Explaining Your Cat’s Strangest Behaviors

Cat’s are one of the most popular pets to own in the world. Yet, some people that own them don’t know what their behaviors might mean. They’re free-roaming a lot of time, but there can be some things about that cat that are important for you to understand. Or, at the very least, it might just be helpful. Here are the strangest behaviors of cats, and explanations on what they mean.

Head-Butting Or Rubbing Means “Hello”


You’ve probably noticed a cat head-butting or rubbing against you a lot. It might seem a tad aggressive, but they’re really just saying hi. This is called bunting. Bunting is a sign that the cat trusts or feels safe in your presence. And when they rub against something, they’re transferring pheromones from their bodies, indicating that the person or object is secure and trustworthy.

Don’t Take It Personally If Your Cat Ignores You


Scientists have proven cats’ intelligence. They know their names and can recognize their owners’ voice, so why is it that they rarely ever respond to you? Well, this is because cats prefer to demonstrate affection on their own terms. They simply just don’t want to answer in that instance. Your cat will appear later when it feel a need to play or receive attention.

It’s Instinctive For Them To Paw At The Water


It’s actually a misconception that all cats dislike water. Some actually even enjoy playing in water. And from those cats, you may have noticed your cat pawing at its water bowl. While the cat may just be having fun, cats actually just prefer drinking fresh, moving water. Pawing at their bowl is simply their way of aerating the water.

They Lay On Your Stuff For Attention


It can be annoying when you’re hard at work on your computer, or something else to that effect, and then your cat suddenly walks up on top of it. There is a reason for that, and it’s probably a bit more obvious than you expected. You cat can tell that you’re concentrating on something other than them, and, in this instance, they just want your attention. It’s also territorial, as they’re rubbing their scent on your belongings to that other cats will think that they’re theirs.

Kneading You With Their Paws


When kittens are born, the first reflex they have is to press against their mother’s mammary glands to get her to produce more milk. It’s a simple survival strategy that cats keep engrained in their mind for the rest of their lives. When an adult cat touches you, or some other soft surface, with their paws, the kneading motion they make is leftover from that. It’s also believed to be a way that cats show that they’re happy and content with their surroundings, in addition to relieving anxiety and stress.

Teeth Chattering


If you hear your cat’s teeth chattering, don’t be alarmed. If it’s looking outside a window, and if there’s a bird outside, things will become a lot clearer. According to some studies, cats make this sound out of irritation since they can’t reach the other animal outside through the glass. Although, others say its a natural desire to warm up their jaw muscles before pursuing any prey.

It’s A Compliment When They Sit On Your Face


Cats are sometimes prone to lifting their tails and giving whoever’s behind them a full glimpse of their bottom. While not something particularly nice to look at, it’s not exactly a bad thing. Lifting their tails and thrusting their rears into your face is a display of affection and trustworthiness. It’s how they act friendly and open up to their owners.

Rolling Around


Cats, like dogs, only roll over onto their back under very specific circumstances. After all, showing one’s belly is a sign of weakness. A cat rolling around could be a technique for them to scratch their back or just stretch, or it might even be to get you involved in a game. And then there’s the fact that they may just be marking their territory again.

Staring At You


When a cat stares at you, it’s another attempt to get your attention. There are other forms of glances though. Staring at you intently could be an act of aggression, in which case you should avoid returning the stare. But when it stares at you for a long time before gently blinking, it’s expressing affection.

Crying At Night


A lot of feline species are naturally nocturnal, and some aspects of the house cat’s behavior displays that. Notably, you can often hear them racing around and crying at night. The sounds they make are often attributed to them being unable to find any prey inside the house. If you want to get your cat to stop this behavior, experts recommend playing with your cat during the day to tire them out at night.

Sprinting To Get Rid Of Excess Energy


Sometimes you’ll just see your cat randomly dart around your house. It’s a normal action, as cats have a great deal of energy. And without the ability to hunt under normal circumstances, they need some way to get all that energy out. They’re simply expending their energy in brief spurts. If your cat does this a lot though, then you should consider playing with them more often.

If A Cat Brings You A “Gift,” Be Grateful


When a cat dumps a dead mouse, a bug, or a bird at your feet, that’s a good sign. Mother cats bring their kittens food in this manner, so it’s likely a habit that your cat picked up from their parent. Your cat is simply offering you a gift, as a sign that you’ve joined their group. Although, there are some that think this is just a cry for attention.

Sprawled And Lounging Around


Remember how cats rarely ever show their belly. Well, if you see your cat in this pose, that means they’re relaxed, comfortable, and feel protected in the room they’re in. When a cat displays its stomach to you, it’s indicating that it does not believe you pose a danger to it. So the more often it sprawls out on its back, the more comfortable it is being around you.

Doing Their Business Outside The Litter Box


Sometimes, a cat fails to properly use its litter box. But if this happens once, it’ll probably happen again. A cat doing its business outside of the litter box likely means that it doesn’t like the litter, box, or the box’s position. Try switching things up with litter box’s position and contents (or just get a new one) and see if your cat starts using it.

Twitching Ears


Cats actually use their ears to hold conversation, with each small gesture meaning something different. Twitching back and forth is a sign of anxiety or agitation. When they move forward, that means they are happy or comfortable. And if they’re backwards or lying flat, that means the cat is annoyed or fearful.

Their Method Of Playing And Attacking Your Feet


Sometimes your cat may come out of nowhere and start attacking your feet. Don’t worry, your cat hasn’t turned on you, it isn’t actually trying to hurt you. Your cat is simply showing that it’s ready to play and is practicing its pounces and jumps. If you’re not into foot attacks though, get them some toys or yarn to keep them distracted.

Bonding When They Cuddle


A cat doesn’t only enjoy being cuddled with, but is actively trying to bond with you when it does so. The nuzzling and purring while you hold them is their way of showing their gratitude for everything you do for them.

Sniffing Your Face


Cats can be a rather suspicious species. Sometimes, they’ll just randomly start smelling the different parts of your face. However, your face is the perfect place for a cat to get a whiff of your natural scent. It helps for the cat to know you’re still you and not some imposter.

Burying The Poop


Cats bury their dropping on reflex, as, in the wild, cats don’t want their enemies to catch their scent. It’s actually strange or otherwise a problem if your cat doesn’t want to hide its droppings. As mentioned before, it’s possible that the cat just isn’t a fan of its litter box if it isn’t trying to bury them.

Biting You


There probably aren’t a lot of people that like being bitten, even by their cats. It’s a natural way for wild cats to display themselves, so that instinct likely carried over into the domesticated group. Otherwise, the cat may be showing that it’s angry or stressed. Others say that it may be a fear-related protective mechanism. And some say that to cats biting and playing are the same thing.