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 eight strange cat behaviours explained, so that you can understand your cat’s 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 Bunts
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. Read more in Head Bunting — What Does it Mean?
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.