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Why does my cat carry pieces of clothing around and meow?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hi,

While I'm not really concerned about this behaviour, I'm really curious why my cat does this. He's an 8 year old tomcat, very gentle and sweet, and quite free of any serious bad habits.

Once in a while he tends to pick up pieces of clothing from a pile of dirty laundry which (I'm ashamed to say) we usually leave lying on the floor. He then carries this in his mouth, usually to the middle of the hallway floor, meowing loudly. There doesn't seem to be any playfulness involved.

This only seems to happen in the daytime. Usually we have just come home from work to find pieces of dirty loundry in the hallway, or occasionally in the living room. Recently, however, I started working from home, and thus have had the privilege to observe this ritual (it really seems like a ritual) in progress a couple of times.

Has anyone observed this kind of behaviour or heard of it?

Thanks,
Siggi
post #2 of 22
Both of my cats (one male, one female) will carry one of their toys around and meow. I've always thought that they were making an announcement that they've got something. As for why the carry stuff around in the first place--beats me.
post #3 of 22
Both of my cats have some odd things that they actually look for in the house. BabyGirl's weaknesses are pony-tail holders and twistie ties off of bread and Hoshi's are blush brushes (she is my younger sister's mortal enemy when it comes to those blush brushes). Hoshi will go find one and bring it into the living room or my room and sit by it and meow. And as soon as you put them up she will go right back looking for it. It's so cute.
post #4 of 22
One of my cats that is now gone, used to steal watches, rings and jewelry and run upstairs and dump them in the litter pan- LOL I miss Ripley!

The behavior you are discussing is really just their prey drive. After a cat "kills" its prey they will come and meow to their owner with the critter in their mouth.

What you can do is if it annoys you, is when she does this, retrieve the item from her grasp and give her instead a tasty treat. You are rewarding the kill- and at the end of the hunt, the cat feasts on what they brought back-
post #5 of 22
I think I might try that. It doesn't annoy me (I like watching Hoshi retrieve things), but it would probably be more satisfying if she got something for it.

Thanks Hissy!
post #6 of 22
Simon has recently discovered the joy of killing my sweats. Mostly, when I'm not wearing them, but occasionally, while they're on legs or arms...LOL.

Simon kills the sweats, and then drags them to either my bed, or to his bed...and then hoards them. He and I have had quite a few discussions about that, to no avail for me.

My other 4 don't really care about killing things...they know it's just easier to cry loudly for dinner. ROFl!

Best-
Michele
post #7 of 22
Ophelia has recently (last 3 months) discovered the joy of bringing us her toys. She brings them either to the living room or up on the bed and meows and meows. Thankfully she has decided that 3 a.m. isn't the best time to do this anymore. We just tell her thank you very much, and what a good girl she is, and pet her, and then she's happy. We actually got her a stuffy for Christmas for that express purpose, so she can carry it around and bring it to us. It makes her happy.
post #8 of 22
Nearly every night Rosie will carry down stairs a little sack filled with catnip, but meowing on the way down with it.

Once she gets to the bottom she drops it but will keep meowing until i go and look. I stroke her and tell her what a good girl for mummy she is then she just wanders off for something to eat
post #9 of 22
DeeDee carries a little stuffed cat around at night, every now and then during the day too, and mews loudly. I always assumed she pretends it was her kitten and she was taking care of it.
post #10 of 22
Sammy, a long haired orange cat of mine does almost the same thing. It started with him rummaging through garbage to find toilet paper rolls, which he would carry all around the house meowing all the while.

He eventually started carrying around my mother's pairs of socks, panty hoes, slippers, and and old stuffed animal snake i had as a child. You can hear him meowing all over the house when he has something in his mouth, and he'll bring them into the room where we are and drop them. Then meow loudly until we aknowledge him.

He does it a little less recently, but at its worst we had to keep a hamper downstairs, which would fill up every 2-3 days with socks and slippers!

Strange, but adorable!


