Why Do Cats Carry Toys In Their Mouth?

Have you ever wondered why your cat carries their toys in their mouth? It’s a common behavior among felines and has been observed in both domestic and wild cats.

One theory is that cats carry toys in their mouth as a way to mimic hunting and prey. By picking up and carrying their toys, cats are practicing their hunting skills and satisfying their natural instincts. Another possibility is that cats carry toys as a way to bond with their owners. By presenting their toys as gifts, cats may be trying to communicate their affection and loyalty to their human companions. So next time you see your cat carrying around their favorite toy, remember that there may be more to it than meets the eye.

Cats carry toys in their mouths for several reasons, including play, hunting instincts, and as a way to show affection to their owners. It’s a common behavior among cats, and they may even bring their toys to their owners as a gift. Some cats may also carry toys in their mouths as a way to relieve stress or anxiety. It’s important to provide your cat with appropriate toys to prevent them from chewing on inappropriate objects.

H2: Why Do Cats Carry Toys in Their Mouth?

Cats are fascinating creatures that have intrigued humans for centuries. One of their peculiar habits is carrying toys in their mouth. This behavior is not only cute but also serves a purpose. Let’s explore why cats carry toys in their mouth and what it means.

H3: Instinctual Behavior

Cats are instinctual hunters. Even if you have a house cat that has never hunted, they still have the same instincts as their wild counterparts. One of these instincts is to hunt and capture prey. When cats carry toys in their mouth, they are mimicking the behavior of carrying prey back to their den or nest. This behavior is deeply ingrained in their DNA and is a natural part of their behavior.

Carrying toys in their mouth also serves as a form of exercise and play. It allows cats to engage in their natural hunting instincts and keep their bodies active and healthy.

H3: Comfort and Security

Cats are creatures of comfort and security. They like to have things that make them feel safe and secure, especially when they are stressed or anxious. Carrying toys in their mouth can provide a sense of comfort and security for cats. It is a familiar object that they can hold onto and carry around with them, which can help to reduce stress and anxiety.

Some cats may also carry toys in their mouth as a way of marking their territory. By carrying a toy around, they are leaving their scent on it, which can help them to feel more secure in their environment.

H3: Teething and Dental Health

Cats, like humans, go through a teething phase when they are young. During this time, they may carry toys in their mouth as a way of relieving the discomfort of teething. Chewing on toys can also help to keep their teeth and gums healthy by removing plaque and tartar buildup.

As cats get older, carrying toys in their mouth can still be beneficial for their dental health. Chewing on toys can help to strengthen their jaw muscles and prevent dental problems later in life.

H3: Playtime and Entertainment

Carrying toys in their mouth is also a form of play and entertainment for cats. They may carry toys around as a way of inviting their owners to play with them or as a way of entertaining themselves. It can also be a way for cats to show off their hunting skills and playfulness.

Playing with toys can also help to stimulate a cat’s mind and prevent boredom. This is especially important for indoor cats that may not have access to the outdoors or other forms of entertainment.

H3: Benefits of Interactive Toys

Interactive toys are a great way to encourage cats to carry toys in their mouth. These types of toys are designed to be played with alongside their owners and can help to strengthen the bond between cats and humans. Interactive toys can also provide mental and physical stimulation for cats and can help to prevent behavioral problems.

Some examples of interactive toys include puzzle feeders, laser pointers, and wand toys. These toys are designed to mimic the movements of prey and can provide a fun and engaging experience for cats.

H3: The Drawbacks of Playing with Inappropriate Toys

While playing with toys can be beneficial for cats, it is important to choose the right toys. Inappropriate toys can be dangerous and can cause harm to cats. Toys with small parts or strings can be swallowed, causing choking or intestinal blockages. Toys with sharp edges or points can also be harmful to cats.

It is important to supervise playtime and choose toys that are safe for cats to play with. Avoid toys that are too small or that can be easily swallowed.

H3: Toys vs. Real Prey

It is important to remember that cats are natural hunters and that carrying toys in their mouth is a way of mimicking their hunting instincts. However, it is important to provide cats with an appropriate outlet for their hunting instincts. This means providing them with toys that mimic the movements of prey and that are safe for them to play with.

Allowing cats to hunt real prey can be dangerous for both cats and the wildlife in your area. It is important to keep cats indoors or provide them with a secure outdoor enclosure to prevent them from hunting wildlife.

H3: Conclusion

In conclusion, cats carry toys in their mouth for a variety of reasons. It is a natural behavior that is deeply ingrained in their DNA. Carrying toys can provide comfort and security, promote dental health, and serve as a form of play and entertainment. It is important to choose appropriate toys that are safe for cats to play with and to provide them with an appropriate outlet for their hunting instincts. By understanding why cats carry toys in their mouth, we can better understand and appreciate their unique behavior.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of toys do cats like to carry in their mouth?

Most cats enjoy carrying small toys that are easy to pick up and move around. This can include toys with feathers, stuffed animals, or even small balls. Some cats may also prefer items that make noise, such as jingle bells or crinkly toys.

Cats may also have a preference for certain textures or shapes, depending on their individual preferences. It’s important to provide a variety of toys for your cat to play with and see what they enjoy the most.

Do all cats carry toys in their mouth?

No, not all cats carry toys in their mouth. However, it is a common behavior for many cats. Some cats may only carry toys occasionally, while others may do it on a daily basis. It’s important to remember that each cat is unique and may have their own individual preferences and behaviors.

If your cat doesn’t seem interested in carrying toys in their mouth, try offering different types of toys to see if they become more interested. You can also try playing with your cat to encourage them to interact with their toys in different ways.

Why do cats carry toys in their mouth?

Cats carry toys in their mouth for a variety of reasons. In some cases, it may be a form of play or a way to release excess energy. It can also be a way for cats to practice hunting behaviors and improve their coordination and agility.

Additionally, carrying toys in their mouth can be a way for cats to show affection or seek attention from their owners. Some cats may bring their toys to their owners as a gift or to initiate playtime.

Is it normal for cats to carry toys in their mouth at night?

Yes, it is normal for cats to carry toys in their mouth at night. Many cats are more active at night and may engage in playtime during these hours. Carrying toys in their mouth can be a way for cats to release energy and play during these nighttime hours.

However, if your cat’s behavior is keeping you up at night or causing disruptions, it may be helpful to limit your cat’s access to certain toys or provide them with alternative ways to play during the day.

Should I be concerned if my cat carries toys in their mouth excessively?

If your cat is carrying toys in their mouth excessively, it’s important to monitor their behavior and make sure they are not causing harm to themselves or others. Excessive carrying of toys can sometimes be a sign of anxiety or stress in cats, so it’s important to rule out any underlying medical conditions or environmental factors that may be causing this behavior.

If you are concerned about your cat’s behavior, it’s always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian or a qualified animal behaviorist for guidance and support.

What Does It Mean When A Cat Brings You A Toy?


In conclusion, cats are fascinating creatures that have many unique behaviors that we still don’t fully understand. One of the most endearing of these behaviors is when cats carry toys in their mouths. Although there is no clear consensus on why cats do this, there are several theories that provide insight into this quirky behavior.

Some experts believe that cats carry toys as a way to mimic hunting. By carrying their toys, cats may be practicing their hunting skills, which are essential for survival in the wild. Others suggest that cats carry toys as a way to show affection towards their owners, which is why cats often bring their toys to their owners as gifts.

Regardless of the reason behind this behavior, one thing is clear: cats are fascinating creatures that never cease to amaze us. So the next time your cat brings you a toy, take a moment to appreciate their unique and endearing behavior.