Cats are notorious for their quirky, strange behaviors. However, this doesn’t mean that everything about them needs to be a total mystery. In fact, many mysterious feline behaviors could be an attempt at communicating with you.
Your kitty may have her own unique personality, but there are still several characteristics that are common among cats. Read on to learn how to crack the code when it comes to your cat’s seemingly random behavior.
Kneading, or “making biscuits,” is a common kitty behavior generally associated with comfort. Kneading refers to the action of repetitively pushing the front paws in and against an object—often soft toys and blankets, or laps of loved ones.
Cats begin their kneading habits as nursing kittens in order to stimulate milk production from their mother. As many cats continue to knead throughout their lives, it’s likely that kneading is an instinctive method of getting comfortable and showing affection.
If you frequently cuddle with your cat, you’ve likely experienced the occasional head butt. It may seem violent, but it’s quite the opposite. Similar to kneading your lap or chest, those bumps to the head are actually your cat’s way of showing affection.
In addition to declaring her love, those head bumps may also be your cat’s way of marking you as her territory!
Perhaps you’ve witnessed your cat’s strange, robot-like chattering as she stares at a fly in the house, or a bird out the window. Don’t worry, your cat isn’t broken!
Chattering and chirping are both common behaviors that occur as a result of your cat’s prey drive; this is generally a sign that your cat is feeling excited by the prey in question, but also frustrated that it’s difficult to catch or altogether inaccessible.
Sleeping in Snug Spaces
It’s not a coincidence that so many cats love boxes. If your kitty loves sleeping in small, confined spaces and hiding under the bed, she’s not alone.
Cats love feeling protected in a hiding spot, and finding a safe box, bag, or hidden area is a perfect way to avoid feeling too vulnerable. They also love curling up in warm, cozy spaces which often simulate the feeling of a gentle hug. The smaller the space, the better!
Knocking Things Over
As frustrating as it can be for us, there’s no denying the fact that knocking things over is a favorite pastime of many felines.
It’s possible that your kitty likes to swat at objects because she’s checking out her sensitive paws, or perhaps she’s treating inanimate objects the same way she would treat her captured prey. She may simply be knocking things over in an attempt to get your attention. Simpler still, she’s curious and wants to feel the object in front of her.
Avoid reinforcing this type of behavior by ignoring your cat or minimizing your reaction when it happens. Of course, you’ll also want to keep your fragile valuables out of reach.
Tail chasing may be more of a stereotypical dog behavior, but you may find your cat chasing and playing with her tail on occasion.
Some cats chase and attack their own tails as an innocent form of play, which is generally not a serious concern. However, if your cat is biting, scratching, over-grooming, or otherwise damaging her tail, the problem is more serious. Not only could it be a sign of anxiety or behavioral disorder, it could also lead to pain and infection down the road.
Make sure to provide plenty of opportunities for physical and mental stimulation to keep your cat occupied, and assess whether there are any potential causes of stress in the household. If the behavior continues, talk to your vet.
The eyes are the window to the soul, as the saying goes. Your cat’s eyes will typically be an indicator of how relaxed or stimulated your kitty is feeling. However, it often depends on context. For example, dilated pupils could mean that your cat is feeling excited and playful, or they could mean that she feels scared or frustrated.
If your cat stares and blinks at you slowly, it likely means that she trusts you and feel comfortable. Try speaking “cat” by giving a slow blink in return.
If you see a dog lying on his back with his tummy exposed, you can pretty safely assume he’s asking for some belly rubs. However, this isn’t quite the case with cats. While an exposed belly is a sign of comfort and vulnerability, it doesn’t necessarily mean your kitty wants her tummy touched. Instead, she may be tricking you, and you may become a victim to bunny kicks!
Bunny kicks refer to the action of grabbing the prey with the front paws (and claws), and kicking it vigorously with the hind legs. Perhaps you’ve witnessed this done on a favorite toy, a playmate, or even your own arms or hands.
Be sure your cat has plenty of stimulating activities and toys to keep her prey drive under control (and prevent yourself from getting scratched).
Signs Your Cat is Sick
Every cat is unique; there’s no exact template when it comes to feline behavior. While she can still be perfectly healthy despite her quirky behaviors, you know your cat best. Keep an eye on any out-of-the-ordinary behaviors, as these could be signs that something is wrong.
Common signs that your cat may be sick include:
- Appetite changes
- Unexplained weight changes
- Abnormal social isolation
- Digestive issues
If anything seems out of the ordinary, it never hurts to contact your vet. Promote your cat’s digestive and immune health with Pet Honesty’s Digestive Probiotics+ Powder—made from natural ingredients.