Do some of the things your cats do seem, well, just plain weird. Thomasina shares her expert purrls of wisdom on cat behavior and why cats do the things they do from a cat's point of view.

Why Do Cats Carry Their Toys Around?

By Category: Cat Behavior, Why Do Cats Carry Their Toys Around
Cats carry their toys around like they would prey.
Cats carry their toys around like they would prey.
Photo: ©

Why do cats carry their toys around, Thomasina? When my cat gets tired of playing with me, he tries to carry the toy off into another room. Isn’t that sort of weird?
— Puzzled

Hey, Puzzled!

No insult, but I don’t think it’s weird when cats carry their toys around. Playing with toys is really another form of hunting for us. When we’ve caught our “prey,” we need to take it someplace where we’ll be safe while we eat. Not that we’d eat a toy, of course, and we do know the difference. But you get the idea.

Although I’ve never done this myself, a favorite place for putting toys away seems to be a water bowl. Makes sense, I guess, since the water bowl is usually near where the cat eats.

Another Reason Why Cats Carry Toys Around

Some humans think another reason cats carry their toys around is because mother cats move their kittens. Maybe that is why some cats carry their toys around. But most of us know the difference between a toy mouse and a live kitten, and when we play we’re hunting, not nurturing.

When we hunt (or play), we like to always do things in the same order. So watch your cat and see if he does this.


  1. Watch the prey
  2. Pounce
  3. Catch
  4. Eat
  5. Take a quick bath
  6. Grab a nap

Since your cat is hunting when he plays with you, let him indulge his instincts and wander off with the toy. Then give him a bite to eat so all that hard work catching something pays off. You can always track the toy down later and put it where it belongs so you’ll know where to find it next time you need it. Meanwhile, he’ll be taking a hard-earned nap!


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