General Question

gailcalled's avatar

If a cat leaves a dead bird on a bedroom rug, is that a sign of lurve or superiority?

Asked by gailcalled (54644points) April 22nd, 2008

Milo, the new Alpha member of this household, dropped a dead, still warm, fledging chipping sparrow in a spot where I walk alot. What is he trying to teach me?

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20 Answers

bulbatron9's avatar

He is just paying you back for the food you have given him. Milo lurves you already, that’s Great!

mzgator's avatar

He is bringing you a gift. Expect more. Growing up we had a Siamese cat who would bring mice, baby rabbits, snakes etc. And drop them off at the doorstep on the mat. Winston, our dog, caught and killed a snake. When I called him in, he proudly ran in and dropped it at my feet. I live in South Louisiana… It was a water moccasin. I am surprised I did not pass away right there. I simply called Troy and he arrived quickly on the firetruck to remove it. He and his fellow firefighters had a good laugh about it. I guess I am privelaged to live with two heroes now.

wildflower's avatar

It’s a gift and an accomplishment. The cat is proud of having caught it and wants to show off.
I’ve never in my life seen an animal look as smug as the cat we had when I was little on the day he brought home a dead duck…........he was a pretty big cat.

occ's avatar

He is delivering what he thinks is a yummy treat to you as a gift. Be glad you don’t live in Manhattan. When my cat was a kitten she would leave me “presents” of huge dead waterbugs, enormous cockroaches. One time if I recall correctly she left me one on my pillow as a present.

syz's avatar

I had a cat that would regularly bring me gifts (in spite of multiple bells) – when she got old, I swear I think she worried about my survival without her. She would bring me live prey, drop them at my feet, and then stare at me in disgust when I didn’t pounce on them and practice my hunting skills. She was treating me as if I was one of her kittens.

When she was very old, she actually brought me an entire (intact) piece of fried chicken – the large, breast cut. I have no idea who she stole it from. I felt terrible hurting her feelings by throwing it away.

breedmitch's avatar

Congratulations! He likes you. He really likes you. He’s also trying to prove his worth to you. The domesticated house cat still possesses the urge to hunt, but no longer the necessity to kill. That doesn’t mean they won’t sometimes kill, but as long as you’re feeding him, he won’t recognize the prey as lunch.
Poor little sparrow. Thank god you’re not squeamish.

trogdor_87's avatar

Its a gift for the family! Animals love to get their masters gifts…and your gift this time just so happened to be a dead bird. Maybe next time you should ask for a better gift.

Babo's avatar

He must really lurve you!!!

TheHaight's avatar

Yes he does lurve you. My cat has brought me birds (baby birds!), cazy big bugs I’ve never seen in my life, mice, etc…. but I am also the one that feeds her every day so maybe shes feeding me in return?...

Tennis5tar's avatar

My cat just killed a baby bird in front of me in my kitchen (20 mins ago). I freaked out as it was still flapping and my dad had to deal with it. How can I let her know it is NOT ok to bring her prey into the house?!

syz's avatar

I’m afraid you never be able to make her understand that, TennisStar.

gailcalled's avatar

@all; those who think that I am NOT squeamish, raise your right hand. I had to put on rubber gloves and turn my head away. Not eagerly awaiting the other gifts, I must say. And I don’t have a dad living with me, unfortunately.

Tennis5tar's avatar

My other cats seemed to learn not to. I suppose it’s just reprimanding her when she does. I’m totally with you gailcalled, I would have donned a couple of pairs of rubber gloves and washed my hands several times afterwards… slight OCD maybe?

susanc's avatar

The bird is not dirty, guys. It’s dead, but it’s fresh. Milo has shown you that he’s
going to take care of you, as noted above. Congratulations!!! You are a bona fide
Good Cat Person. A good cat (and Milo IS a good cat) would never have given you
a rotten bird. He gave you a beautiful fresh bird. Don’t be a pussy. Thank Milo, and
apologize to the birds that follow for having brought death into their world, along with
You cannot ask a cat to stop bringing you such gifts. It would be very rude.

Tennis5tar's avatar

Solution: My mum went to the pet shop and asked for “a collar with the biggest bell they’ve got.” Kitten has a nice jingle to her now…

bulbatron9's avatar

@Tennis5tar – I hope your “mum” got a break away collar(one that breaks easy) I would hate for you to go outside and see you cat hanging from a tree!

Tennis5tar's avatar

She did indeed, it pops off easily if kitten were ever to get caught on something.

zanny's avatar

my cat came back this morning with a baby sparrow and ate it in front of me yuck, She is 3 years old and never bought one back before. We moved house 6 months ago. Is it a sign she is contended. Have seen her with a couple of field mice but they were in the garden. but today she bought it to the door.

Karm2010's avatar

i am so proud, now that i’ve read your comments! Thanks for the 411. This is the first for me, new cat owner and i freaked when i saw this DEAD bird laying at the entrance of my bedroom. i was like where did this come from? is one of the kids playing an awful joke, but Basha’s our cat picks it up and puts it on my bedroom floor. i didn’t realize this is her way of saying thank you for letting her tear up my screen on the porch door, allowing her to move into my closest with her kitten, feeding them, looking at her/them straight in the eyes and say good morning (acknowledging them). wow, i wil praise her/them if they will share/thank me again….

ybmagpie's avatar

If a cat brings you a dead bird he’s telling you that you are an irresponsible pet owner. Outdoor cats live on average 3–5 years compared to 10+ for indoor-only cats. Outdoor cats deal with disease, cars, other feral cats (with their associated diseases), and in many regions of the country coyotes. In one study in Oregon outdoor cats made up 24% of a coyotes diet. You cat can be a happy, healthy cat if he stays indoors. For more information visit:

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