Why does my cat put her stuffed mouse in the water?

Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra – the other night I was sitting in the kitchen balancing the checkbook when my Bengal cat came walking in with her stuffed mouse toy (with catnip) hanging out of her mouth. Then she walked over to her water bowl, and very deliberately placed the mouse in the bowl. She then proceeded to roll it around in the water with her paw, then picked it up with her mouth and flipped it into the air. So I am wondering, is she trying to drown her “prey”? When she flips her mouse into the air, is this something they do to disorient their prey (like the deadly crocodile roll)? Thanks for taking the time to answer this question, and thanks for keeping all of us in the group informed about things that affect our best friends (the furry ones, at least).

Melissa Treatch


Hi – thanks for your email Melissa. You asked an excellent question. I’ve seen cats do this for years – they will deliberately place their cat toys – especially mouse type toys – directly in their water bowl.

A theory as to why they do this is that cats look at their food and water area as part of their territory and may put their “toys” or food in a safe place in their territory. In nature, cats often take their prey back to their nest and hide it from predators. Indoor cats don’t have a “nest” and often consider their food and water area as their territory.


Dr. Debra

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