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Cat Lover Answers To Cat Behavior

Updated on May 11, 2011
Cat questions answered!
Cat questions answered!

Cat Questions

Why do some cats flick water out of their water bowls? Why do they sneeze? Do cats have a sixth sense? I will answer all of these questions and more as I take an in depth look into a cat's psyche.

I love to watch my cat. He is a constant source of entertainment to our family, but sometimes he can be so baffling. Because of this, I did some pretty thorough research. What I have found proves to be very interesting.

behavior of cats
behavior of cats

Do Cats Have A Sixth Sense?

Weird Cat Behavior:  A while back, I heard a story on the news about Oscar. Oscar is a cat who lives at Steere Nursing Home in Providence, Rhode Island. Apparently, this cat has the uncanny ability to predict the deaths of the patients there. He has only missed one so far and that is because there were two simultaneous deaths.

What he does is snuggle up in bed next to the patient and within hours the patient is dead. It is assumed that this cat can sense when a patient is gravely ill and will lay with him or her until the patient has passed.

I know that whenever I am not feeling well my cat, Kirby, will hop up next to me. When this first happened, I thought - how sweet...but then thought - Wait a minute! Are you trying to tell me something? and.. Could you kindly go rest someplace else?

If it was my time to go, I wasn't so sure I wanted to know about it! Whatever sense cats have, I do think they seem to know when you need comfort. Their supporting purr and snuggling nudge certainly does the trick!

Some cats just prefer something a little more substantial!
Some cats just prefer something a little more substantial!

Why Do Some Cats Flick Water?

Bad Cat Behavior: This is a question that baffled me about Kirby. Why was he always sticking his paw in his water bowl and throwing the water all over the floor? Instead of drinking the water, he was perfectly happy with making a giant mess. Not only was the mess a problem, but I was worried he was getting enough to drink.  I had to figure out how to get him to stop this strange practice.

Here is what I found out. It could be because water bowls are just not appealing enough for some finicky cats to drink out of. Cats instinctively recognize that running water is fresher than still water. This is why they become fascinated with a running faucet.

My advice would be to buy a fountain style water feeder for your cat. These can be found at most pet supply stores. The continually running water is also healthier for your cat so bacteria doesn't settle in. It is essential for cats to drink enough water for good kidney and urinary tract health.

Could cats have allergies?
Could cats have allergies?

Why Do Cats Sneeze?

Cat Health Sneezing:  I thought it was funny to find out that cats can have allergies. Since many people are allergic to cats, I found it ironic that cats can have allergies too. Of course cats are not allergic to people, which would have been more funny. They are allergic to things like mold or food. If your cat is sneezing alot and you know you have mold, keep your cat away from that area or fix the mold.

A more serious reason for frequent sneezing is complications from a feline herpes ailment such as nasal polyps. If this is the cause, your cat should have a bout of frequent sneezing for about three weeks. Once the herpes virus subsides, your cat should stop sneezing. There can be long periods of remission between the herpes flare-ups but if not this warrants a visit to the vet for antibiotics.

More commonly, occasional sneezing could simply be an inhaled irritant or dust. Another common reason is from dental problems. Complications from dental disease can affect the nasal passages. If your cat has bad breath and is sneezing, this could be a sign. A vet could prescribe an antibiotic for a nasal infection.

Why Is My Cat Gaining Weight?

Cat Health Issues: If you have an indoor cat especially with an endless supply of food, weight gain is just a natural result. Try portion control or a weight control dry cat food formula.

Some things to watch for along with weight gain are excessive urination, excessive thirst, and lethargy. These could all be signs of diabetes. Probably the easiest thing to notice as unusual is excessive thirst. This comes as a result of the excess urination caused by high glucose levels pulling fluid from the body into the urine.

Since cats typically take many naps throughout the day, it may be harder to notice lethargy. But, if your cat is suddenly playing less or not taking the stairs, this may be cause for concern - especially if combined with excessive thirst.


Cats are finicky!
Cats are finicky!

Why Is My Cat Not Using The Litter Box?

Cat Behavior Problems: If your cat suddenly starts eliminating outside the litter box, this could be a sign of stress.

If you have recently moved into a new house, your cat may need some time to get use to the new surroundings.  Try keeping him isolated to one room at first making sure to keep the food a good distance from the litter box.  Once your cat gets use to the room you can slowly let him expand his surroundings.

Cats also do not like a dirty litter box.  Make sure to keep it clean or they will not use it!

If you decide that you need to change the type of litter you are using, do it gradually.  Cats don't like change and a sudden change in litter could make them stop using their box.  Try just a adding a couple of scoops of the new litter to the old at first and gradually add more each time you clean the box until you finally have a full box of the new litter.

Remember that any kind of change can stress out your cat and changes should be brought on gradually if possible. Some other signs of stress are excessive grooming to the point of losing hair, eating less and yowling.


For Cats and Cat Lovers

Cat toys are fun for both owner and cat. They help to keep your cat entertained at the same time providing much entertainment for those watching. A favorite cat toy can be a stress reliever for kitty when other things in his environment change.

My cat is a strictly indoor cat but likes to challenge his "hunting" abilities with a good crinkle toy. It is hilarious to watch him sneak, pounce and flip that little toy. He never tires of us throwing it to a new spot and we never tire of watching him.

Lasers are a lot of fun to play with.  I'm not sure who has more fun, owner or cat!  A variety of different toys will ensure that you and your cat will never get bored.


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    • LeslieOutlaw profile image

      Leslie 4 years ago from South Carolina

      Great Info! Nice job. My cats love getting in the bathtub. I have one that will get in the bath to drink and bathe. They are funny, loving animals; I am amazed at some of the things they do.

    • profile image

      KittyKat 5 years ago

      My cat joe really gets on my nerve when he flicks water from his bowl. At least now i know hes not just doing it to annoy me! Im getting a cat water fountain asap.

    • pinkydoo profile image

      pinkydoo 6 years ago from New York

      My cats definitely are more into water from the sink than from their water bowl (maybe because there's a picture of a smiling dog at the bottom of their water bowl..ha)! This is a great hub! Something else my cat Coco-Puff does sometimes, is "cover her food"....I guess the meaning behind that particular maneuver is obvious!