by Dr. Jack Stephens
Cats are one of the most fascinating creatures on earth. They manage to simultaneously be one of the most efficient predators in the world, while also being our domesticated buddies that have evolved to enjoy human companionship. Cats haven’t changed much since befriending humans, however, there are plenty of examples of odd behavior that mesmerizes owners.
Let’s go over some of the most exciting cat behavior facts and look at some of the weird things cats do.
Rubbing Their Head on Things
One of the most common cat behaviors is when they rub their heads on various objects, other pets, or you. While it may seem like a strange behavior, it is actually quite understandable. Cats experience the world through scent, so when they rub against you, they are showing that they trust you and are claiming you as their own. In fact, you could even consider this headbutting and rubbing as a sort of greeting, so these types of odd behaviors can be explained quite easily.
Do you sometimes notice your cat slowly blinking while looking at you, as if it was sleepy? Well, many people may want to write this facial expression off to the fact that cats are weird, but really, it’s perfectly normal behavior. When cats blink slowly, they are showing you affection – they indicate that they trust you enough to close their eyes. If you slowly blink while looking back, they can also interpret this as a sign of affection, so it is a way for you to bond with your feline buddy.
Cats are well-known masseuses. Their owners often find amusement in the fact that their cats like to use their little paws to massage them, but this strange behavior also has a very positive backstory. It can be traced back to the earliest instincts that a cat develops, which is to knead their mother’s mammary glands, stimulating milk production. When an adult cat kneads, it usually means that the cat is content, relaxed, and is also perceiving you as their “mommy”.
When you’re trying to sleep, hearing your cat zooming through the halls and rooms at light speed can be quite annoying. While this unusual cat behavior may appear out of place, this cat behavior can be explained quite easily. You need to remember that your cat has a ton of energy that it doesn’t get to use up because it’s living in a comfortable home setting. Combine this with the fact that cats are nocturnal hunters and you can easily explain why your cat has the urge to sprint around the house, playing with its toys, other cats, or even your toes.
Chattering is one of the weirdest cat behaviors, and the truth is, even scientists aren’t exactly sure how it evolved. According to some, it is a sign of frustration when the cat sees a prey in the distance and cannot reach it. Others think that it may be the cat trying to mimic the sounds of birds to attract them. Although the exact underlying reason isn’t clear, one thing is certain – chattering is one of the most bizarre and entertaining behaviors that you can see.
Hearing the sound of your cat purring is something that delights all pet owners, but the truth is, the reason behind it has to do with more than just the cat being happy. In many instances, the sound does mean that the cat is happy, but cats also purr when they are feeling anxious and need to calm down. The frequency of purring has even been shown to have healing properties, so it can be good not only for the cat but for you as well.
Laying Belly Up
Seeing your cat with its belly stretched out is an adorable sight, but the instinct to go and rub that cute belly isn’t always the best idea. One thing that’s certain about this behavior is that cats do it when they’re comfortable because an exposed belly is a vulnerable position to be in. The most popular theory is that cats use this position to show that they trust you, but that does not necessarily mean it wants you to touch its belly (you may get a hand full of claws).
You’ve probably seen some of the hilarious videos on YouTube of cats cramming themselves into the tiniest of boxes. So, what’s the deal with cats and their obsession with boxes? Well, cats are uniquely adapted to survive in the wild. While they are hunters, they also need to be wary of bigger predators. Having a safe and confined place where they aren’t exposed is always comforting. Although cats don’t face any threats in your home, sometimes they just need a safe place to retreat and observe surroundings from a distance.
Laying on Your Computer
Have you ever seen your cat snuggle up on your laptop when you were working or watching a movie? This cat behavior can be explained in a few ways. First, the cat may simply be trying to get your attention by lying in your line of sight. It may also be looking for a warm place, and your computer could be emitting a comforting warmth. Finally, since it sees you spending a lot of time with your computer, it may be marking it with its own scent.
Since cats are omnivores, seeing them munch on grass may seem weird. But, in fact, grass can be quite beneficial to cats. This isn’t a behavior that you should try to prevent. Cats use grass to clean up their stomachs. The grass can help induce vomiting and remove hairballs or other obstructions. It also has some nutrients that are absorbed even if the cat ends up throwing it up.