Weird Cat Behaviors and Their Explanations


All of us who are cat owners love our cats dearly.  However, one can’t deny the sometimes their behavior perplexes us.  In fact many times we find ourselves shaking out heads at some of the thing our cats do.   If you’re ever seen your cat eating grass you might be wondering why.  Instead of just assuming that it’s a bad thing (it’s not the greatest thing), you might not understand the true nature of why your cat is actually doing it.  Ever notice that your cat is obsessed when you get on the phone?  Find out the answers to these and many other weird cat behaviors in the pages to follow….


Cat Rolling – While dogs roll onto their back as a sign of deference or submission, kitty rolling instead serves as a solicitation for attention. Rolling also spreads self-scent when Kitty rubs her head and cheeks on the floor, as well as providing a self-massage. Cats love routine, so once a pattern is established, the rolling also becomes a comforting kitty ritual. So the next time your cat rolls, remember that they’re in need of a massage and help them out! – via

Young Woman Holding Kitten

Bunting Behavior – Some cats act like battering rams, and pummel their special humans with head butts and body rubs. It’s called bunting behavior, and is one way cats communicate with each other, and their humans. So what does it mean when your cat body-rubs or head-butts you? We can’t know for sure, but cats tend to scent-mark objects that are most important to them. They use allorubbing with friendly cats, not with strangers. A cat who head-rubs your face with wide open eyes close to your face pays you a huge compliment in terms of trust, by placing herself in a vulnerable position. Think of your cat as a child who shows affection by being aggressive. It’s not a bad thing, in fact it’s the opposite. – via


The Raised Backside Pose – Why do cats pose in this quirky front-end bow with their nether regions raised? The posture appears to be an invitation to scratch that hard-to-reach spot right at the base of the tail. The posture places the cat in a vulnerable position, often with the tail held high in the universal feline friendly gesture. And it’s often used as a sign of romance. So the next time your cat raises his or her backside to you, they’re not being sassy or rude. They’re actually being nice. – via


The Tail in your Face – Think of this from your cat’s perspective. When greeting each other for the first time, cats sniff each other’s face and neck as a sort of “hello there.” This could be compared to you nodding a greeting to a stranger at first meeting. Cats produce cheek pheromones that signal friendship, so sniffing this area can actually help calm feelings of aggression or fear. Well at least it doesn’t mean they’re being mean to us! – via


Hiding Their Waste in the Litter – Feral cats rarely bury feces, and often leave waste on grassy tussocks that elevate and make it even more prominent. They may cover waste if nearer to home and young kittens. Ferals in managed colonies may be more fastidious. Humans have encouraged the behavior in our pet cats, by selectively choosing (and breeding) the ones that are “clean.” Cats that leave their creativity uncovered for the world to admire are not abnormal—they’re just being cats. Sometimes your cat may cover for a while and then not cover. That’s the time when you need to see what’s going on i.e. potential health or behavior changes – via


Covering Their Food – Some cats make clear their gustatory preferences by covering up the food bowl. Does it mean what you think? This behavior can mean one of two things. The first might be obvious-after all, we know what cats normally cover up in the litter box! Yes, cats sometimes cover up rejected food in the same way they bury urine or feces. That can be a clue to tell you exactly what the cat thinks of your feline buffet. But other times, the scratching and covering may simply be caching behavior. In other words, covering up left-over food may be a way to save a snack for later. Feral cats have occasionally been observed retrieving uneaten food that’s been covered up. – via


Cats that Eat Plastic – If not caught in time, some cats eat plastic. What’s the attraction? Veterinarians and behavior specialists look at the cat’s physical and emotional health, as well as traits of instinct to help figure out what’s going on and find solutions. Think of this as the H.I.S.S. Test, which stands for health, instinct, stress, and symptom solvers. You can read tips on what to do about it here


Cats that Eat Grass – There’s some speculation that eating grass provides trace elements of vitamins that cats instinctively seek. It may also help provide fiber to move out hairballs or act as an emetic to clean kitty out from the other direction. More likely, though, cats just like the way some grass tastes. They’re choosy, and nibble the tips of a few blades, or selectively pluck rose petals. Be sure that any plants you offer are not toxic. Wheat grass often is a big hit, and fresh catnip is a lovely feline treat. – via


Cats that Sneer – Does your cat flehmen–sometimes make a weird sneering face? Cats lift their lips after a particularly long sniff, and hold the mouth slightly open to sniff cat pheromones. Cats flehmen (grimace) when the tongue traps pheromones, then flick-transfers to the duct in the roof of the mouth. Pheromones are chemicals unique to a particular critter. So the next time your cat makes a sneering face, don’t take it personally! They’re just trying to figure out a couple of things. – via


When Your Cat Winks – A cat eye blink, often referred to as kitty kiss, is a common cat behavior. The cat’s eyes communicate information depending on how open the eyelids are, as well as what the eyes do. A prolonged, unblinking stare between cats is an intimidating gesture that often will cause a lower-ranking cat to turn tail and leave. The eye blink, in contrast, is a way that non-aggressive cats signal that their intentions are not hostile. – via


When Your Cat Treads Paws – Kittens push rhythmically with their front paws against the mother cat’s breasts. This stimulates the release of milk. Called kneading because it resembles the way bread dough is made, the behavior carries over into adulthood. Many felines knead against soft objects when they seem to feel particularly happy and satisfied. So no, your cat isn’t revving up an engine getting ready to speed. This is an instinctive behavior. – via


Cats Love the Phone – Rather than kitty being jealous of the telephone, it’s more likely that the ringtone signals other things that benefit the cat. First, kitty learns that when the phone rings (or you make a call), there are predictable behaviors. Second, when owners use the phone they talk-to who? Kitty can’t see anyone else there. So a phone conversation must mean the owner is talking to the cat. – via

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