How to React to a Pet That Brings Home a Dead Animal

By Jennifer Uhl

It is natural for domesticated animals to bring home dead animals, even though it may be an unpleasant surprise. Has your cat or dog brought home a "gift" for you, in the form of a dead rodent or reptile? Don't panic! This is how you should react to a pet that brings home a dead animal.

Do not panic. It is perfectly natural for domestic animals to bring home a gift every so often. Cats, for example, may have been domesticated for thousands of years, but they still have "wild" instincts that make catching live prey an attractive proposition. There is nothing wrong with this, so there is no reason for you to be alarmed.

Now that you have calmed yourself down, check to make sure that the animal is in fact dead. Some animals are known to play dead, so make sure that what your cat or dog has brought home is in fact dead. If the animal is still alive, decide whether it can be let go again or if animal control needs to be contacted to handle it. If it is a wild animal like an opossum or a rabbit, try not to handle it.

Once you have determined that the animal your pet brought home is dead, it is important that you put consideration into why the animal was brought home. Pets do have a tendency to bring home gifts, and if the animal was brought to your porch or even inside the home, this is probably why your pet brought it home in the first place. Do not act angry toward your pet, but instead, praise him or her. While a dead animal may not be the most politically correct gift to give, this does mean your pet was thinking about you.

If your pet is still playing with the dead animal, move your pet into another room and remove the animal from the premises. Make sure the dead animal is disposed of in a way that your pet will be unable to retrieve it. You do not want the same dead rodent or reptile showing up on your porch repeatedly because your cat continues to dig it out of the trash bins.