IF you have a cat, you've probably had your fair share of 'gifts' on the carpet.
Moggies are notorious for bringing dead animals into their owner's homes.
While it's pretty grim to be met with a carcass in your living room, experts say it's actually a sign of affection as it means your feline feels at ease.
But thankfully, if you're too grossed out by the blood and guts, there are some simple things you can do to put a stop to it.
Cat behaviourist Anita Kelsey has shared her top five tips to slow the stream of dead spiders, mice, birds or squirrels turning up on your doorstep.
Anita, author of Let's Talk About Cats, said: "The need for cats to hunt is hard-wired into them, but there are some things you can do to help with their natural prey drive."
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1. Keep your cat in at night and early morning
Coaxing your cat inside at dinner time and locking the flap until morning could dramatically reduce the number of 'gifts' you receive.
This is because night-time and early morning are when the critters that cats hunt are out and about and at their most vulnerable.
2. Put a bell on your cat's collar
A small bell around your pet's neck could make a huge difference.
The noise will alert potential prey as your cat approaches, meaning they can scarper before they're caught.
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3. Wear your cat out
If you spend time playing with your cat, especially using toys like stuffed mice which mimic kill, they may become too tired to go out and do it for real.
You will likely have many of the playthings already, or they can be picked up for pretty cheap.
4. Place bird feeders high up in the garden
If you have an outside space at home, bird feeders can be another great way to reduce the number of kills your cat makes.
Putting them high up in the garden will make it harder for felines to reach, meaning fewer birds end up inside.
5. Attach a squirrel deterrent to the bird feeder pole
Once you've fitted your bird feeder, consider attaching a squirrel deterrent to keep your cat away too.
This could be in the form of a cone, a plastic drinks bottle, old biscuit tin, Vaseline, chilli powder or a cage.
Anita, who holds a first class degree in feline behaviour and psychology, said: "Cats are natural hunters and predation is part of their makeup.
"Cats bring home animals they have hunted and killed as the home is the core safe area for cats.
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"So it makes sense to bring the prey/catch home to an area they feel comfortable and secure.
"Cats may be bringing home the 'kill' for us as part of the feline family."
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