5 Strange Cat Behaviors, Explained...
Sure, cats can be strange and mysterious little creatures, and some of their behaviors are downright confusing to us at times, but are they crazy, or is their a purpose in what they do? From kneading their paws on things to a cat butt in your face, our furry friends don’t seem to make any sense at all sometimes from a people perspective, but from the mind of a cat, there is a reason for everything they do, according to experts.
Let's take a look at 5 of the strange cat behaviors we hear about most and give you some reasons as to what they mean.
1. Kneading or Making Biscuits
That kneading your cat does on a blanket, or on you, is thought to go back to when they were kittens and would knead on their mother to help stimulate milk flow, so it is thought to be something they do when they are content and relaxed. It could also be your cat craving affection, as when a kitten would knead on his mother and in turn received milk, the kneading becomes associated with a biological need that was fulfilled, making it a positive, feel good experience for your cat. So if your furry feline feels the need to knead on you, it’s probably because he’s feeling quite happy. Perhaps some added petting and scritches might be in order…
2. Head Bumps and Rubs
Does your cat sometimes come up to you and use his head to bump you? You might think this a peculiar action but it actually has a significant purpose to it. This bumping and rubbing their face on you is your cat’s way of telling you he loves you and putting his scent on you. Cats scent rub for different reasons, but when your cat rubs his face on you, he is applying the feline facial pheromones to mark you as a safe, reassuring object that he enjoys and feels comfortable being around. Cats do this to each other, too, in order to create a community cat scent that they share, letting the cats within the group know that they are part of the family that is known and trusted.
Some cats will also rub on things if they are nervous, and this is thought to be a way to reassure themselves when they feel uncomfortable. It’s like depositing the calming pheromone on something in order to self soothe and feel a bit more relaxed. But, if your cat decides to bump or rub you with his face, this simply means you are loved and trusted, and it is a huge cat compliment!
3. Gift Giving
For those who have an indoor/outdoor cat, I’m sure you’ve experienced the classic cat gift giving. You open the door to let your cat in from his outdoor romp and there it is. A dead mouse that your cat has deposited on the step. You might ask why your cat is out killing when he has plenty of food inside. The fact is, your furry feline is a natural born hunter. It’s in his genes and it’s what he does. While some cats will actually eat what they kill, a well-fed cat usually does not. Your cat’s wild ancestors had mothers that would teach their kittens to hunt, so if your cat brings you some of the spoils, perhaps he’s thanking you for all you do, or perhaps he’s trying to teach you how to hunt better. Either way, it’s best not to make a big deal out of it. Scolding or getting upset could confuse your cat and cause tension. You can try thanking them and then asking them nicely to please leave the wildlife be, as that would make you happier, but there’s no guarantee that will work. The best way to reign in the natural behavior of hunting would be to increase playtime with your cat and/or keep him indoors.
Remember, this is the cat’s design. They are hunters, and while you can take the cat out of the wild, you can't take the wild out of your cat. Love him/her for who they are and they will continue to love you in return!
4. Hair Licking
One thing I hear often from confused cat owners is that their cat licks their hair. While not all cats will do this, some make it a regular occurrence. Simply put, your cat is grooming you. Cats will groom each other, and it is a sign of affection and acceptance between the groomer and the groomed. People don’t have fur, but your hair is a close substitute, so if your cat is inclined to ‘groom’ you, take it as a compliment. Your fur friend is letting you know that he considers you special and is doing his part to show you by taking care of you! Ahhh, to be loved by a cat!
5. Presenting the Butt
And then there’s the cat butt. Why do cats rub against you and then end up with their butt in your face? Well, it has to do with how cats act with each other. When familiar cats greet one another, they rub against each other to exchange sent, starting with their heads, then the body, moving in opposite directions and then ending with their butts. This is a normal way for cats to say hello and exchange scent in order to create that community cat smell between them. Cats do the same thing with us. It’s your cat’s way of saying hello to you and exchanging his scent with yours. While we people may not communicate in quite the same way as the cat, your cat doesn’t know this. He will go on being his cat self and expect you to understand because after all, he knows what he’s doing… why shouldn’t you?
So, there you go! 5 cat behaviors that we might think are weird, with a perfectly logical cat explanation to go with it. While we may think cats are strange and mysterious little creatures, when you look at a cat’s behavior and what he does through his eyes, things tend to make a little more sense.
If you have a cat, it does help to try and learn their language in order to better understand why your cat does some of the things he does. When you do, you may find it strengthens the relationship you have with your furry feline even more!
If there’s something your cat does and you just can’t figure out why, write us here and let us know at: TheKuriousKat@protonmail.com
We’ll do our best to find you an answer to let you know what your cat is trying to tell you!