~eric
post #11 of 22
but not hera. Zeus will walk around with a mouse and meow really loud for a while. But he will also walk into the rooms and meow when he wants to play. It is like he is saying hey come play with me!!
post #12 of 22
I've always had one cat or another in my life do this. Currently it's George. He has his baby "Sockie" It's a white cotton sock. He carries it a meows loudly. At night "Sockie" always sleeps between my toliet and the wall. I guess Sockie is safe there. If you ask George where Sockie is he gets a concerned look on his face and usually will go find it. Here's a pic . I have always wondered why cats do this.

post #13 of 22
My Max "kills" the paper that comes out of the printer! He grabs it, drags it out of the tray, scatches it and sits on it. He's very proud of himself when he's done. If it's something important you have to stand there and grab it so Max doesn't kill it for you!
post #14 of 22
My Honey does it with her toy balls, she'll just have it in her mouth and meow continuously. Usually with her head down and ears back while she's walking. She's so cute when she does it with bottled water caps cause they cover her nose!!

Quote:
At night "Sockie" always sleeps between my toliet and the wall. I guess Sockie is safe there.
post #15 of 22
My cat Jessa does the same thing. She will grab a sock from my step-dad that's laying around and will walk around in the house meowing loudly. It's so cute. All my animals do really cute stuff.
post #16 of 22
Holly has her "moon". And yes- it is a moon. It's this pink moon that came in a package of cat toys from the dollar store.

If she can't get into our room at night- she will take her moon and leave it at the door. Because dh stepped on it yesterday I've found the moon on the floor of the bedroom- I guess she left it there after bringing it up one night

This morning, she took one of her toys out of the box that her toys are in, and carried it around the house meowing. Guess she wanted someone to play with her.

We've even gotten Sneaky- the almost 10 year old cat to play with the moon

Cheryl
post #17 of 22

That's amazing. I thought my cat was the only cat who ever did that. We put him down a few years ago, but he used to start meowing in this whiny kind of way, with anything from hair ties to socks to jogging pants. He would cry as he carried these items, and once he would drop them wherever he pleased, he let out one or two more whiny meows, and walked away as if nothing ever happened. I wish this was a studied phenomenon.

post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by cla517 View Post

My Max "kills" the paper that comes out of the printer! He grabs it, drags it out of the tray, scatches it and sits on it. He's very proud of himself when he's done. If it's something important you have to stand there and grab it so Max doesn't kill it for you!

that just make me laugh so hard, that is SUPER funny!

post #19 of 22

My white kitty does something similar.  She likes little pieces of cardboard or things like that.  She will go as far as taking it out of the recycling and ripping off a piece if she can't find one LOL.  She will carry it to a room, then play with it with her paws, while talking to it, not really meowing, but the light mewing as she hits it around. then picks it back up in her mouth, drops it to hit it and talk to it a bit.  then she will pick it up after a while, bring it to a different room and do the same thing.  it is so fun to watch.  even a year later and I still get a kick out of it.  I know she's up to it when I hear the faint mewing over and over again <3  

post #20 of 22

Sugar does the same thing with one of her furry mice.  She also likes to "mouse" me.  Yesterday she left a green mouse beside my head, a blue one in the water bowl, and an orange one in my left shoe - which I found when I tried putting the shoe on.  She also likes to play on the ladder on the back porch, with a mouse in her mouth and mewing like a wacko.

post #21 of 22

Yes my cat does the same thing, especially when I'm not home. His name is Diamond and I had him fixed when he was really young. At first I thought it  had something to do with him sexually, but I'm not sure. If anyone does know why they do this, please send me a reply.

post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeebare View Post

Yes my cat does the same thing, especially when I'm not home. His name is Diamond and I had him fixed when he was really young. At first I thought it  had something to do with him sexually, but I'm not sure. If anyone does know why they do this, please send me a reply.


Welcome to TCS. Your cat carries your clothes around because they smell like you. He is playing with you by proxy. He meows to let you know he is wanting attention and is talking to you. I had a chatty cat that would talk to me all day. I invite you to introduce yourself and your cat in New Cats on the Block. Be sure to include a couple of pics of your furkid.

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