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Cat bringing in "presents"

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
My cat brings me a new present every night. He started with millipedes, and centepedes, and mice, now he's up to baby rabbits. 3 just this week. I've gotten to know his tone of voice when there is a "present" in the house and he wont stop meowing until I go see what he's brought. I just get his present and toss it out. Don't know what else I could do. I dont reward him, but I dont get mad either. There really is no way to stop an animal from hunting and killing, basically he's just doing what nature does, but it really sucks wondering if I don't know if he's brought something in and maybe I'll come walking down our hall one night and step on something. He leaves the presents in the middle of the hall, or right by the kitchen where someone could easily step and squash it with bare feet. NASTY! Any body know what to do about this, if anything?
post #2 of 15
I am glad that you are not punishing him for this behavior. As you said, this is normal cat behavior....all cats are genetically "programmed" to hunt AND cats also know that they need to bring food for their families. Thus, he is hunting and bringing food to make sure you are healthy and happy! Isn't that nice of him?!

I don't know of anything you can do to stop this, other than keeping him inside. Perhaps some other members will have ideas that will help.
post #3 of 15

Umm...I've got three ideas.

1) Keep your cat indoors permanently. You will have to provide a litter tray, toys to keep him occupied, scratching post.

2) Put bells on his collar. Not just one, at least two!! Cats learn to walk without the bells jingling very easily. The more bells you put on, the less likely this will happen. I've never tested this and I'm not even sure this even works. Someone else out there may know about this.

3) I have seen a collar at the vet's. I've forgotten the name. However this collar activates a noise that scares off potential prey as your cat leaps or pounces. The noise does not harm your cat in any way. You may like to try this alternative. Oh and I would add bells to this collar too.
post #4 of 15
Mags, I have heard that bells don't work because birds and rabbits don't know that they are supposed to be afraid of bells. I don't know if that is true, and I can't remember where I heard it.

I've never heard of the collar with the warning sound. That is pretty cool!
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the ideas. I cant make him stay in, he's always gone out, and basically lives for it. The collar idea was good. Thats cool. Those little rabbits need a warning of some kind. I figured their moms or dads would do something about their babies being stolen in the night, lol. But perhaps they do. He still makes away with them, though. And he's so proud whenever he has something, I can't get mad at him. I didnt know that about cats need to bring in food for the family. That is very interesting. By the way, this is a nice site!!
post #6 of 15
If you go go for a collar make it a break-away collar. And outside kitty is a danger to himself with a regular collar on. I have heard of to many cats strangling when they get caught on things. Break-aways are the best.

Bells don't work, not really, except to tell you where your kitty is at if he is walking around.

I have many cats who bring us trophies all the time. This is what we started doing about 7 months ago and it works well.

Right outside the back door, is a cardboard flat. Any time kitty would bring in a trophy, be it a frog, or a bug, or a mouse, I would take kitty and trophy to this box lid, put the deceased thing inside the box lid, sit there and pet kitty and talk to her, then pick up the lid and dispose of critter. I did this every time, and now all trophies are dropped in the box and the cat comes meowing to get me and get her *reward* but they leave the dead thing in the cardboard flat and don't bring it in the house.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
That is such a good idea!!! Cool, I am gonna try that and see if he responds to it. I didnt want to put a collar on him because we have too much fencing in our yard, (pool) I didnt want anything to happen to him. It only took 7 months?? They always say it's hard to train a cat, but not because they dont know, or because they are not smart, just because they do not want to do whatever it is that your trying to get them to do. I'll see what happens, Thanks!
post #8 of 15
My two boys have bells on their collars, but they still manage to catch things.

We used to get 'presents' all the time during the night, but we've had to lock the cat flap because a neighbour's cat kept coming in our house and having a go at my two (cheeky or what!?) Anyway, that solved the problem of animals being brought in and the cats have learnt to 'knock' on the cat flap when they want to come in

Dead presents in the house are easy to deal with, but has anyone had live ones?? We've had countless mice running round our house and we've spent hours trying to get them out!!
post #9 of 15
Hi there

One of my cats have similar behaviour. However, I have noticed through the years (Camo is 5 years old)that when she does not feel threatened by anything, mice, birds, and whatever else she can get her paws on are usually hidden underneath a bed and is only dicovered once the rooms are cleaned or worse case scenario the smell of the "dead" literally awakens you. Whenever circumstances change Camo will leave her gifts wherever they can be seen, either in the hallway or on the threshold. This has happened when we got a new kitten, a new puppy and whenever we have been away on vacation or spent very little time at home. This seems to be her way of telling us that she is feeling left out or neglected. The only way to control this is to ensure that she gets as much attention as you can possibly give to reassure her of her place in the home.

Perhaps you should recap on what might be different in your household that might have led to this behavior?

Greetings - Daais
post #10 of 15
Hi! Just a thought - I'm not so sure that a collar with bells is such a great idea, because cats have very acute hearing. What is just a little "tinkle" to us could be very annoying to a cat over time. Just think how a constantly ringing telephone can get on our nerves.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi, well, we've been trying the box thing. I keep it inside right by his door instead of outside. He's upping the amount of things he brings in. The other night we woke up and there was a bunny and a mouse AND a big sunspider all laying side by side. I took each one seperately and showed him where it goes. The first time he brought a baby bunny in, it was still alive, but it's neck was not right. After that they've all been dead. Last night it was just a mouse, and I took him to his box and put the mouse in and he took his paws and scooped the mouse and tossed him back on the floor. We did this 3 times! He wants his presents on the floor, lol. I guess we will have to wait and see, I like the idea, it's gotta work. Now how do I stop him from waking me up at 3 in the morning meowing his head off to get me outta bed and see what he's brought in???? Keep ya posted.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
About the attention getting post from Daais, I could see how maybe that would be part of it. The night he brought 3 things in, my husbands brother was here visiting. Plus, we have a 2 year old daughter. I do I everything in my power to make sure he knows how much I love him. He is not too fond of her AT ALL. And she tries to chase him so I always make sure he knows I am protecting him from her. At any rate. He has my attention. Haha, Drrrrrr!!! I am sure glad he doesnt hide the animals under beds. I am VERY thankful I find them right away.
post #13 of 15
Hi. The only thing I can suggest is to keep your cat indoors. My only concern for your kitty bringing presents to you is the multiple array of parasites that these rodents carry that your cat could contract from eating and playing with them. Does your kitty have a door that it goes in and out of at it's leisure? One of the reasons that your cat keeps bringing you presents is probably because you're letting him. Don't let him in the house with the rodents. Lock the kitty door up and when he is ready to come in, make sure he doesn't have any rodents in his mouth and if he does, make him drop them outside before he enters. He may then get the idea that you don't really care to have these presents he brings to you.
post #14 of 15

I've just got the name of the collar that makes a noise when the cat leaps. It's called the Liberator.

post #15 of 15
Two of my cats, Spook and Tar, are hunters too, and like to bring us "presents" too. They bring them to the back door and then try to get them in the house also. When we let them in, we get hold of the "gift" and promptly throw them away, then praise and pet them. So far they have eradicated the rabbits and moles that were plaguing our garden, so great for them! The cats look around for a while for their gifts, then give up trying to find them, so it works out well for everyone. It's definately part of their nature to go hunting, so punishing them will just cause rifts between your owner and you. Have fun and love them!
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