Why Do Cats Bring People Dead Mice?

Find out how you can stop your cat from bringing you dead mice.

Have you ever had this experience? You're minding your own business, maybe having your coffee in the kitchen or enjoying a lovely afternoon on the porch, when suddenly, your cat trots up to you and drops a dead or half-dead rodent at your feet.

Why Do Cats Bring People Dead Mice?

Cats are born hunters. Just because they've lived with humans for a while doesn't mean that instinct has been taken out of them. They thrive on hunting and bringing food back to their pride. When you live with a cat, you are part of her pride.

Cats bring prey back for their kittens. Sometimes, they bring it back for food while other times, they might bring it is a way to train the kittens to hunt. So, if your cat drops an injured rodent at your feet, she might be expecting you to chase and finish killing it.

Your cat might also bring you prey as a way to thank you for providing her food and shelter—it might just be a way for your cat to show you love.

How Can You Stop Your Cat from Bringing You Dead Rodents?

There may not be any way you can truly stop this behavior, especially if you have a lot of rodents in your home. If your cat goes outside, it may be even harder to deter the behavior. However, you can try to decrease your cat's hunting instincts by providing lots of interactive playtime with you. Get some wand toys and spend at least 10 minutes once or twice a day allowing your cat to pretend to be a hunter, chasing and pouncing on the wand toy while you make it act like prey.

If you are able to, try to ignore the dead rodents that your cat brings you and offer her something else in exchange, like a catnip toy. You might be able to let her know by doing that, that you'd prefer it if she brought you a catnip toy initiate a play session rather than a dead rodent. If your cat doesn't get a reaction from bringing you dead rodents, she should stop. And remember, screaming and running away are reactions.

Remember, don't use any mouse or rat poison in or around your home if you have a cat. Rodents that die from mouse poisoning and are then ingested by a cat can kill the cat too. If your cat goes outside, talk to your neighbors about whether they use mouse poisoning and explain why they should stop.

Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed veterinarian. If you require any veterinary related advice, contact your veterinarian promptly. Information at CatScratching.com is exclusively of a general reference nature. Do not disregard veterinary advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site.