A-mew-sing Communication Behaviors Our Feline Friends Use To Talk With UsBy Aakash M
Like every other living organism, cats have distinctive qualities and traits. But, we all know that there isn’t something called “normal” cat behavior. While some behavioral traits are universal amongst cats, every cat is different. Each cat as their own way of doing things, and cat owners need to learn to speak their pet’s language — meowing, nudging, and scratching are all common behaviors that have any number of meanings. Of course, some of these can be more disruptive than others, but often it is simply a case of the cat being misunderstood. While we do not speak feline, we have noticed some common traits among some of these habits. We are by no means animal behaviorists or veterinarians, so make sure to consult with a specialist if any of the habits are problematic — don’t just take our word for it. But, without further ado, let’s sneak a peek at some curious cat behaviors that are paw-sitively perplexing!
1. Let them sleep
It turns out that there’s a reason why your kitten wants to nap so much, no matter what time it is. The reason is that their bodies release the necessary growth hormones for their development while they sleep. Thus, kitties sleep more than grown cats.
Cats tend to sleep a lot because they need to save that energy for their upcoming hunt, or any other activity, really. But, just like us, even they fall asleep out of boredom. So, if you want to stop that, play with them!
There’s a condition in cats called Pica — cats tend to chew on non-edible items like plastic and other things. If your cat is tasting everything in your home, you should consider taking it to the vet instead of restricting your fur buddy’s freedom.
There aren’t any studies stating a concrete reason why this condition occurs, but this behavior could be because of stress or calorific issues. Cats often chew on things that aren’t food because it is a stress buster for them. Sadly, it can harm their digestive system.
You are at your home, chilling on the couch. You attempt to cuddle your cat, but they always seem to escape your loving hold. Sadly, you start to wonder what you have done to deserve this kind of treatment from your cat.
Cats often lift their tails and show you their behind when you try to cuddle them, which might seem rude. But, don’t worry because it isn’t so. Instead, it’s a sign of faith and devotion. By lifting their tails, they’re trying to show you that they’re friendly! It’s weird, but it’s true!
4. Not giving you space
It’s a Friday night, and you’re hanging out with your buddies somewhere outside of your home. You drank a lot (water, beer, or anything that suits you). You come home from that eventful night, and you go to the bathroom, but your cat casually follows you as if they do this every time you use the restroom.
Well, some studies say that cats tend to follow their owner where they go when they feel vulnerable. Other studies also say that the reason behind this behavior is their curiosity. Cats might be smart enough to know that they’ll get more attention when you’re away from your phone.
There’s nothing as bad as finding a dead mouse put near your feet. It can ruin your day. Although it’s good that your cat is earning its stay by acting as pest control, seeing that as the first thing in the morning can make you question many things about your cat’s conduct.
If something like that has happened to you, here’s what you should know — cats learn behaviors like this from their mothers. However, it’s possible that this isn’t a family tradition, but they are perhaps thanking you for taking care of them by offering mice. Or, as cats are wont to do, they are trying to seek attention.
6. My head is facing the wall
Most of you must be familiar with pressing your heads against the walls when frustrated. It seems that cats also have a similar behavioral trait because even they randomly press their heads against the walls. Or, it could be that they saw you doing it and are now copying you.
If this habit is also followed by unusual sounds that cats don’t often make, it will be best to take your cat to a vet as soon as possible. These could be symptoms of nerve damage that could be caused by anything from trauma to growth, or any number of unknown reasons.
7. Waste burial
Cats are more hygienic than dogs when it comes to potty habits. They are up by a point here because they ensure that they bury their waste in the litter box whenever they go to the toilet. And we don’t get credit for this one — undomesticated cats hide their waste with dirt, too.
Cats in the wild bury their waste to mask their scent from predators and also to blend in their scent with other cats in the area. If cats don’t hide their waste, now that’s a problem. It could be because they’re sick, anxious, or simply not liking their litter box.
