You love your cat, but sometimes it can feel as if you just don’t understand each other. Why does Fluffy seem to enjoy being petted one minute, and attack your hand the next? What do those slow blinks mean? And what’s the deal with the strange chirping sounds he makes when he spies a tasty looking bird or squirrel through the kitchen window?
These and other quirks are part of the joy of cat ownership, and understanding them can lead to a better relationship with your sweet kitty. The team at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital has tackled our favorite weird cat behaviors…for your reading pleasure….
Top 10 Weird Cat Behaviors
1. Head bumps – Head-butting, also called “bunting” is Kitty’s way of saying “Hi!” and “I love you!”. Your cat is probably also transferring some of their signature scent to you this way via scent glands on the face and head.
2. Rolling – Does your cat roll on the carpet, in the dirt, or in their litter? This normal behavior could be because your cat feels safe and wants some attention, or as a way to spread their scent. Some cats probably just enjoy the sensation.
3. Chirping – The reason why some cats chirp or chatter when they see prey animals through a window is not exactly known. The prevailing theory is that a mixture of excitement and frustration, combined with adrenaline coursing through the system, produces the chirping sounds.
4. Slow blinks – If your cat slowly blinks at you, consider it a compliment. Slow blinking is how cats communicate to humans and cats that they feel comfortable with them.
5. Bringing “presents” – You probably don’t enjoy the dead insect or rodent your pet has presented to you, but to your cat is offering you a token of their love and appreciation, so try not to be too grossed out!
6. Kneading – There’s nothing like a contented cat in your lap, until those claws start piercing your thighs, that is. This behavior, known as kneading, is probably a holdover from kittenhood. Kittens rhythmically knead their mothers’ bellies to stimulate the flow of milk. The behavior indicates that your cat is feeling happy and content.
7. Love of small spaces – Does Whiskers prefer to sleep in an old Amazon box rather than the expensive memory foam cat bed you bought for her? Nearly every cat owner can attest to their pets’ desire to climb into, sit/sleep in, and play in boxes, cupboards, or other enclosed spaces. Cats in the wild prefer to sleep in an enclosed den to protect them from predators, and house cats also feel more secure when they are protected on all sides.
8. Attacking your hand – It probably seems like a random occurrence when a cat suddenly bites or scratches your hand during a petting session, but in reality you probably just missed the signs they were becoming overstimulated. Flattened ears, tail lashing, and skin twitching are a few of the ways felines let us know when they want us to back off.
9. Covering poop – We appreciate it when Kitty covers his poop in the litter box, but why does he do it? Most cats learn this technique from their mothers, but in some cases a cat will choose not to cover their feces. This could be because they want to mark their territory this way, or because they are experiencing a medical issue.
10. Scratching – This widely accepted cat behavior serves a variety of purposes. When your cat reaches up to scratch the cat tree or scratching post (or your chair, couch, pant leg, etc.) they are simultaneously sharpening the claws, stretching the tendons in the feet and legs, releasing scent/marking territory, and enjoying a little release of tension.
What are your favorite weird cat behaviors? Let us know the next time your bring your feline friend in for their annual pet wellness visit! And as always, we are here to address your cat-related questions and concerns, give us a call!