Gory “Gifts” From Your Cats Mean They Consider You Family
Ever get a “cat gift?” You know, a dead mouse or an injured bird, left for you to discover on your back porch? Humans typically handle these incidents with disgust and frustration. After all, it’s a smelly, icky job to clean up…
What a cat gift really means…
From a cat’s perspective, however, these deadly gifts signify much more about their evolutionary and physical prowess. Consider, for starters, how cats are natural-born hunters. Sure, they were domesticated by humans approximately 10,000 years ago, but the feline species never lost its knack for self-sufficiency in the wild.
Stalking prey is what cats are wired to do. In fact, cats kill billions of small animals a year in the United States alone. This does not mean cats are evil. Not at all. Rather, it means the feline species adapted and excels at maintaining a carnivorous lifestyle.
You might be wondering: “cats don’t always eat their catch, though.” Good point. Many cat owners recall instances when a dead, completely untouched “cat gift” is left by their home. Rest assured, your cats have an explanation for this type of behavior, especially if they’re a spayed female.
In the wild, mother cats bring home dead or injured prey as a way of teaching their young how to eat food. For a domesticated female cat, this maternal instinct remains intact. Without kittens to pass their hunting wisdom to, cats turn to the humans whom they consider family. A cat gift is, quite simply, your cat’s way of fulfilling their role as a teacher and a parent. As a member of your cat’s surrogate family, accept their gift with grace – they knew you couldn’t catch it on your own.
So, next time a little “cat gift” appears, try to bear in mind that, while gross, the thought behind it was sweet and generous. After spoiling your cat with so many goodies and so much attention, a dead rodent is, with love, your cat’s gift to you.