5 Weird Cat Behaviors and What They Mean
Cats are now considered to be the most popular pets in the United States since they’re starting to outpace dogs as the number one pet. They’re cuddly, fun, and we tend to love them as a personal companion but sometimes they exhibit behaviors that upset us or make us scratch our heads in curiosity, while other times it’s just a way of them showing affection. Here are the most common cat behaviors and what they mean.
Avoiding Litter Box
Avoiding litter boxes is a common problem and strange behavior among cats and it varies by what the reason is. If a cat isn’t using a litter box, it is very important to take the cat to the veterinarian and have them checked out. There could be reasons why your cat might not use a litter box and it’s important to make sure that they’re medically healthy since the behavioral change. There are several factors that can lead a cat not to use a litter box.
- Medical Problem – If the cat normally used the litter box but stopped this particular behavior, it should be taken into consideration to find the reason why. This is the first behavior the cat changes if something is medically wrong with it.
- Cat Markings – Cats sometimes do their business elsewhere but can use the litter box for another purpose. Cats will mark or spray a certain area within close proximity to communicate with other cats or just simply because they are stressed.
- Dissatisfaction – Just like humans, if there is something that we don’t like we tend to stay away from it or not touch it at all. Same goes for the cat. The cat may not like the box, the location of it or simply both.
Cats really like cleanliness and every cat differs in what they consider a clean litter box. To make sure that your cat stays healthy and free from disease, it’s important to clean the litter box daily.
Bunting and Rubbing
Another cat behavior that is rather odd but lovable is when a cat head-butts you (gently). The technical term for this is bunting and refers to a way a cat presses and rubs its head against objects. Allorubbing is a term used when a cat reacts this way towards another cat or towards us. This bunting gesture is a way for the cat to leave scent markings on objects, cats, or humans that they run into since they have scent glands all over their bodies. While majority of cats gently head-butt, there are some cats that are pushy and can turn it into a head-slamming contest. The purpose behind this behavior is the cat showing its trust in owners and scent marking what’s important to it.
Which behavior have you seen your cat display?
One of the things that is common among cats and may excite owners is the fact that cats usually cover their poop in the litter box (most of the time). We think about this as a gesture of cleanliness which brings a sigh of relief since it levitates us from picking up after our feline friend. However, there are times where cats don’t cover their feces and leaves it in a particular place to mark its territory. This is a way for the cat to tell intruders, strangers, or even other cats that the place they “marked” is their turf. In the wild, cats often leave poop out for this particular reason but there are those that cover their poop to avoid being found by dominant species of their kind. Majority of the time, for indoor cats, covering poop is just a way of cats avoiding any unwanted attention.
Different from cats that scratch the furniture, every cat loves to “make biscuits” or “clay-make” at a certain point and may do it often whenever alone or with an owner. The cat pushes and flexes its front paws and claws in front of it exhibiting a pushing motion wherever it is at like treading with the front feet. This is something that kittens do when they’re nursing since the rhythmic pushing against a mothers’ breast stimulates the milk to the let down so they can be fed. Many adult cats seem to do this and we think that we can’t really read into their minds but we imagine them remembering what a wonderful feeling it was being with mom and nursing. Majority of cats do this and also purr at the same time. If the cats’ nails are too long it may dig into us and hurt us a little bit especially since cats love to knead on our laps. The cat means no harm but at times may look insulted if we try to push them away when they do this fancy footwork. The kneading behavior of the cat is a way of cats expressing and showing how happy, how good, and how safe they feel right then and there. When your cat is doing this to you, it means that the cat loves you and it’s just a way of express affection. This can also make a cat appear even more adorable and endearing than they already are!
Cats have different personalities in which some are friendly and outgoing while others are somewhat very shy and timid. For example, a cat that runs when the doorbell rings may just be a shy cat that doesn’t want to make more friends. Even the most outgoing and active cat may run to hide or seek privacy from time to time. Just because a cat is very quiet and timid, it is absolutely important to offer the cat some safe places where they can hide and watch without necessarily interacting. Some places that cats feel safe are high perches on a shelf, cat pole, or a bed away from the crowd. It’s always best to choose a cat that works for you and best fits your personality.
Cats are different than any other pets that we own and may be peculiar in a very fascinating way. Interaction is the key with cats although at times cats will want to be picky on how they want certain things. Some cats seem to prefer interaction around the head and neck, scratching on ears, a light pet on top of the head but not enjoy stroking down the entire body, while some will just love to be picked up, and will show that love in a very strange way! Also, the cat will give you a signal when they’re not particularly happy. These signs can be subtle just as a little flick of the tail, ears will go back, or some cats might even hiss at you. You may then realize that what your cat wants to do is to be close to you without being touched. By understanding their normal behaviors, their need for cleanliness, and respecting their privacy, we can have a long lasting and loving relationship with our feline friends.