Why does he drown his toys in water!

Much of cat behavior remains a mystery to humans trying to decipher these animals. Although one of the domestic animals par excellence, or rather domesticated by man over the centuries, this feline species keeps a myriad of the strangest secrets in the eyes of our species.

We will not talk about this tendency to offer those around you small dead animals like mice or birds, whatever prey you have just killed, as thanks for anything. There is another similar gesture that does not require actual killing, but seems to be a reflection of this killing instinct. I’m sure you’ve seen your cat literally drown their toys in their water bowl.

The naivety of the thing may have encouraged you not to ask too many questions. Between a mouse and the miniature plush toy of a permanently submerged mouse, at least, you think, the latter is fun. But one thing doesn’t take away from the other: it doesn’t seem to make sense. Or ? Is there a scientific explanation for this behavior?

The clearest theory

Believe it or not, yes, there are one or two explanations. It’s not yet clear exactly what’s going through cats’ heads when they seem to choke on their favorite toys, but experts have their theories.

One, for example, posits that domestic cats view their water bowl as a safe, protected territory, just as their undomesticated ancestors viewed a nest or shelter.

So, as animal behavior specialist Beth McGonigal explains on the website “BeChewy“, while their ancestors used to hide real prey in these spaces, domestic cats view their toys as real prey (thank goodness, some might say), especially if they are potential food. The result of this association is to protect them in the way they know best.

Your cat is not stupid

Moreover, other large feline species, such as tigers, have shown this affinity for drowning their prey, which supports the theory. Of course, your cat isn’t stupid, and it doesn’t take long for him to figure out that the stuffed animal you bought him can’t be eaten, even if it looks like it. Ultimately, taking him into the water becomes a game like any other, a form of entertainment.

In this sense, there is also the theory that it is an urgent need for attention. Like any child (and any person, for that matter), your cat likes to be looked at, to be laughed at, to be humored and, in short, to be loved as such. that it is. So you may have inadvertently trained him to soil his toys, simply by reacting with humor every time he does it. As Dennis Turner explains in the New York Timeseven if it is not positive attention, a reprimand or a serious look is still attention.

Now that you know this, you just need to clarify that as long as it does not affect the animal’s water quality, it can continue to do so. And if you want to prevent this from happening again, try to ignore it. You can also replace animal-shaped toys with toys that your cat will be less likely to view as prey.