Cats are amazing animals. From their incredible jumps to their strange little chirping noises, domestic felines demand their owner’s attention. Part of what makes them so interesting is their somewhat bizarre behavior. Yes, their sleek appearance and debonair stare come first, but they definitely come equipped with a few odd – and yet universally feline – behaviors. The question is, what do they really mean?
Funny, Crazy, or Both
Cats take the cake for some truly odd behavioral choices, such as a few of our favorites:
- Complete takeover – Working on your laptop? Not anymore. Your cat has instantly decided that your keyboard is the perfect place for their afternoon nap. Go ahead and try moving your cat. On second thought, don’t. They’ve paid the price of admission with their illogical cuteness.
- Perfect purr – This is something that all cats do when they’re content, but it’s also a coping mechanism. If you notice extended periods of purring without the requisite petting or stroking that typically precede it, your cat could be in pain.
- Kneading – Developed in kittenhood as a way to let down their mother’s milk, kneading is another cat behavior that signals warmth, comfort, and happiness.
- Head butts – Have you ever just been standing or sitting around when Fluffy comes by and bonks you with their head? It might just be your leg or arm, but this is a common display of affection that is purely feline.
- All good, then not – Petting-induced aggression occurs when a cat has been physically overstimulated with too much attention. Don’t take it personally if they bite or swat at you for no obvious reason.
- The chirp – Experts think that the distinctive chirping noise that some cats make is a way to vent frustration. Often done in response to seeing prey, but not being able to hunt, chirping is adorable.
- Mine – There’s just something about corrugated cardboard and cats. They are warm, insulating, comfortable (they must be!), and partially concealing. What could be better for a cat?
- Twitchy – Cat behavior is better understood through their body language. A happy cat raises its tail straight up and down. When they see someone they really like, that tail can twitch in decidedly delightful ways.
- On the feet – Certainly, not every fall ends on those springy legs, but the intricate design inside cat ears help them with a balanced landing. Likewise, their tail helps them swivel in mid-air to correct their position.
- Gifts – Depositing dead rodents, lizards, birds, and bugs on your doorstep may seem more like an insult than a compliment, but this cat behavior is a generous one. They either think we cannot provide food for ourselves, or they’re simply pulling their own weight.
Puzzling Cat Behavior
There are plenty of odd feline behaviors that indicate something is wrong. We recommend keeping a close eye on the following:
- Increased vocalization (meowing, howling, and even hissing)
- Spraying or marking
- Excessive grooming, shedding, or itching
- Litter box changes (increased or decreased urination)
- Nutritional changes
- Water intake changes
Cat behavior can indicate stress, anxiety, and fear, but can also change when something isn’t on par physically. Remember, a healthy cat is indeed a happy one. Keeping up routine wellness exams is the best way to ensure your cat’s overall health and, in turn, their happiness.