What does it mean when your pet brings you a ‘present’?

Cats have different ways of greeting their owners, in this article we try to shed some light on what they might be trying to tell us...

22nd November 2019

Cats and dogs have different ways of greeting their owners, it’s what makes those reunions so special. But what does it mean if your cat brings home a dead animal or if your dog carries a toy to you after some time apart?

We look at some of the reasons why your pet might bring you some gifts or unpleasant surprises.

Responding to an instinct

If your cat comes home from their nightly adventures with a gift in the form of a dead animal, they might be acting on their natural urge to kill and bring their prey back to a safe place. Thanks, kitty…!

Showing that they care

Some people think that cats and dogs are trying to show that they care and might just be one of the ways they say thank you for being awesome. This is our favourite theory!

They know they’ll get extra attention

In presenting a toy or bringing a dead animal home, your canine or feline friend might have learnt that you’ll give them some more attention. Our reactions can reinforce our pets to repeat this certain behaviour in the future.

An offer to play with your pet

It might be exactly what it looks like, an invitation or request for you to play with them. If you’ve been at work all day or been busy doing a food shop, your pet will have had to entertain themselves while you were away. Now that you are home, you can play again and spend some quality time with your cat or dog.

They feel sorry for you

Some believe that our pets, cats especially, think of us as poor hunters so their gift is to provide for their human. Similarly, they might be trying to pass on their hunting wisdom to us so that we can start providing for ourselves.

Each pet will greet their owners differently, and each gift might have a different meaning or no meaning at all but all just as special as the last.

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