtime more engaging for your cat and help them release pent-up energy.

Here are some more tips to help make playtime fun:

  • Use a variety of toys to keep playtime interesting
  • Rotate toys to keep them fresh and exciting
  • Play with your cat for at least 10-15 minutes every day

Cats bring you toys as a way to show affection and trust. Responding positively to this behaviour will help strengthen your bond with your cat. Responding negatively will destroy that bond and trust.

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Why Do Cats Bring You Toys?

The short answer to why do cats bring you toys? is that it’s a sign of affection and trust. It is their way of showing appreciation for your care and attention. Cats are natural hunters and bringing you toys is their way of sharing their hunting prowess with you.

While it may seem odd or confusing at times, it is important to remember that cats have their own ways of communicating and expressing themselves. By bringing you toys, they are trying to communicate their love and appreciation for you.

When your pet cat brings you prey or toys it is a sure sign that they feel comfortable and safe in your “den”.  It’s important to reciprocate their affection by playing with them and giving them lots of attention. This will strengthen your bond creating a happy and healthy relationship between you and your friendly feline.


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