Why do Cats carry Things Around? (VIDEO)

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Cats are silly. Cats are cute. Cats seem to love doing things that make us say, “Awwwww.” Cats carry things around in their mouths, which looks funny and makes us laugh. One thing that I’ve written about before is Chase’s penchant for carrying my hair ties around in his mouth. He also cries loudly for me, which he does, I think, because he knows I’ll come to where he is (he used to bring the hair ties right to my feet, but doesn’t do that anymore). What happens when he can’t find a hair tie, though?

It’s funny when my cats carry things around

He makes do with something else, like an old foam ball toy, or one of our hand wraps. He’s been known to carry a small, rolled up ACE bandage around like this, too. I have had so much trouble catching him on video carrying something around in his mouth, but I was recently successful. I found him at the top of the stairs with an old ball in his mouth, and he didn’t seem to want to drop it. Watch the video below:

Why do cats carry things around?

Cats carry things around like this for various reasons, which usually boil down to bringing us a gift, or finding a suitable place to hide or bury their prey. For example, one of Chase’s favorite toys is a mousie attached to a string, which is attached to a stick. It’s a homemade wand toy. He loves catching the mousie in his mouth, and then walking off with it. Where does he take it? Usually to a pair of my boots, where he then “buries” it.

Cats are only partly domesticated, but even fully domesticated, they would still be creatures of instinct. Carrying things around and looking for suitable places for them, or delivering them to the “alpha” of their home, are catering to the more wild parts of their instincts. Cats carry things around because it caters to their instincts. In short, they do it because it they’re cats.

When Cats Amuse Themselves

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Experts talk a lot about the need for interactive playtime, which is when you play with your cats using toys. Waving a wand around, or rolling a small ball across the floor, are great ways to play with your cat, and help enrich his life. However, cats amuse themselves, too, and watching cats amuse themselves is, well, amusing. It can also provide a different type of enrichment for your cat.

Kali_Footresting_Cats_Amuse_Themselves

I have no idea about anybody reading this blog, but I love watching my cats amuse themselves. To me, it’s hilarious. They still get their interactive playtime, but all four of them are capable of finding something with which to amuse themselves. Sometimes, their antics are the best thing for me when I’m feeling low, because they’re so silly about their personal playtime that I can’t help but laugh.

Watch Chase quietly amuse himself with the little foam ball off a microphone boom below:

Cats amuse themselves because they have imagination

It’s amazing the imagination that pets have, and how easily cats amuse themselves. Linda Cole, writing on Canidae, not only swears that her cats spy on her neighbors (I’m pretty sure mine do, too), but she also says that one of her cats would take the end of a new roll of toilet paper and wind it around the house. She always managed to do that without tearing it, but since she’d wind it around the legs of tables and chairs, that must have been so much fun to clean up.

Sometimes I’ll find Kali up on top of the refrigerator when there’s a bug crawling on the kitchen light. She never jumps for it (I think she knows she can’t make it), but she’ll sit there until she’s sure the bug is gone. I’ve seen her sit up there, as straight and alert as possible, for an hour before she was sure the bug was gone.

Cats will always need interactive playtime; it’s never a good idea to assume that they can always amuse themselves. But when you’re lucky enough to see cats amuse themselves, it’s a treat for both you and them.

Homemade Toys That This Cat Loves

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This is one of Gizmo’s favorite homemade toys. It’s just a crushed paper bag with old spearmint tea bags inside. She treats the spearmint in this toy like it’s catnip, because both catnip and spearmint are part of the mint family. We’ve found that these toys are great enrichment for her, especially since she doesn’t like playing when the other cats are around.

Gizmo was 13 years old when this was taken, and now she’s 14. She still loves these homemade toys. If you’d like to try a toy like this, it’s easy. All you need are brown paper lunch bags, and dried catnip, mint, spearmint, or even pumpkin spice. You could even try valerian root, since some cats respond to that as well. These are great ways to make a variety of toys for your cat that are fun, cheap and replaceable.

Click here for a short list of plants and herbs that are safe for your cat.