I have two rescue cats that I spend a lot of time playing with. One of our games is playing with a string that I drag around the floor, and they chase it. My question is, why do cats drag the string or toys to their water bowl? It’s cute but curious.
– Laura, Long Beach, New York
It’s not unusual for cats to transport play things to their water or food bowls. No one knows for sure why they do this, but some people think cats are mimicking nurturing behaviors, like a mama cat carrying her kittens to safety. Since both male and female cats do this, however, I think it might be an instinctive “hunting” behavior where they kill and carry their prey to a safe location. Cats consider their food area as safe territory. So for now, it’s a “cute but curious” behavior.
Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, children’s author, syndicated pet columnist, and pet expert with more than 30 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and tips to email@example.com. Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal