Cat Behavior, Cat Care

Why Does My Cat Cry While Carrying His Toys?

Why Does My Cat Cry While Carrying His Toys - Cats Will Play - Image by Mariia Paktovskaia via Unsplash

Although many cats are the strong, silent type, others just talk their little heads off. While some feline discussion topics are clear – as in, “I demand you provide me with ample and immediate attention!” – others may be a little less obvious. For instance, if your cat cries while carrying his toys, you are probably a little confused, and in this article, we will clear up this kitty conversation mystery.

This post contains affiliate links. For more info, see our Full Affiliate Disclosure

Your Cat Wants Some Attention

Although our feline's wild cousins may not be big talkers – only vocalizing when very young, sexually active, or simply trying to tell other cats to back off – our adorable little house kitties make a concerted effort to communicate with us through a variety of vocal patterns. That said, if your cat cries while carrying his toys, it may in fact just be a means of communication. Pay attention to your own reactions when he does this. Do you find that you stop whatever you're doing and start petting him? Do you make a big deal about him bringing you his prey? If so, you may have inadvertently taught him that if he behaves a certain way – like making a ruckus when he's got a toy – then he will be rewarded with your attention.

In the same vein, he could be trying to tell you that he needs some hands-on playtime. In this instance, you may notice him doing his “crazy cat” antics beforehand. If this is the reason, you may not be the sole receiver of his attentions. If there are other cats – or even other people or pets he's particularly fond of – then he may be trying to call to them as well.

Your Cat is Trying to Share His “Catch”

To some kitties, we are just big, ugly versions of them, with spotty fur and a complete lack of hunting skills. In this case, only the last part of that sentence matters. Whether or not you think our fuzzy little friends are aloof, they absolutely love us. To show that love, they will sometimes try to help us out by sharing their “catch.” After all, we feed them, why wouldn't they try to feed us? When this occurs, they need to get our attention and they know – clever little creatures – that vocalization is one of the best methods for getting us on the same page. Thus, they will make crying sounds while carrying their toys: a quick, effective way to say, “Hey... you hungry?”

Your Cat is Trying to Protect His Prey

On the opposite side of that, some felines will cry while carrying a toy as a way to say, “Hey, this is mine. Hands off!” This reason is especially true if there are additional cats in the house, but will also apply if there are other species, children, or particularly grabby adults around. Kitties are naturally – and understandably – possessive of their prey, as in the wild, that same prey means survival. Although house cats may not have to worry about where their next meal will come from, the instinct to protect their catch is still very much in place.

Alternatively, if no other critters – or humans – are interfering, but your cat still cries while he carries his toys, it might be a matter of an active imagination. When a feline catches his prey, you may notice that he tends to... well... torture it. Though it may seem cruel, what he's actually doing is trying to subdue a wriggly creature and wear it down, making the kill a little bit easier. Because your furry little murder machine doesn't actually have to participate in that step of the hunting process, he will still go through all of the usual steps simply to satiate his own instincts.

Your Cat May Be Experiencing Mouth Pain

One of the more complex – and worrisome – reasons a cat may cry while carrying a toy is poor oral health. All of the reasons above are pretty easy to identify, but a sore mouth is a little trickier. If said crying is a new behavior, or you notice that your kitty is drooling, shaking his head, or not eating well, then you will want to investigate. You might also want to look into the matter if, in addition to crying, he has suddenly started to gnaw on his toys, as this can indicate a potential issue. So what should you be looking for? Well, anything unusual: red gums, sores, cuts. All of that said, peering into a feline's mouth can be a dangerous business, so instead, you'll want to get your furry friend to his vet for a full dental checkup.


If your cat cries while carrying his toys, don't be alarmed – there's a good chance he's just trying to tell you something! With a little bit of investigation, you'll decode this unique form of vocalization in no time.

Cats Will Play is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to For more information, visit our Full Affiliate Disclosure.

Image by Mariia Paktovskaia via Unsplash under Unsplash License

Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Protection Status © 2018-Today Cats Will Play