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Cats Behavior

Updated on July 11, 2011

Cats Behavior patterns have always been very interesting to me. I have, been feeding, neutering, rescuing and placing strays for nearly 21 years now and every individual cat has their own unique behavior. I have found, in most instances, that even though feral cats are resistant to change and touch, they do appreciate attention. Many times they will react to a familiar voice by rolling over or giving a head nuggy to an inanimate object, like a tree branch or grass.

There has been a colony that I have been feeding and taking care of for nearly 10 years now that has some major "bad boys" and "bad girls" in it. These guys frequently have battle scars on their face or ears. The colony is located in a corner of a small parking lot against a fence and adjacent to an auto body shop. Yet every time I return to feed them, they are wandering around with their tails fluttering. Some of them even roll around on their backs until I go over to feed them. I have also been told by some people that they are the most social group of strays that they have ever witnessed. This behavior says to me that even ferals exhibit a certain amount of social behavior when in contact with humans.

I believe there is also a major misconception that ferals are not good housepets. In the 21 years that I've observed the social activities of felines, I have brought home 11 of them as my own pets and placed 10 others in good homes. Out of this total of 21, at least 7 were feral, and they are some of the most docile individuals I have ever had the pleasure of observing. Here I will talk a bit about my all time favorite feral tomcat Gordon.

Approximately 5 years ago I lived in a community called "Village in the Woods" that was located in eastern Long Island, NY. My House was in the corner of the community surrounded on three sides by trees We had many frequent visitors in the form of squirrels, skunks, red foxes and deer. During the winter time the "woods" would have made a great Christmas Card. Snow and Ice would hang from trees, and snowfalls would usually create mountains of snow and drifts leading to the front door. One day in the fall, I spotted a chubby gray green-eyed (part Russian Blue) tomcat that was rolling around in the street. I inquired about whether he was someone's pet. Many people told me about this guy being the community traveler who circled the "Village in the Woods", fought with their outdoor cats and then went on his merry way to seek other fights. He had two bitten ears, but I decided to place dishes of food out for him, because I was worried that he would go hungry as winter approached.

As Winter approached and the weather got more frigid "Gordon" (as I named him), frequently returned to my doorstep to gobble up the food and drink the water. It was during these visits that I noticed that he was really a very laid back and friendly individual, and not an angry feral, as so many people described him. He would come to eat, roll around on the front stoop and commence with a behavior which I called "happy feet". You will sometimes see cats knead on the ground in front of them. This kneading is a pushing action which many of them have done since they were babies fighting for mom's milk. Gordon was the King of kneaders.

Four months passed by and it was February. Gordon was still visiting me, and he was no longer afraid. He would now eat, roll around on the ground, knead and actually come to me, purring like a motorboat. I thought to myself "This guy is agressive and starts fights with neighborhood cats?". No Way !!!!! The winter of 2003 on Long Island was cold and covered with snow. The temperatures would go down to 0 at night and hover in the teens in the day time. I thought to myself that it was time to bring Gordon inside and get him out of the nasty winter weather. One frigid day in February I grabbed him and brought him in. At first it didn't go well. Even though it was nasty outside, Gordon wanted no part of my other 4 feline residents. He hung out scratching by the front door and growling. I decided to let him back out, figuring that he was always going to be an unplaceable feral. I left food out, but Gordon disappeared for 2 weeks in the bitter cold weather. I thought that he might have died in the frigid weather.

One day, as March approached, I saw him rolling around in the street, not any worse for wear and as chubby as ever. He came up to me, and I decided to grab him and take him in for a 2nd time. This time I kept him in my bedroom, until I felt it was safe for him to socialize again. Cats are funny! They are resistant to change, but they will eventually socialize after they become more comfortable in their surroundings. Gordon was no different. Today he is the biggest mush tomcat I have ever seen. He still purrs like a motorboat, kneads and rolls around and sometimes even has a social grooming session with Gracie or BeaBea. He also has learned to go to the bathroom on the toilet bowl. However, he has not yet learned how to flush. (LOL)

Cats Behavior patterns can sometimes trick you. Feral cats can be tamed. Just ask Gordon.

Gordon in his Favorite Box

Cat Training Tips


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    • Casey White profile image

      Mike and Dorothy McKenney 6 years ago from United States

      I am so jealous. I don't have a cat right now, but I NEED ONE!!! To compensate, I read all articles on cats and look at photos, pretending they are my I even did a hub on cats, although you can't tell it by the name:

    • hglick profile image

      hglick 7 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      Cathinfrance, You sent me questions at another hub, and I answered them:


      Flicking the tail could nean fleas or it could be a reaction to something that is bothering him in his hindquarters. You might want to inspect him back there to make sure you don't notice any visible scratches or disturbance. If this behavior continues, and he seems to eat regularly and doesn't seem uncomfortable, watch him closely for several weeks. If the behavior continues you might want to get a vet to give a closer inspection.

