8 Strange Cat Behaviours Explained
Cats are expressive creatures, and they’re constantly telling you exactly how they’re feeling – all you have to do is learn to “speak cat”! Here are 8 common cat behaviours interpreted, so that you can understand their needs and personality better:
You have probably heard your cat emit a fast and intense teeth chattering- especially when they spot a bird while gazing out of a window. Behaviourists believe that this is because your cat is frustrated that they cannot get outside to hunt prey. They also may be excited and slightly aggravated.
Others say that this strange jaw movement may be your kitty’s natural instinct that allows their muscles to prepare for the act of killing prey. Either way, this behaviour is completely normal for your feline.
2. Head Butts
When it comes to showing affection, our feline friends don’t hold back. Some cats like to butt their heads against your hand or face to ask for attention or head scratches. This is a friendly and loving gesture between cat and human, and means your cat is in the mood to be social.
Also known as “making biscuits,” cats sometimes make a kneading gesture with their front paws. This behaviour has its roots in kittens’ activity when nursing, and it can be comforting and calming to cats of any age. It used to be believed that this behaviour was a sign the cat was weaned from their mother too soon, but there is little evidence to support this.
Does your cat flop—that is, throw itself on the ground at your feet and roll? Is it under the influence of catnip, or is something else going on? When your cat rolls over it typically signals that the cat feels safe and maybe wants some attention from you. Your cat can also mark the area with its scent this way, claiming your space as its own.
5. Surprise “Gifts”
Cats are known for their excellent hunting abilities, and although housecats no longer need these skills to feed themselves, their instinct to hunt is still strong. It’s not uncommon for cats to bring their humans the remains of a dead (or live!) rodent or bird. If your cat does this, it’s because they are trying to mother you or teach you to hunt.
6. Slow Blink
You may have noticed your cat studying you from afar, with a relaxed gaze and a slow-motion blink. When your cat slow-blinks, they’re telling you they are comfortable in your presence and enjoy your company. You can return the gesture by slowing shutting your eyes and opening them.
7. Napping in Tight Spaces
Cats love to slip into small spaces like boxes, dresser drawers, bathroom cabinets, or closet corners where they feel cosy and secure. They may even prefer these places to a comfy pet bed. This behaviour can be traced back to their wildcat ancestors who would sleep safely hidden away to help avoid predators.
8. Sleeping on Your Laptop
With so many soft and comfy places to rest, why does your cat plunk down on your hard laptop? It could be because it is nice and warm after you’ve used it for a while. Or maybe they’ve figured out this is a good way to get your attention. Cats can be very clever!
While some weird cat behaviours are silly or endearing, others that like staying up all night or going outside the litter box can be problematic. While there are things you can do to try to address common behaviour issues at home, you should talk to your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns.
Cats and Biting 101
Biting is a normal behaviour in kittens. Because cats use their mouths and paws to explore their world, it’s natural for them to bite. But kitties can learn to inhibit the force of their bites and to use soft paws without claws. Your cat can still nibble and play-smack you with a soft paw and enjoy a kitty-correct game without drawing blood.
Some cats love to bite their owners. Some biting can be playful, but biting for the most part is undesirable behaviour. Different cats bite for different reasons. In order to fix your cat’s biting behaviour, you must first identify why they are doing so, and then take appropriate actions for your cat.
Why Do Cats Bite?
Biting serves a number of functions for cats. It is often an animalistic behaviour that a cat uses to assert dominance and respond to threats. In the home, it means that your cat may be biting because they are trying to show who is in charge. You’ll know this is the case if your cat bites you, but neither backs down nor tries to play or cuddle with you. Your cat is showing dominance by biting.
Your cat may also bite as a form of communication. Instead of meowing, some cats will use a nip on the calf or forearm to signal that they want something – to be fed, to open a door, to be let outside, or even to clean the litter box. You’ll know that biting is a signal behaviour when your cat bites, then tries to lead you off in the direction of some action they want accomplished, or if they immediately meow afterwards.
How to Stop Biting
While you may not be able to prevent your cat from ever biting again, there are some techniques you can try.
⦁ Provide them with toys
Most cats love to play, so redirecting those sharp teeth and paws away from your vulnerable flesh makes for a good start. The best way to do this is to tire your cat out regularly with a variety of toys, preferably ones that are separated from your fingers to stop your cat from biting you.
⦁ End play sessions when they’re too rough
If you enjoy playing with your kitten, but don’t like how rough they play back, try ending the session immediately after they bite too hard. Don’t make a fuss, simply stand up and walk away, ignoring your kitten in the process. Your kitten will soon realise that aggressive behaviour will bring an end to play time.
⦁ Introducing a playmate
If you are thinking of adding another feline to your family, adopting another kitten as a playmate may reduce your kitten’s desire to play rough with you. Do ensure you’re able to properly look after two cats at once before you go down this route.
Although this is a natural instinct that should be encouraged in young kittens, never give the impression that it is OK to bite human fingers and toes. Provide them with plenty of toys to practise on and reward them for doing so.
Top 5 Friendliest Cat Breeds. Is Yours on the List?