8. Feet protection
If you call yourself a relatively tall person, then there isn’t anything better than having some legroom while you’re sitting. If not, then sitting with your legs up can feel great. But, there you are, enjoying your legroom while your cat suddenly comes and starts pouncing on your feet.
Actually, there’s not much to say about it. They are only practicing their jumps and attacks, and this trait isn’t aggressive. Cats are always looking to play when they’re bored because most cats are very playful. So, if you want to spare your feet, divert their attention with a squeaky toy.
9. Trust is in the air!
Cats are known to look royal with their relaxing poses. They chill like they are the kings and queens of this world, and you are their pet, and not the other way round. When they do it right, they look adorable and behave that way because they’re comfortable with you.
If your cat is resting like this cat in the image, trust us when we say that your cat trusts you a lot! When that trust level is high, they become vulnerable and expose their bellies. If this behavior is frequent in your cat, it’s happy with you.
10. Charging around
You have finally returned to your humble abode after a hectic workday, and you can’t wait to shower and go to bed. But, while you’re in the middle of your sleep, you hear strange noises. Your cat charges into your room like nothing you’ve ever seen.
These fur buddies are full of energy, and they need to let all that energy out since they don’t have an option to hunt like their instincts are telling them to. Domestic cats run around the house because there isn’t much space for them to roam freely. If your cat does these things, you need to play more with it.
Most cat owners can relate to the feeling of their cat suddenly coming up to them and burying its face in theirs. Most of the time, it happens when we’re not expecting it, but that’s okay because nose-bumping with your furry friend is always a pleasant surprise.
Your face is a fantastic spot for your furry friend to smell your uniquely natural scent, through which they try to search for your essence. It also helps them relax because, for them, it’s a reassurance that you’re you and not a stranger.
12. What’s that sound?
It’s a beautiful summer evening, and the birds are chirping outside your window. But, as soon as your cat sees the birds outside, it starts chattering its teeth. It almost starts to sound like the malfunctioning of a little toy motor.
Cat experts have a theory about this sound — it’s a sound of irritation because they cannot catch birds through the window. According to some, it’s a natural reflex, and it’s something that cats do while warming up their muscles before hunting.
13. Work problems
Cats tend to interrupt a lot when you’re working — every cat owner can vouch for this fact. Irrespective of what you’re doing and how important your tasks are, cats just don’t seem to care. And this is nothing new. They’ve even found manuscripts from the 15th century with pawprints all over them.
Cats seem to interrupt you during your work because they notice that you’re doing something, which makes them want to seek your attention. So, they get in the middle of you and your task. So, when your cat interrupts you during work, cuddle them up.
14. Cramming into small spots
Cats don’t care if you buy them a simple bed or the best one available at the store. They don’t care, and they won’t stay in it. There are other nice areas in your house where your cat would prefer for snuggling up, like boxes, basins, or any other cramped area.
The reason behind this behavior is that cats try to get a sense of security. Small cats in the wild will similarly try to seek cover in holes and caves if they feel threatened on open grounds. There isn’t any danger in your home, but they simply feel safer that way.
15. It’s not what you think
The initial impulse of a newly-born kitten is to press on its mother’s teats while consuming her milk. It does that to stimulate her body to create more milk. While they may be skilled at kneading, it isn’t because they worked in a pizzeria in their previous life or something like that.
Even adult cats retain this kneading motion, and they do it when they identify the comfortable feeling of their mother with a soft surface, which could also be your body. Many theories also state that cats do so to express happiness or release stress.
16. Rolling around
Fluffy cats rolling around the house look so adorable! There are many reasons why a cat may roll around on its back, but there’s one common thread, regardless of the reason — they only roll around when they’re completely relaxed. As we mentioned before, they bare their belly when they’re really comfortable.
When they’re rolling around in your house, they could be scratching their backs, stretching their muscles, or attempting to play with you. Also, they try to mark their scent by rolling on a surface. Thus, it’s a way for them to mark their territory.
17. Ignorance on point
When you compare cats to dogs, cats seem to have a sense of self-importance and pride, which is a significant characteristic on its own. This characteristic is why they recognize their name and their owner’s voice, but they don’t immediately respond like dogs.