    • profile image

      cathinfrance 7 years ago

      Glick - I sent you some questions but don't seem to have any answers. Did you get them?

      A new one - my cat has recently been flicking the end of his tail quite a lot when normally he would just be peacefully lounging in front of the fire. Does it mean he's in pain? He recently had a totally unnecessary op after a wrong diagnosis. Or is he just annoyed? Or something else? It bothers me because he looks restless.

    • profile image

      cat sneezing and won't stop 7 years ago

      observe your cat doing nothing and dont want to get fun with you, that's the time you may think that she/he is getting older that's why better to take him for a veterinarian for some medical treatment.

    • hglick profile image

      hglick 8 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      Thank You spiffygal I will check out some of your hubs

    • Spiffygal101 profile image

      Spiffygal101 8 years ago from N.W. Florida/South Alabama

      Great hubs, finally found a kindred spirit...Catmagnet is my middle name. I have blogs here and on I will definitely follow your hubs, Thanks

    • hglick profile image

      hglick 8 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      Thank You very much Stars, Your comments are very interesting I've decided to add a picture of Gordon to this hub for your pleasure

    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 8 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Thank you for becomming my fan too. This article is wonderfull and your photos are precious. I love the one with the cat with it's arm around the other while they look like their in bed like a married couple.

      We have a sort of semi wild mama cat named Peanut. We had to have her spayed when she almost tore up everything in our house. Following her birth of kittens, she got into heat and then the loud yowling began plus the destruction of all our mini blinds on all our windows. Anyway the windows are best without the blinds. The cats like to look outside.

      We do not put our cats outdoors even though they would love it because their is a neighbor a ways from us that we were told might be harming cats. Long ago some of our cats would never come back so we keep our cats indoors.

      Our ten cats are so loving in our home. They bring great joy to our crippled daughter Becky and us.

      Your information in your articles is very helpfull to animal owners. God Bless you for caring about God's creatures.

    • hglick profile image

      hglick 8 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY


      Sorry to hear that your talking cat disappeared. If it helps any, I've had cats disappear for up to 2 weeks at a time and return. So far I've only had 1 cat ever disappear permanently. Keep your hopes up, he'll probably return to the hand that feeds him. You might want to try a lure. Place a smelly fish like jack mackerel or sardines outside in a plate or in a humane trap ever few days and see If he returns.

    • Rob Lattin profile image

      Rob Lattin 8 years ago from Born in Chicago, now I'm in Mostly Michigan

      I kick myself for not recording his voice or videotaping him. For some reason, he got spooked and we can't find him anywhere outside. That's the sad news about him, but if we get him back I'm going to record him talking.

    • hglick profile image

      hglick 8 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY


      Actually I enjoyed your Ted Nugent hubs, and didn't know you had 9 cats. He did have a song called "Cat Scratch fever" though (LOL).

      A male cat that talks ?  You've got to get a video out of him.

      Yes, my cats all have unique meows.

    • Rob Lattin profile image

      Rob Lattin 8 years ago from Born in Chicago, now I'm in Mostly Michigan

      Hey Thanks for becoming a fan of mine! How did you know that I love and understand CATS? Half of my life I was a dog owner, and this half I am a cat owner. Until February I had 9 cats (6 of them were kittens BTW). Now I have only 2. I understand them and did you know each cat has a unique 'meow?".

      We had one that chirps, one we have, a female has a normal sound, but our male is a talking cat who actually says sentences.

    • profile image

      belfast maine 8 years ago

      Great Hub you have here :) Please check out my Belfast Maine website would love to network!

    • hglick profile image

      hglick 9 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY


      You should try to keep your kitten indoors until he ia older. If he needs to be outside, you can go out with him for short periods so that you can watch him.

    • profile image

      jessica 9 years ago

      my kitten is about 5 months old ,and keeps going on walk abouts ...he's always walking around the complex ...and i don't know what to do about it .....'cause im really scared he's going to get hurt by a car,another cat,or maybe a dog

    • profile image

      Tame Your Brain 9 years ago

      I love cats and I made a site called Cat Puzzles. You can find it here: I have funny cat videos, cat puzzles, and much more.

      Here's a great cat ebook! How To Hypnotize Your Cat!Http://

    • Rudra profile image

      Rudra 9 years ago

      its still a mystery. good reading.