Have you ever stopped for a second to think "why is my cat SO strange"? Yep, we've all been there. Cats bring lots of joy and laughter into our lives, especially when they act oh-so-strangely. So now, the time has finally come for us to attempt to decipher the 10 most common kitty quirks that get us giggling every day! Which of these is your furriend guilty of?
1. If I fits, I sits. While hiding in cardboard boxes and paper bags may be one of the utmost adorable things cats do, it continues to puzzle us why cats continuously look for hiding places several times too small for their size. Cats love curling up into tiny places, because they seek out comfort, security and warmth. While their choices may seem odd to us – boxes, bags, laundry baskets, or sinks – they provide our kitties with purrfect hiding spots. From here, they can keep warm, safe and comfy, while keeping an eye on the potentially “threatening” surrounding.
2. I love, thus I knead. You will often catch your cat kneading with their front paws when they are content or relaxed. Kneading is also sometimes referred to as “making biscuits”. This is an instinctive behavior in kittens, who knead their mother while nursing to stimulate milk flow. It is unclear, however, why adult cats continue to practice this adorable behavior, as it seems to lose its purpose after weaning. Whatever the reason, it seems that this behavior is associated with content and happiness. “Animal behaviorists speculate that an adult cat kneads to show contentment, to calm herself when she’s feeling anxious or to mark a person or object with her scent from the sweat glands in her paws.” – explains the Vetstreet team.
3. Knocking things over. Are they cleaning up or just trying to annoy us? Every cat seems to LOVE to knock almost anything over. Young cats will often knock stuff over due to their hunting instincts and curiosity. Through this kind of play, they learn how objects move and they observe this. They quickly learn that these objects are not prey, but they also realize that us hoomans will come to pick up whatever they knocked over. Now, the game begins
4. Chattering and chirping. We often catch our kitties emit chattering sounds while bird watching through the windows. It remains unclear why exactly they do this, but there are a few theories out there. Some behaviorists believe this to be a sign of built-up frustration in cats, as they remain unable to jump out and – catch that birdie. It is also possible for this behavior to be a way to prepare jaw muscles for the prey killing.
5. Wrrm! Zooming. Anyone who has ever lived with a cat, especially an indoor cat, has likely witnessed their companion zoom from one end of the house to the other. One moment they’re just sitting there, quiet and chill, when suddenly, they MUST run RIGHT NOW back and forth. It is thought that this is a way cats get their excess energy out of their system, sometimes in the middle of the night. It’s really your fault for sleeping at night, hooman. It is also possible that your kitty simply saw or heard something around the house that escapes your mere eyes. It can be as harmless as a dust bunny or a spider, your cat will still be alarmed and in total instinctual hunt mode.
6. Psst! I’m a spy and a thief. Cats are notorious for keeping an eye on, seemingly, absolutely everything. They watch your every move and they spend hours spying through the windows. Most of the time cats are simply curious and cautious. They like to keep an eye on their surroundings which allows them to be prepared for anything that may happen. Although if you ever notice your cat sitting incredibly still and staring at something or someone with exceptional intensity, there is a good chance that whatever has their attention is putting them on high alert. In such cases, you may want to avoid eye contact with your cat, as they may take it as an act of aggression.
7. Bonk, bonk! Head butting. Head butting is a notorious way for cats to say hello. Cats often rub against their hoomans and various objects in order to leave their scent and mark their territory. While this is most commonly observed to be a greeting behavior, at times your cat may smell something unfamiliar or unpleasant on you after you’ve been outside for a prolonged period of time. In this case they will proceed to remove that scent by simply replacing it with their own.
8. Prey hunting and gifting. Have you ever asked yourself why cats hunt? Interestingly, despite many of our beliefs, it isn’t actually hunger that drives felines to hunt. Kittens have inborn hunting and chasing instincts and they practice and improve their hunting skills through play. It is their mother who teaches them to hunt and kill in order to eat. Every kitten is shown and taught that prey is food by their mother. This is why your kitty may be an extraordinary mice killer but never shows an interest to actually tastes one. He was born to know how to to hunt, but replying on prey as a food source is a learned behavior,and the hunger itself won’t teach your feline to do it. So, why does he gift you his majestic kill? According to the ethologist Paul Leyhausen, the author of “Cat Behavior”, cats adopt us humans into their social group, their pack. They possibly even assume that humans go hunting when they’re gone for long periods of time over the day – they do always have plenty of food. Naturally, your cat wants to contribute to this pack – so they do. They proudly share their excess kill with you. However, If your cat has presented you with live prey, it is possible that they are gifting you with a special opportunity to practice your own hunting and killing skills. How valuable!
Read more about what drives well-fed domestic cats to hunt in our blog Watch out” My Cat is a Hunter!.
9. Fluttering blinking. A relaxed cat may greet another cat or human with a slow, gentle blink. Closing eyes in the presence of another is the ultimate sign of trust in the cat world. Does your cat blink at you when you walk up to it? It is the utmost sign of affection!
10. Interrupting pretty much anything you do. Right as you sit down to type something up on your laptop, here comes a kitty on your keyboard. They also interrupt your phone calls, lay on your books or any object you may be using. And why? The answer is as simple as it gets. Your kitty is jealous of you paying attention to something else rather than them. as much as we love our companions and want to spend all the time in the world with them, sometimes we just have to get things done. When this is the case, try to keep your cat busy with interactive toys or other activities.
As Mark Twain once wrote, “If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering outspoken fellow; but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much.” Cats are mysterious wonders and sometimes we wish we could figure out what’s going through their smart little minds. We hope this quick article helped you understand your kitty just a little bit better. Don’t miss this article for more about Cat Body Language! What odd behaviors is your kitty guilty off? Let us know on FB, IG or Twitter!