Cat bring lizards into the house

Amber_Freeeman
Amber_Freeeman

Hello,

My cat bring lizards into the house and play with, do you have any idea how to stop this habit?

Thanks

1 answer
jseraphin
jseraphin

Hi there! Thanks for reaching out. 

Unfortunately, bringing live prey into the house is quite a common behaviour for cats. They are natural hunters and, as domestic cats aren’t necessarily hungry, they like to « play » with their prey more than anything else.

Your cat may be bringing the lizard home to impress you, to « share a meal » with you, or maybe to ask you to finish the job. It’s also likely that your cat is just looking for a safe and comfortable space to play. Again, this is completely natural behaviour, and because of this, it can be hard to get your pet to stop.

You could however, attach a bell to your cat’s collar so prey would be more likely to hear your cat coming and run away in time. You could also purchase flashy-coloured collars that would be easier to spot for prey. Remember to only use break-away collars as cats can easily get stuck otherwise - which can lead to serious injuries and sometimes even fatalities.

There are also smart cat flaps in the works that can detect if your cat is approaching with prey and automatically lock the flap for 15 minutes so that your cat can’t enter. This would certainly be a more costly solution but a good one to keep live prey from entering your home!

On a behavioural side, you could try to curb your cat’s energy and need for hunting by spending more time with them and engaging in playtime with toys. If you give them a sufficient amount of mental and physical stimulation, they may not have the energy or the desire to go outside and hunt for live prey.

For more advice, check out this article written by one of our behavioural experts: https://wamiz.co.uk/cat/advice/16451/why-does-your-cat-bring-a-mouse-home-to-you-as-a-gift

Hope this helps a little. Best of luck!

Justine Seraphin, BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour and Welfare

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