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Why does my cat do that?!

Updated on January 9, 2012
A big cat showing off the Flehmen response.
A big cat showing off the Flehmen response.

6 Things Your Cat Does

So those of us who have cats know that they do some weird things. I've been reading up on them more and more by the day and thought I'd share why they do 7 of the strange things that they do. Enjoy!

1. Why does my cat want to love on people who don't like cats?

As any cat owner knows, cats are very territorial creatures. Cats often have stare downs before initiating a fight over food or territory. Cats consider being stared at, or even watched, by strangers a threat. Staring into their eyes especially, it is a sign of aggression in the cat world. So simply put, they like people who don’t like cats because they ignore them. If two people come to your house and one likes cats while the other one doesn’t the cat will always choose the non-cat person over the cat person who is probably watching the cat hoping for a chance to introduce themselves and give the cat some loving.

2. Why does my cat push his head against me?

Scent is a big factor in cat world; it’s how they mark their territory and their property. Cats have scent glands on their cheeks that release their own smell when rubbed on things. When a cat pushes his head or nose up against you he is marking you as his property to make sure other cats aren’t trying to get scratches from you. A good way to calm cats, or just make them extremely happy, is to scratch their cheek, it releases an abundance of smells that make the cat happy, knowing it’s in a place that is full of their own scent.

3. What does my cat bring me dead critters?

There are two theories on this, so let’s do the most commonly acknowledged one first. In cat world bringing dead animals home is a social gesture of sharing food. It is a way to take care of the family that they love so much. Think of it kinda like when you go to the store and come back with groceries for the family. Always keep in mind that to a cat sharing food with you is an honor and if you throw the animal away while the cat can see you they will usually think you are displeased with the meal and run off to get you some more.

The second theory is that your cat thinks you suck at catching dinner. When a mother mouse teachers her kittens how to hunt she initially brings them dead food, then she will bring a half dead animal so the kittens can see how to make a fatal kill, then she will take the kittens with her to go catch food. When a cat (especially a female cat) brings you a critter it may just be that she is trying to teach you how to hunt because she’s noticed that you aren’t very good at it.

4. Why does my cat open it's mouth when smelling some things?

Since cats became house pets people have wondered why they sneer sometimes when they smell things, the answer came about in 1813. The reaction you see is called flehming (or the flehmen response). Cats have an organ called the Jacobson’s organ right behind their upper front teeth that allow them to better take in smells. When a cat smells something particularly interesting he will do this. The organ basically allows the cat to actually taste the smell. From doing this a cat can determine if another cat is in heat and how long the smell has actually been there. If they are smelling the scent of where an animal walked by they can also tell how long ago the animal was there, making it a great hunting tool.

5. Why does my cat annoy me while I'm on the phone?

This one is simple, and my favorite. When a cat sees you on the phone he doesn’t know there is a person on the other end of it. To a cat you just have something next to your head. So when you are talking on the phone and there is no one else in the room/house the cats automatic assumption is that you are talking to him, and that means you must want to give him lovin’!

6. Why does my cat get stuck in trees?

This one is actually pretty easy too; their claws aren’t made for it! Since the claws are curved forward there is no way for them to grab onto a tree while climbing down without plummeting head first to the ground. The only way for a cat to get down from a tree it to actually shimmy down with his butt first, but most cats don’t learn this until they have been in trees several times, or they get brave enough to jump!

Does your cat do any of these things? I know mine likes to push his face onto mine every chance he gets. Leave me a comment and tell me about it!


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    • kruney profile image

      Karen R 5 years ago from Richmond, VA

      I'm glad you liked it! Thanks!

    • bizzymom profile image

      bizzymom 5 years ago from New York

      This is very interesting. I sometimes "catsit for my neighbor and one of her cats always pushes his head on me. Now I know why! Thanks for sharing.

    • kruney profile image

      Karen R 5 years ago from Richmond, VA

      I didn't know til I was researching it that you shouldn't throw them away in front of the cat. I thought it was kinda sweet in a creepy way. lol. Thanks!

    • BrokenDreamer profile image

      Jen Christopherson 5 years ago from Oklahoma, USA

      I like the part about the cat teaching us to hunt! This is a very interesting hub!