Unlike dogs, cats prefer to be affectionate when they want to and not when you want. If they’re not trying to seek attention, they won’t answer when you call them. But don’t worry about it because they’ll approach you when they want to play.
18. They’re bad singers
All cat owners love their cats, and can’t say enough good things about them. But, when they try to sing opera in the middle of the night, right after the owners doze off, it makes every pet owners reconsider their life choices.
These sounds could be a result of a cat trying to hunt or a cry of unhappiness because there’s no prey. So, consider playing with your cat while you’re awake during the day so that it’ll be tired when you sleep.
Stretching is a great habit to develop your body and keep up with things. Not only should you do it before and after your workouts, but you should also generally do it because it improves your mobility and joint health. No wonder cats are constantly stretching themselves out.
Cats stretch themselves to get their circulation going after they rest. It raises their blood pressure and forces their muscles’ impurities and other harmful things away. It also makes them feel fantastic! Cats also sleep a lot, so a good stretch is always needed.
20. Old habits
If the weather outside is cold, a cat can stay warm by curling itself into a small ball while sleeping. It’s also the best sleeping posture for cats because that position shields their stomach and other parts, which helps them stay safe while being vulnerable.
This method has also become the only way wild cats stay comfortable and warm. Most cats tend to instinctively curl up at night, even when you give them a comfy cushion to sleep on. Old habits do indeed die hard.
21. Standing tall
Seeing your tabby standing on its hind legs isn’t the most common thing ever because we’re mainly used to seeing our pet companions on their hind legs. Although it looks a bit out of place, there is an explanation for it as well.
If a cat faces a threat in the wild and doesn’t have a high chance of escaping, it might try to stand on its hind legs, making itself look bigger. Now you know what it means — keep a safe distance when your cat behaves like that unless it’s reaching for food.
Cats aren’t making noises only for the heck of it. They could be trying to convey a message to you. Therefore, you should consider listening to what they’re trying to say. And after all, who can even turn away from those soft “meows?”
A sweet little meow usually means that it’s greeting you or asking for affection. So, if a cat approaches that way, you can touch it and rub its back or head, and guess what — in return, you’ll be rewarded with the love of a delighted kitten.
23. Straight out of the tap
Cats and other felines have a relatively weak thirst reflex. So, they may become unknowingly dehydrated if there isn’t any fresh water nearby. But, some cats are so fussy that they’ll actually ignore their water bowl to get some drops of water from the tap instead.
This trait is another one that they have taken from their ancestors because it is widely accepted that flowing water is better than still water in the environment. Also, who wouldn’t want to have some clean water? Do you know what tastes best when you’re thirsty? Fresh water.
24. Running for their lives
Have you ever had a cat go to the litter box and then run around your household like a mad kitty with wild eyes? If this sounds eerily familiar, then accept our congratulations: you’ve witnessed what the internet fondly refers to as “the zoomies.”
Although watching cats zoom around the house as if somebody’s behind them feels pretty cartoonish, there is a reason behind it. Studies say that cats do so to put as much distance as possible between them and their droppings. That is so that they can stay away from predators.
25. Time for cuddles
If you have seen a wildlife segment on lemurs, you might also know how they walk on their four limbs and how their tails are upright. If you haven’t seen one, go check it out because they’re an interesting watch. Surprisingly, cats have a similar behavioral trait.
If a cat has a tail sticking right up, it could mean that it was looking forward to seeing you again, and it loves your presence. Considering this fact, the most logical thing to do here would be to cuddle the little fur buddy.
26. Wrapping their tails
When a cat is trying to communicate with you, it’ll use many methods that rely on meowing and body language. But cat owners will tell you that they also have a tendency to make physical contact; this enables them to convey that they want to in a straightforward manner.
The perfect way a cat can express how important you are to them is by wrapping themself around you. When they wrap their tails around you and rub them, it makes it easy for them to coat us with their scent. By now, you know why they do that.
