Why Do Cats Bring You Toys?

Why Do Cats Bring You Toys
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Last Updated on May 23, 2023 by Pauline G. Carter

Cats bring you toys as a way to show their affection towards you. This behavior is innate and comes from their hunting instincts.

It’s no secret that cats are quirky creatures, and one of their cutest quirks is bringing their owners toys. Whether it’s a mouse, a ball, or even a sock, cats feel compelled to bring these items to their humans. But why do they do it?

Simply put, it’s a way for them to show their love and affection towards you. Cats are natural-born hunters, and bringing prey to their owners is a way for them to share their hunting achievements and show their gratitude for the food and care they receive. In this article, we’ll delve deeper into the reasons behind this behavior and explore some other interesting facts about our feline friends.

Why Do Cats Bring You Toys?

Credit: consciouscat.net

The Evolutionary Theory Behind Cats Bringing Gifts

Cats are fascinating creatures that have evolved from their wild ancestors in many ways. One of the most peculiar behaviors exhibited by these domesticated felines is their habit of bringing small animals and toys to their human owners. But what makes cats do this?

Let’s explore the evolutionary theory behind cats bringing gifts.

Introduction To The Concept Of Gift-Giving In Cats

Cats bring toys and other items to their human owners as a sign of affection or as a way of thanking their owners for taking care of them. Even though they don’t have the same instincts to hunt as their wild ancestors, this behavior is ingrained in their dna.

Discussing The Evolutionary Concept Of Cats’ Domestication

Cats were domesticated around 10,000 years ago when people started to settle down in villages and developed agriculture. Since then, they have evolved physically and behaviorally to adapt to their new environment. One of the many adaptations is their hunting instincts, which have lessened in intensity as they no longer need to hunt for their main source of food.

Explaining How Hunting Instincts Of Cats Are Playing A Part In Toy-Giving Behavior

Even though cats no longer need to hunt for food, their hunting instincts are still very much present. When cats bring their owners toys or small animals they have caught, they are essentially mimicking their instincts to hunt. They see their owners as part of their family and are sharing what they have caught with them.

Evidence From Scientific Research To Support This Theory

According to research, cats are more likely to bring their owners dead animals and toys when they are well-fed. This behavior demonstrates the hunting instincts of cats and their desire to share their bounty with their owners. In addition, cats are known for being territorial animals.

Bringing toys and small animals home is a way of marking territory and showing ownership.

Cats’ behavior of bringing toys and small animals home to their owners is rooted in their evolutionary history. Through domestication, cats have adapted their hunting instincts to better fit their new environment. This behavior is a sign of affection and ownership, demonstrating their close relationship with their human owners.

Psychological Reasons Behind Cats Bringing Gifts

Understanding The Behavioral Patterns Of Cats

Cats have fascinating behavioral patterns. They are known as independent and aloof animals that tend to take care of themselves. However, cats also exhibit several behaviors that are quite different from humans and other animals. Understanding these behavioral patterns is essential to decoding the reasons behind their gift-giving behavior.

Here are some key points:

  • Cats are instinctive hunters: They have inherited the skill of hunting from their ancestors. Although domesticated cats may not hunt for their meal, the hunting instinct remains strong. They tend to hunt anything that moves or makes noise.
  • Cats have territorial instincts: Cats are territorial animals and tend to protect their territory. They mark their territory by scratching, rubbing, and spraying their scent. Bringing gifts is a territorial behavior. They may feel the gift is a way to strengthen their bond and claim ownership of their territory.
  • Cats communicate through body language: Cats communicate with their body language. They use their tail, ears, and whiskers to express their emotions. Bringing gifts may be a form of communication. They may bring in a gift to express their emotions towards their owners.

Highlighting The Bond Between Cats And Humans

Cats and humans share a unique bond. Although cats are known for their independent nature, they have been domesticated for centuries and have developed close bonds with humans. Understanding this bond is crucial to decode their reason for gift-giving behavior.

Here are some key points:

  • Cats see their owners as family: Although cats are known for their independence, they also form close bonds with their owners. They consider their owners as part of their family. Bringing a gift could be a sign of affection and a token of their bond.
  • Cats seek attention: Cats love attention. They crave human interaction and affection. Bringing in a gift could be a way to seek more interaction and attention from their owners.
  • Gift giving is a social behavior: Gift-giving behavior is a common social behavior among various animal species, including humans. Cats might have learned this behavior from their ancestors and their domesticated environment.

Discussion Of Psychological Reasons Behind Gift-Giving Behavior

Cats’ gift-giving behavior is fascinating and mysterious. Researchers have studied this behavior, and several psychological reasons have been proposed to explain it. Here are some key points:

  • Love and affection: Bringing in a gift could be a way for cats to show their love and affection to their owners. They may feel an emotional connection with their owners and want to express it through gift-giving behavior.
  • Seeking attention and approval: Cats love attention, and gift-giving behavior could be a way to seek attention and approval from their owners. They may feel that bringing in a gift would make their owners happy and earn their approval.
  • Territorial behavior: Cats may bring in gifts to protect and claim their territory. They may feel that the gift strengthens their bond with their owners and establishes ownership of their space.

