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6 Weird Cat Behaviors Decoded

Updated on September 10, 2012

Cats have various methods of communication, most or all of which can seem completely alien to us. Once we begin to understand more about our feline companions and their behavior, though, they suddenly seem far less strange. And as a bonus, we can enjoy their company and their quirks even more.



There are a number of explanations on why cats knead, which is also known as 'making biscuits'. One is that they are imitating a behavior from kittenhood when they kneaded on their mother's teat as they nursed; it is believed that the motion helps to stimulate the flow of milk through the nipples. Adult cats may find it comforting to knead as they remember their time with their mother. Another reason they may do this is to mark their territory. Because cats have scent glands on the pads at the bottoms of their paws, some of their scent is released onto the surface as they are kneading. This serves as a warning to unfamiliar cats to stay away.

Unspayed females will also knead right before going into heat as a way of letting males know of their readiness and ability to mate.



When a cat rubs against something, including you, she is marking her scent and claiming you (or the object in question) as her own. Cats have a number of scent glands all throughout their bodies, including between their toes, on their foreheads, on their temples, on their ears, on the corners of their mouths, on their flanks and rears, and along the length of their tails. These glands release different types of pheromones that send various signals; some are used to mark the cat's territory, while others signal comfort. Another well-known use of pheromones is to provide information on the animal's sexual status and receptiveness to potential mates.



When your cat rolls over, she could be asking for your attention or she may want to play. You will often find that she will do this when you are focusing on something else, such as while watching TV, browsing on your laptop, or even brushing your teeth; it is as if she is saying, "Stop what you're doing and look at me already!" Your cat may also be showing that she has complete trust in you, since by rolling over she is exposing a very vulnerable area to you: her belly. Moreover, cats roll over to mark their scents and during catnip intoxication.

Also, keep in mind that unspayed females will constantly roll over and yowl when they are in heat.



When your cat looks at you with half-opened eyes and gives you a slow eye blink or a 'wink', she is giving you the kitty equivalent of a kiss. It is her way of showing you affection and that she feels comfortable around you. Winking is also a non-threatening form of communication when done toward other cats to show peace.

Next time you catch your cat gazing at you, very slowly close your eyes and then open them. Your kitty will probably return the 'kiss'.



You may notice your cat appearing to sneer with her mouth slightly open right after smelling something. This behavior is known as flehming, which means 'lip curl' in German. It occurs right after your cat has smelled something that intrigues her, such as the pheromones from another cat. The upper lip will curl back to allow the smell to enter into the Jacobson's organ, which is located on the roof of your cat's mouth. By opening her mouth a little, it allows the Jacobson's organ to open up the ducts to the nasal cavity, thereby enabling your cat to further take in the smell and evaluate it.



You may catch your cat attempting to bury her food by scratching over and over again on the ground by her bowl. This behavior could be instinctual; she could simply be burying her food so that she can save it for later. Another reason she may do this is to show that she doesn't think very highly of the meal that you have provided for her.

When your feline buries her feces in her littler box, she may be indicating that she feels subordinate to you. Subordinate cats in feral colonies will also cover up their feces, while the dominant cats will leave their 'business' exposed to mark their territory and to show their status. Dominant cats in multi-cat households tend to leave their waste uncovered as well.

© Jennzie on HubPages, 2012

Enjoy this funny video. :-)


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    • FullOfLoveSites profile image

      FullOfLoveSites 4 years ago from United States

      Well, I miss my cat Mello. His little head was always rubbing against my feet. He would always do that all of a sudden. :)

    • jennzie profile image

      jennzie 5 years ago from Lower Bucks County, PA

      Thanks for commenting btrbell, idigwebsites, and midget! Glad that you all enjoyed this.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 5 years ago from Singapore

      Fascinating! Haven't seen a cat wink yet, though. Perhaps it's the dog odor I have on me!! Will watch out for that with my neighbor's cat!!

    • idigwebsites profile image

      idigwebsites 5 years ago from United States

      Awwww... cute cat winking! Now I know the cat is giving a buss. Cats are always fascinating and funny. I enjoyed reading this. :)

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 5 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      So glad you found me so that I could enjoy this hub! Voted up and interesting!

    • jennzie profile image

      jennzie 5 years ago from Lower Bucks County, PA

      Thanks Victoria- I'm glad you liked it. :-)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Cats are so cool and interesting. I enjoyed this hub!

    • jennzie profile image

      jennzie 5 years ago from Lower Bucks County, PA

      Thank you for commenting on my hub, everyone!

      Mama Kim, I was actually thinking about making one for dogs as well. Be sure to check for it the near future. :-)

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      Very interesting article about cat behavior. And the video is hilarious!

      Thank you jennzie! Voted up and pinned in my personal library.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thanks for all this very interesting fascinating information about cat, i am not a cat person but found this to be a enjoyable read .

      Vote up and more !!!

    • Kate Mc Bride profile image

      Kate McBride 5 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      This is really interesting.So now I know winking is kissing for cats:-). Voted up and interesting.Thanks for sharing this hub

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      I love your explanations! Will you make one for dogs? ^_^ I've had a couple cats over the years and just loved them. Now we have 3 dogs and aren't ready to have a cat at the moment.... hopefully someday though. voted a bunch!

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 5 years ago from California, United States of America

      This is very interesting information. I've had a lot of cats over many years, and always enjoyed their company and behavior; makes sense what's presented here in terms of what cats do and why. Enjoyable read!