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wierd behavior

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I just joined this forum because our cat, Tigger, has recently developed a rather odd habit. He's a big guy - possibly part coon cat, neutered, five years old. He has always had the habit of stealing things like scrunchies, rubber bands, jewelry and depositing them in new locations around the house, all the while accompanied by that "Check out the mouse I caught" vocalizing. Recently, over the last two months, he has expanded his repertoire. He now brings in objects from outside, again with the proud hunter voice and attitude, and deposits them on the floor. It is actually quite amusing: when we hear him coming, we are always ready for a surprise. He favors large chunks of bark mulch, but we have also been given pine cones, camelia buds, plastic bottles and small flower pots, and a child's sandal. I throw everything (except the trash!) out the window - even, as an experiment, the sandal, which has come back three times. This stuff comes in though our dog door. Sometimes he brings home something too big and has to leave it outside the door (I'm still awed that he got the flower pot through the door!) Tigger is clearly not a real "hunter": we have recieved only one actual critter - a baby possum - in all this time.

He seems to be escalating this habit. We now get half a dozen "gifts" a day. His voice is VERY loud and his final hunt of the day usually occurs around midnight, waking us - and probably all our neighbors. Then he hops up on the bed and goes to sleep.

Two questions, well three:
1. What the heck is going on here?
2. Might it indicate any sort of health problem?
3. Amusing as it is, can we do anything to discourage this behavior ? Aside from the noise, our dog ends up chewing up the bark chips and making a big mess all over the house. (It's not possible to keep Tigger inside unless we lock him in one room all day - which seems cruel for a guy who enjoys his outdoor activities so much).

Thanks to all!

PS. I'm not really a "cat person", but Tigger has quite a personality. I'd love to send a photo of him. Is there a place on this site for photos?
post #2 of 6
aww that sounds so funny that he brings all that random stuff to you! He looooves you!

I doubt you can discourage it except by completely ignoring him when he brings you these things. Get rid of them when he isn't around and otherwise, dont look at him or it (other then a quick glance to make sure it isn't alive or important).

To add pix you just put it in your posts. There is an option I think to add attachments. It has to be hosted on another site like photobucket.com first.
post #3 of 6
I don't know how to tell you to stop this behaviour without keeping the cat indoors, which he probably wouldn't like. Sounds like he is very talented and likes to bring you gifts because he loves you. This reminds me of a story in a book called "all my patients are under the bed" by Dr. Louis Camuti, a vet who used to do housecalls in NYC and treated mainly cats. Very good book if you are a cat lover. I'm jealous, though mine don't go outside the closest I get is them leaving cat toys in or around my bed.
To post pics, sign up with photobucket.com and then copy and past the link that has [IMG] next to it, very easy once you figure it out- the best place to post them is in fur pictures in the cat lounge, though I don't think the mods would mind if you added a pic onto this thread. Any probs check out the technical support area.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
While I do appreciate Tigger's 'talent' and am indeed flattered by my his offerings, I was hoping for some more useful info on how to stop this. I had also heard that excessive vocalizing could be a sign of some health problem (don't recall what). But maybe, since he only talks when delivering a gift, I should not worry about this as a health issue.
post #5 of 6
I would assume he only vocalizes when he brings you a gift, although if you are really concerned take him for a checkup. Unfortunately, this is one behavior trhat really can't be stopped. Ignoring the gifts may be a good idea, but it may not work. It is instinct that drives him, he is showing his love for you, and you may have to continue what you are doing by getting rid of everything. I would just leave it at that, and be flattered, I think it is soo sweet. Sometimes I wake up with toys hidden in my bed, and I always take that as I love you gifts.
post #6 of 6
He he - at least its just trash! My grandmas old Siamese used to waint under the bus stop outside her house and bring home wallets, keys and handbag goods. He would also steal from peoples shopping (he liked mushrooms) lol

Maybe if your worried about him bringing them inside you could try to train him to leave them outside in a designated area? Maybe having a box by the doorstep - and move his gifts to it and then praise and give treats?

Sorry - can't think of any really helpful advice!
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