27. Dropped tail
Most people say that the dropping tail is one of the most noticeable signs that you should be cautious around your cat. A low tail indicates that they aren’t sure of what’s going around them, and they could be getting ready for what comes.
But, it isn’t a universal truth that a low tail means that your cat is aggressive or uncertain. For example, breeds like the Persian cat lower their tails when they want to play with you. So, like everything else with your cat, their behavior could be different from all the others in the neighborhood.
28. That’s trippy!
Do you know about catnip? It’s a leafy plant that’s related to mint, but to us, it doesn’t look like anything special. However, some cats literally lose it when they are near catnip. It doesn’t only affect small cats. It has even buzzed lions and tigers!
Catnip has a chemical in it called Nepetalactone. It stimulates the sensors in their noses, which gives 70% of cats a buzz and a lot of enjoyment. It has a 10-minute high (approximately), and during that time, cats will be very active, they’ll droll, and they’ll also make funky sounds.
29. The sound of relaxation
Hearing your cat purr like a machine working in sync is a fantastic feeling. If we’d put it in words, it’s simply satisfying. It becomes even better when they arch their little bodies and start purring without taking a break!
Other than being happy and satisfied, purring has many other meanings. They also purr to communicate with each other and cool themselves down when stressed. The steady purring pattern seems to really calm them down, just like it does for us!
Cats are renowned for their safe landings when they jump (or fall) from tremendous heights. They always seem to land on all fours and walk it off with grace like nothing ever happened. This talent is possible because they have extra vertebrae in their spine, which results in a suppleness that also allows them to land safely.
Cats have this ability since birth, and they become masters at it by the age of six-to-seven weeks. So, cats have light bodies and bones with matted fur, and they also have a sense of balance as good as any professional gymnast.
31. Ear communication
Like some other animals, cats use their ears to communicate. In fact, sometimes cats have markings on their ears to help with communication. But, regardless of coat color, cats move their ears to express things like nervousness. This can be seen when a cat starts to twitch its ears to and fro.
If their ears point straight forward, it indicates that they’re happy and content. Similarly, if a cat’s ears are flat against the head or pointing backward, it means that it’s annoyed and scared. That also means that it’s time to take action because it could mean that they could be warning about danger.
32. Time to graze
Our mothers used to say that cats know precisely about the medicines they’d need when they’re sick. We aren’t talking about the drugs available at the pharmacy; we’re talking about nature. But, what’s the medicinal property of grass? Especially since cats seem to eat it with such disgust.
The thing is that cats use grass as a method of self-purging if they’re facing digestive problems. Plus, almost all grass species have folic acid, which is a critical part of a cat’s diet. So, if your cat is grazing a bit, make sure that the grass is fresh.
33. Keep away
It’s a universal fact that dogs wag their tails to show that they are delighted. It is so wholesome that we get happy seeing it, which makes them happier, and so on. But that’s not the same with cats because they don’t wag their tails out of joy.
When your cat wags its tail, it’s best just to let it be because it isn’t a good sign. The cat will calm down by itself. But, if the tail is twitching and jumping, that means the cat is really excited about something!
Like other felines, cats are natural hunters. Mother Nature has been generous to them by giving them retractable claws and a set of razor-sharp teeth — that’s why it hurts when they bite you. But, there are some reasons behind this behavior.
Cats bite because they could be trying to communicate. They might be trying to tell you that they’re stressed, angry, afraid, or any other thing like that. If it’s not that, they might be playing around. Either way, it’s natural and nothing to be too concerned about.
35. Hunting practice
You are sitting at a table, probably working in a relaxed mood, when you suddenly hear a loud clattering sound. There’s no doubt that your cat is the culprit behind this sound. Peeking around your laptop, you see that your tabby just pushed your water bottle off the table.
Many scientists say that cats push things onto the ground because of their natural hunting instinct. They often play with their prey in the wild to work on their hunting skills. Also, they get bored pretty quickly. So, it’s a great way for them to get your attention.
