Does your cat like to squeeze into the fruit bowl when no one’s watching? Do they twitch all through their body during sleep? And what’s their take on cardboard boxes? We could keep going with the oddball questions, but chances are, you’ve either asked them yourself already – or you’ve got some similarly confusing cat behaviors happening at home. While most feline antics are perfectly normal, sometimes curious behaviors signal problems on the horizon.
But What Does It All Mean?
The following cat behaviors are not only common, they’re 100% normal. As such, we appreciate these amusing (if not sometimes partially aggravating) actions:
- Clicking – When cats see prey that they want to chase and/or sink their teeth into, but can’t, this clicking, chattering noise allows them to vent their frustration. Since their hunting skills are so deeply rooted, when they have no way to channel these instincts, this endearing noise is made.
- Kneading – When cats “make biscuits” they are reliving their first few weeks of life. Nursing was made possible by pressing on their mother’s abdomen, and the reward was sweet, life-sustaining milk. When grown cats do this, they are self-soothing and tapping into those satisfying early moments.
- Head Butting – Quite possibly one of the most affectionate cat behaviors, head butting or “bunting” is a way to say hello to a favorite person. Cats will not do this with just anyone.
- Table Manners – Cats enjoy high places because the view is incomparable. Whether it’s the counter or table top, cats tend to find the highest horizontal surface and claim it as their own. Depending on your point of view, this can be cute or irritating. What’s worse is that cats also enjoy batting things (like glasses full of water) off the surface, seemingly just to watch it fall, break, and splatter everywhere. Why do they do this? Because they can! They might also be vying for your attention. Please be watchful of your cat at great heights; they may not always land on their feet.
- “Presents” – Many cat owners can attest to this quirky feline trait. Cats are known for bringing their owners treats of the wild, that is, rodents, lizards, birds, etc. for their snacking pleasure. Whether this is because cats think we cannot hunt, or they do it as a token of affection, it’s one of the most unsettling cat behaviors.
Concerning Cat Behaviors
Some cat behaviors can actually foretell dangerous conditions. For example, it might be amusing to find a cat gravitating to water, but if they’re consistently hanging around the sink, water fountain, hose, or toilet, it’s important to rule out diabetes or kidney disease.
Likewise, a cat that yowls regularly throughout the night might just be burning off some energy, or they might actually be in pain. Hacking up hairballs is a normal feline action, but they shouldn’t be ignored if they persist.
Why It Matters
Cats age faster than we do, and they mask their symptoms. Daily observation of cat behaviors, coupled with routine preventive care exams, reinforce a proactive approach to health and wellness.