Playful, shy, loyal, aloof, sassy… Cat personalities come in all shapes and sizes. Today we will be focusing on the friendliest cat breeds. Don’t worry if your favourite cat breed isn’t on the list, within all breeds and mixes can be the friendliest and most affectionate individuals. All cats are different, and although breeds have some specific personality traits, there are a few cat breeds that are known as being particularly friendly. Here’s our top 5 friendliest cat breeds.
Known as the ‘laidback cat’, Ragdolls are recognised as one of the most family friendly cats due to their loving and relaxed personality. These cats love nothing more than to spend time with their owner, even If that means following you around when you’re too busy for hugs. Some ragdolls personalities are more like dogs than cats, due to their puppy-like docile nature.
Affectionately known as the ‘ultimate lap cat’, Persians are friendly, sociable and can be very loving. They enjoy snuggling up with their favourite human and many have a very laid back and relaxed nature. This is definitely a cat that looks forward to you getting home from work so you can pay them some attention.
Known as the ‘curious cat’, you will often find a Burmese perched on the window sill staring at the world outside. Their inquisitive mind just can’t help staring at the world outside. But don’t think they will completely ignore their owners. There is only so much attention you can give a cat on a daily basis and the Burmese will take all of it. They are one of the most affectionate cat breeds you’ll ever meet, always up for snuggling time and keen to be part of a vibrant family dynamic.
The Sphynx is the breed that many would consider the title holder of friendliest cat. There is no doubt that the Sphynx loves human attention, affection and a good play session but perhaps they are so affectionate because they rely on humans to keep them warm and clean. They are talkative and playful and if that’s not the definition of a best friend we don’t know what is.
- Scottish Fold
The Scottish fold is the happiest when they are spending time with their human owners. They’re so keen to participate in all of the activities that you will soon start suspecting they have no idea they are actually a cat and not a human. These cats come with quite a few unique quirks that you’ll inevitably fall in love with, from their folded ears to their ability to sit up on their back legs. Add their affectionate nature and you might have just found the friendliest cat breed ever.
While the felines above make our friendliest cat breeds round-up, every kitty has his or her own personality. Therefore you may come across a standoffish Sphynx or a shy Ragdoll. It doesn’t mean they are any less special, it simply indicates that they like to walk to the beat of their own drum. And who can resist individuality like that?
The thought of giving your cat a bath may give you chills, knowing the mix of your cats + its claws + water could be a recipe for disaster. However, washing your cat doesn’t have to be a horrifying experience, in fact many cats may even enjoy it! Keep reading to find out the best ways to create a stress free bathing experience.
Though you likely wouldn’t put the words “cat” and “bath” together in the same sentence, bathing a cat CAN be done – some actually like it and sometimes it’s a necessity. Since most cats are quite fastidious in their grooming practices there most likely won’t be many reasons why you would need to bath your cat, however, there are a few scenarios where you might find yourself needing to. These reasons can include:
Ringworm – Ringworm is actually a fungus rather than a worm, and depending on the severity of your cat’s case your vet may prescribe medicated baths.
Something on their coat – Your cat may have come in contact with a dangerous substance such as motor oil, tree sap, or household cleaning chemicals that need to be washed off ASAP!
Flea Infestations – Baths aren’t typically necessary if your cat has fleas due to newer flea treatments that kill fleas quickly, however in very bad infestations or cats that are allergic to fleas, baths may be beneficial and even necessary.
Elderly, Overweight or Arthritic Cats – Due to a number of factors such as these ones, some cats may be unable to groom themselves properly. Occasional baths to keep their coat and skin healthy may be necessary, and arthritic cats may even appreciate the experience as the warm water and massage which can actually feel quite good.
Tips for a Stress Free Bathing Experience:
- Timing – Scheduling baths when your cat is at his most mellow, perhaps after you’ve had a tiring play session.
- Clipped Claws – For your own protection, it is best to undertake the bath after they have had their claws trimmed.
- Non Slip Bathing – Placing a rubber mat in the sink or bath can be a huge help in stopping your cat from slipping.
- Warm Water – Fill a shallow bath with 5-10cm of warm/lukewarm water as it creates a more comfortable bath session.
- Shampoo – make sure you use a good quality cat shampoo, as human shampoo can dry out their skin.
- Head To Tail – massaging the shampoo in a gentle motion from their head to their tail in the direction of hair growth is best, take care and make sure to avoid the face, ears and eyes.
- Avoid the face – Avoid splashing water on your cats face and instead use a damp wash cloth to wipe their face down.
- Drying – once you have finished bathing your cat, wrap them in a towel and move them to a dry and warm place where you can try and dry as much water from their fur as possible. Some cats may even be able to tolerate a hair dryer on a low heat setting.
- Untangle – You may need to use a fine tooth comb to untangle any knots that may have occurred whilst washing your cat.
- Praise – finish off your bathing session by rewarding your cat with his favourite treat! And maybe next time your cat may find that bath time isn’t so bad after all!
If you are still struggling to bathe your cat after trying out these tips, then it is best to leave it to the professionals. Many pet grooming salons will offer cat washing and they will know the best way to keep your kitty calm during the process as well as offer services such as nail clipping, ear cleaning and fur trimming. Your local vet may also be able to help, however they will often use a general anaesthetic if they find that your cat is too hard to bathe.