Why Does My Cat Growl and Carry Toys?

My cat walks around with a toy in his mouth and growls. Um, why?

Why does my cat Bentley growl like a dog and why does he walk around meowing with a toy in his mouth? –Jenny Williams

Inside that little cat body is the heart and soul of his big-cat ancestors. Bentley doesn’t have to worry about where his next meal is coming from — it’s in those cans and bags in your pantry — but making a kill still thrills him.

He carries his toy around and meows because he’s proud of his successful hunt and wants you to be impressed too. He could be vocalizing to let you know what he’s caught is his and all his and that you should keep away from it.

As for the growling, that could be part of his stalk/pounce/kill/ show-off routine, but it also could be a sign that he’s worried about something. Cats usually hiss (and growl) when they’re scared. If he’s new to your household (and all its sounds and sights and other residents), or has experienced some recent change, he might simply need some time to settle in. His growling could soon subside. If it doesn’t, this behavior is something to discuss with your vet, who can rule out a medical cause and give you strategies for easing his wild mind.

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