36. Nail-biting habit
Many of us have a habit of biting our nails. Often, people do it out of stress, anxiety, nervousness, or other emotions. It’s a bad habit, though, so those who do it should consider quitting it and finding another stress outlet. But why do cats bite their nails?
Like with us, nail-biting in cats is a sign that they’re feeling nervous or just bored. It can also be a grooming tactic for them. But if your cat constantly nibbles at its nails, you should visit a vet because it could be from an infection.
37. Anger issues
Often, people seem to understand that they should back off if a cat starts hissing at them. For those who were unaware of it, yes. Cats do hiss whenever they’re angered. They’ll also hiss when they are scared or anxious.
A cat might start hissing if it perceives you or any other human being or animal as a threat. So, what should you do if something of this sort happens to you? Keep your distance. It will cool down on its own.
38. Bad habits
Most of us have read frightening examples of people returning home only to discover their furniture ripped apart by their cat. That’s one reason some people are skeptical about getting a cat for themselves. Fortunately, this can often be solved by getting a scratching post for your cat.
So, the question is, why do cats have these destructive habits? There are three reasons behind it. One is to remove dead cells from their claws. Two is for marking the area with their scent, and three is to stretch their bodies to feel good.
39. Litter box problems
Earlier, we mentioned cats leaving dead animals at your feet as a gift. Just like that unwelcome present, nothing kills the cat owner’s mood like seeing their cats doing their business outside their litter box. Starting your day by stepping on cat droppings can be a mood killer, to say the least.
This behavior can be problematic. The cat simply might not like its litter box or the litter that you use in it. Or, it could be that it wants the box to be in another location. You should consider visiting a vet if this behavior persists even after you change the box’s location and litter.
40. Sneaky masters
You don’t even need to be a cat parent to know that they’re the master of sneaky behavior. That’s also why the term “cat feet” is so famous. Cats move as if they’re made of air! They like sneaking and gliding around the house.
Your house cat is just as wild as you are. Therefore, their reason for sneaking around is their natural behavior. Cats are stealthy and sneaky animals, just like other larger felines. Your cat must be using its sneakiness to get your attention!
41. Comfort zone
Do you know what’s one of the best feelings in the world? It’s when somebody you love places their head on your chest. For moments like this one, there has to be a lot of trust between two people. Similar things happen with cats as well.
Cats love the warmth that human chests give off. They also love our smell and the rhythm of our breathing. Cats love it so much that it just lulls them to sleep. All in all, they love it because they feel safe and warm.
We mentioned earlier that cats have this habit of shoving their face into yours. It’s usually gentle, and it isn’t a sign of aggression. It shows trust, and according to scientists, it is also the way that a cat greets you.
Cats engage in this type of behavior to express that they’re very comfortable with the person, animal, or thing around them. When cats rub, they also transfer their pheromones, thus, marking it as safe. There’s a name for this behavior: Bunting.
43. Just a myth
The famous belief behind cats hating water isn’t true after all because some cats love water and spend most of their lives near it. An excellent example is the wild fishing cat that’s found in Asia. There you go. The myth has been debunked.
If you have noticed a cat paw at water, that’s because it’s looking to play. But, some cats prefer drinking water from fresh sources. In that case, pawing the water is something the cat does to aerate the water to simulate its freshness.
44. Scratching their backs
Scratching is a pleasurable activity even for humans. It feels all the more amazing when somebody tries to scratch your back and hits the sweet spot that you can’t reach with your hands. Similarly, cats feel pampered when we scratch their backs in just the right places.
When you’re scratching your kitty, and it raises its back, it means that you’ve found the right spot. You should take that behavior as a compliment. It also means that you have earned a prominent place in its good graces.
45. Meowing to get things done
Cats are masters of getting things done the way they want them. They have a lot of tricks up their sleeves, like rubbing, purring, or even meowing like the entire house is one fire. But, there could be many reasons for that last one.
The cat might meow this way upon feeling hungry or being stuck somewhere or when it wants to be let out. Cats might also meow this way when they feel lonely or unhealthy, so it would be best to visit a vet if this problem persists.