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Why Is My Cat Carrying Around a Toy and Meowing? 7 Likely Reasons

Melissa Gunter

By Melissa Gunter

Cute crossbreed Persian cat playing with a ball

Being a cat parent doesn’t instantly make you the cat whisperer. Your cat will do things that leave you scratching your head, while other actions may bring on fits of uncontrollable laughter at how comical your kitty can be. Watching our kitties enjoy themselves is fun, but at times, even playtime can leave pet parents a bit concerned. Seeing your cat carrying around a toy while meowing is one of these times.

Instantly, our concerned pet parent’s minds begin to wonder if something is wrong. Is our feline friend sick? Do they need something? Should I call the vet? Luckily, seeing this odd behavior from your cat doesn’t mean your cat is ill or in pain. Actually, there are several reasons your cat may be exhibiting this type of behavior. Let’s learn about your cat and why they may carry their toys around and meow so you can get better acquainted with your kitty and their behaviors.

The 7 Reasons Your Cat is Carrying Around a Toy and Meowing

1. Presenting You With a Trophy

One of the most common reasons your cat may be carrying a toy around the house and meowing is they want to present it to you as a trophy. For your cat, play is how they simulate hunting. While you keep your kitty well-fed, their instincts are still active. Instead of hunting to survive, your housecat will hunt as they play. If your kitty marches around the house with their toy meowing, especially around you, they want to give you their trophy so they can be praised.

For your cat, make sure you play along. Take the toy, pat them and even thank them for it. If you don’t interact with your cat and accept the trophy, this could lead to your kitty deciding they need to find live prey to make you happy. If you’d prefer not to wake up to a mouse on your bed, thank them for the toy.

cat hunting rodent
Image Credit: Piqsels

2. Showing You Affection

Cats are naturally territorial and possessive. Their home is their domain and their favorite toys are their prized possessions. If your kitty is coming to you with their toy and meowing, it may be their way of showing you affection. With toys being so important to your cat, if they want your attention on the toy or you to interact with it, you should definitely take the cue. Spend a bit of time with your kitty, play with them, or even give them a treat for wanting to show you their love for you.

3. Protecting Their Possessions

As we just mentioned above, cats are territorial and feel that toys are their possessions. This feeling also leaves your cat with the need to protect its toys. If your cat is rushing around the house meowing while carrying its toy, it may be looking for the perfect place to hide it. The last thing your kitty wants is someone getting their hands on their favorite trophy. If they bring the toy to you and praise, play, or affection doesn’t satisfy them, they may want you to help them safely hide their toy away.

Cat playing with stuffed toy
Image Credit: Guvo59, Pixabay

4. Ready to Play

Not all cats are big on playing with their owners. If your cat is carrying a toy around the house and meowing, it could be trying to tell you it’s playtime. Take note of your cat’s tail when they do this. If it’s upward and curling, most likely they are feeling a bit feisty and want you to take part. Please don’t ignore them. Take the time to play with your cat. Playing with them when they’ve invited you can strengthen the bond between the two of you and even keep them from slipping into issues with their behavior.

5. Teaching You to Hunt

Mother cats are great at teaching their young to hunt and catch prey. To start these lessons, cats will catch prey and bring it to their kittens. If your cat is carrying their toy, which they see as a trophy, and meowing it may feel that it’s time for you to learn how to hurt yourself. Interact with your cat, even play with the toy, and show your kitty that they’ve shown you the ropes and you can survive on your own.

cat hunting
Image Credit: katya-guseva0, Pixabay

6. Wanting to Make a Trade

Cats are extremely smart and understand that, inside the house, they are at your mercy when it comes to food and attention. If your kitty’s bowl gets a bit low or they want to curl up and receive some love, they may march around the house bellowing meows. If you don’t hop to it and meet their needs, they may even grab their favorite toy while meowing. This is your kitty’s way of trying to make a trade. Kitty is offering to give you their toy, a trophy they prize, in exchange for your giving them what they want.

7. An Old Toy

As a cat parent, you know how picky they can be. This is especially true when it comes to their toys. Cats are known to prefer certain toys more than others. If something happens to that toy, they get upset. The issue can be something simple like an odd smell, too much wear and tear, or the toy could be broken. When this happens, your cat may become upset and carry the toy around while meowing. This is where you come in. Try to replace your kitty’s toy with another similar one. If that doesn’t work, keep trying other toys until your kitty has one they enjoy again.

Cat with some toys
Image Credit: Tookapic, Pixabay


As you can see, there are several reasons why your cat may be carrying around their toys and meowing. This behavior may be a bit unnerving for you, but it’s important that you act accordingly to keep your kitty happy and your bond strong. Even if your cat is considered a solitary kitty that doesn’t need you, at times they want to show you the important aspects of their lives. Play with your kitty, praise them, or even buy them a new toy if that’s what it takes to keep them happy. You’ll notice that a happy kitty makes life for you even better.

Featured Image Credit: Boyloso, Shutterstock

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