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Why Do Cats Leave Presents?

Why Do Cats Leave Presents?

19th May 2015
(c) A-Z-Animals.com

Despite being very well and often overfed, it is all too familiar for owners of cats that spend time outside to find "presents" of dead birds and rodents just outside the back door and in the garden (and for a handful of unlucky people these gifts even make it inside). It is a common question by many as to why this happens when kitties are so well fed that they have no need to hunt and kill.

So why does this happen, does it mean our beloved pets are simply cold-blooded killers? Before establishing whether this is really the case or not, it is important for all cat owners to understand a few little details about what is causing this behaviour to occur. Cats are natural-born hunters with our domesticated moggies having evolved from feral cat species on the African continent and these instincts are fully engrained into their nature.

Many people who own cats understand this key fact but find it difficult to contemplate the reason as to why small animals are hunted and killed and then not eaten. In fact, it is thought that cats kill billions of small creatures every year in the USA alone. The crucial reason behind this undesirable behaviour is that in the wild, mothers teach their young how to eat their food by bringing them dead or sometimes injured prey.

One of the biggest culprits are thought to be spayed female cats who still possess this instinct but have no young to pass their knowledge onto, resulting in the owner being the lucky recipient of their hard work. Oddly enough, they may simply be trying to pass on their skills to you...seeing as we would find it much harder to catch a bird in a tree, your loving cat is trying to help!

Despite the fact that this kind of behaviour is not favoured by almost all cat owners, we have to understand that they are simply following their incredibly strong natural instincts. As someone that has four cats at home that all go outdoors regularly, we try to help the problem by ensuring we are not attracting birds to the garden using bird feeders which is sad but would ultimately be quite a cruel thing to do.