Explain How Cats Perceive Their Human Owners And Why They Want To Please Them

Cats perceive their human owners as part of their family and share a close bond with them. They want to please their human owners and seek their love and attention. Here are some key points:

  • Cats perceive their owners as family: Cats form strong bonds with their human owners and consider them part of their family. They tend to reciprocate love and affection through gift-giving and other forms of affection.
  • They want to please their owners: Cats love attention and affection, and they want to please their owners to receive it. Gift-giving behavior could be a way to please their owners and earn their approval.
  • They have learned the behavior from their environment: Cats might have learned the gift-giving behavior from their environment. Domesticated cats often observe and mimic their human’s behavior, including gift-giving.

Case Studies And Anecdotes To Support The Psychological Reasons

Several cases and anecdotes support the psychological reasons supporting cats’ gift-giving behavior. Here are some examples:

  • A cat brings in a mouse as a gift for its owner, who has been unwell. The cat seems to understand that the owner needs some cheering up and brings in the gift to make their owner happy.
  • A cat brings in a toy to show their affection towards their owner. The owner had been travelling for a few days, and the cat may have felt that the gift would make their owner happy and bring them closer.
  • A cat brings in a bird to show its hunting skills. The cat felt that the owner would be pleased with the gift, showing its natural hunting instincts.

Cats’ gift-giving behavior is intriguing and unique. Understanding the behavioral patterns, the bond between cats and humans, and the psychological factors behind the behavior can help cat owners decode this gesture of affection.

How To Train Cats To Bring You Toys

Understanding The Importance Of Training And Reinforcement In Cats

Training cats to bring toys is not an easy task. However, it is essential to understand that cats are trainable and capable of learning new behaviors. Positive reinforcement is crucial in training cats, and it is essential to reward them for their desired behaviors.

Training not only encourages desired behavior but also strengthens your bond with your feline friend.

Steps To Take To Train Cats To Bring Toys

The following are steps you can take to train cats:

  • Start with basic commands: Before training your cat to bring toys, it’s essential to train them on other basic commands such as sit, stay, and come. This approach will help your cat understand that the toys you’re using are different from other household items.
  • Use target training: Start by using a target stick to get your cat to approach the toy you want them to bring. Reward them with treats anytime they approach the toy or touch it.
  • Incorporate verbal cues: Once your cat learns to interact with the toy using the target stick, start incorporating verbal cues such as “bring me the toy.” Reward them every time they bring the toy.

Best Practices For Using Cat Training Toys

The following are best practices for using cat training toys:

  • Use toys that your cat finds appealing: Not all cats have the same toy preferences. Consider buying toys that your cat loves to play with and enjoys.
  • Use a variety of toys: Cats can lose interest quickly, so it’s crucial to use a variety of toys in your training. Using a narrow range of toys can cause your cat to lose interest or become bored with your training sessions.
  • Monitor your cat’s progress: Keep track of your cat’s progress during each training session. This approach will help you know the toys that your cat responds to the most and how often they bring them.

Using Positive Reinforcement To Encourage Cats To Engage In Desired Behavior

Positive reinforcement is crucial in training cats to bring toys. Here are some ways to use positive reinforcement:

  • Treats: Offer your cat treats or their favorite food each time they bring the toy to you.
  • Praise: Cats also respond positively to verbal praise. Take time to praise your cat each time they bring the toy to you.
  • Playtime: Your cat may be more willing to bring toys to you if they know it leads to playtime.

Examples Of Successful Toy Training

Some examples of successful toy training include the following:

  • Clicker training: A clicker is a powerful training tool that provides an audible cue to your cat when they’ve done something right. Each time your cat brings a toy, click the clicker and give them a treat.
  • Target training: Place the toy in a location that your cat can easily see and reach. Use a target stick to get your cat to approach the toy and reward them when they touch it.
  • Fetch: If your cat likes to play fetch, use this as an opportunity to train them to bring toys to you. Start by tossing the toy a short distance. When they bring it back, reward them with treats or playtime.

Training your cat to bring toys can be a fun and rewarding experience. Using positive reinforcement, a variety of toys, and keeping track of your cat’s progress are key to successful training. With patience and consistency, your cat will learn to bring toys to you in no time.

Frequently Asked Questions Of Why Do Cats Bring You Toys?

Why Do Cats Bring You Toys?

When your cat brings you toys, they are showing affection and appreciation.

Is It Normal For Cats To Bring You Toys?

Yes, it’s normal behavior for cats as they see you as their family.

What Kind Of Toys Do Cats Bring Their Owners?

Cats often bring toy mice, balls, or other small objects they can carry.

Should You Play With Your Cat When They Bring You A Toy?

Playing with your cat reinforces positive behavior and strengthens your bond.

Can Cats Bring Toys As A Sign Of Hunger?

It’s unlikely that cats bring toys as a sign of hunger, but they may do so if they associate the toy with food.


Overall, the reason why cats bring toys to their humans is rooted in their instincts and their desire to bond with and care for their human companions. While it may seem strange or amusing to us, it is a way for cats to demonstrate affection and trust.

Understanding this behavior can deepen our connection with our feline friends and enhance the bond we share. As cat owners, we can encourage this behavior by providing our cats with appropriate toys, spending quality time with them, and rewarding them when they bring us a toy.

All in all, cats are fascinating creatures with complex personalities, and their playful and affectionate behavior towards their humans just shows how much they care for us in their own unique way. So next time your furry friend brings you a toy, remember that it’s a symbol of their love and appreciation for you.

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