22 Weird Behaviors Exhibited by Cats and Their Explanations

by beaconpet
Behavior: Rolling over

Have you ever wondered why your cat exhibits some strange and downright odd behaviors? From rolling around and giving their butts to sitting in boxes and knocking things over, cats seem to have a knack for entertaining us with their strange actions. In this article, Beaconpet will delve into 22 such cat behaviors and provide explanations for each of them. Whether it’s pacing around the house or interrupting your phone calls, we’ll explore the reasons behind these behaviors and offer suggestions on how to cope or understand them. So sit back, relax, and prepare to gain insight into your feline friend’s quirks.

Behavior: Rolling over

Behavior: Rolling over

Explain the behavior

Rolling over is a common behavior displayed by cats and is often seen as a sign of contentment and relaxation. Cats enjoy stretching and showing off their bellies to their owners. When a cat rolls over in front of you, it is a clear indication that they feel comfortable and safe in your presence. It is their way of inviting you to interact with them and give them attention.

Seeking attention and belly rubs

One of the reasons why cats roll over is to seek attention from their owners. By exposing their belly, they are signaling that they trust you and are open to receiving affection. Many cats absolutely love belly rubs, and when they roll onto their backs, it’s a clear request for some gentle scratching. However, it’s important to note that not all cats enjoy belly rubs, so it’s important to respect their boundaries and only engage in this behavior if it is welcomed by your cat.

Showing trust and submission

Rolling over is also a display of trust and submission. In the wild, exposing their vulnerable belly to another animal is an act of submission and a way of indicating that they pose no threat. When a domesticated cat rolls over in front of you, they are essentially saying, “I trust you completely and I am not a threat to you.” It’s a sign that they feel safe and secure in their environment and with their human companions.

Behavior: Presenting its butt

Instinctive behavior

Presenting its butt is a behavior that is deeply rooted in a cat’s instinctive behaviors. When a cat turns around and positions its rear end towards you, it is actually displaying a behavior known as “lateral presentation.” This behavior is common among cats and is a way for them to communicate and establish boundaries with other cats or people.

Marking territory

Another reason why cats present their butt is to mark their territory. Cats have scent glands located in their anal area, and when they rub their butts against objects or individuals, they are leaving their scent behind as a means of claiming ownership. It’s their way of saying, “This is mine!” While it may be a peculiar behavior to us, it is perfectly normal for cats and is just another way they communicate with their environment.

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Invitation to play

In some cases, a cat presenting its butt can also be an invitation to play. Cats often display this behavior when they are feeling playful and want to engage in a friendly game with their human companions. They may wiggle their hindquarters, flick their tails, and eventually pounce or chase after a toy. So, next time your cat presents its butt, they may be asking you to join them in a fun play session.

Behavior: Covering poop and food

Behavior: Covering poop and food

Instinctive behavior

Cats instinctively cover their waste and food leftovers as a survival behavior. In the wild, this behavior helps them avoid attracting predators by masking the scent of their presence. When cats cover their poop or uneaten food, they are essentially trying to eliminate any trace of their presence in order to remain hidden and safe.

Masking scent to avoid predators

Covering their waste and food also helps cats avoid drawing the attention of potential predators. By burying their waste or leftover food, they are minimizing the scent and reducing the likelihood of other animals detecting their presence. This instinctual behavior is deeply ingrained in cats, even if they are domesticated and no longer face the same threats as their wild ancestors.

Maintaining cleanliness

Covering their waste is also a way for cats to maintain their cleanliness. Cats are known for being meticulous groomers, and by covering their waste, they are preventing themselves from stepping or sitting on it, which would subsequently dirty their paws and fur. It’s a hygienic behavior that shows their natural inclination towards cleanliness.

Behavior: Eating plastic

Pica behavior

Eating plastic falls under a behavior known as Pica, which refers to the ingestion of non-food items. While it may seem strange to us, it’s not uncommon for cats to develop this behavior. There can be various reasons why a cat engages in Pica, ranging from nutritional deficiencies to dental issues. If you notice your cat eating plastic or other non-food items, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health problems.

Seeking attention

Sometimes, cats may eat plastic as a way of seeking attention. They might have learned that engaging in this behavior grabs their human’s attention, even if it’s negative attention. Cats are intelligent animals and may resort to eating plastic if they feel ignored or if they are not getting enough mental stimulation. Providing them with interactive toys and engaging playtime sessions can help divert their attention from eating plastic.

Exploring texture and scent

Cats are curious creatures and are naturally inclined to explore their surroundings. They use their mouths as one of their primary means of exploration, which can lead to them investigating and occasionally nibbling on unfamiliar or interesting objects, including plastic. The texture and scent of plastic may pique their curiosity, and as a result, they may take a nibble. It’s important to keep potentially hazardous items out of their reach and provide them with safe alternatives for exploration.

Behavior: Eating grass and plants

Natural instinct

Cats eating grass and plants is a behavior that can be traced back to their wild ancestors. In the wild, cats would consume the stomach contents of their prey, which often included vegetation. This behavior has been carried over to domesticated cats, and many of them still feel the need to eat grass or plants as a way to supplement their diet with essential nutrients.

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Aids digestion

Eating grass and plants also serves a purpose in aiding a cat’s digestion. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means their bodies are designed to primarily digest meat. However, plant matter contains fiber, which can help with the passage of hairballs through their digestive system. Additionally, grass can act as a natural laxative and help regulate a cat’s bowel movements.

Relieves stomach discomfort

Another reason why cats eat grass and plants is to relieve stomach discomfort. Plants and grass have components that can help soothe an upset stomach or irritation caused by ingesting certain foods. It’s believed that the texture of grass helps induce vomiting, allowing cats to expel any indigestible material from their stomachs.

Behavior: Sneering

Behavior: Sneering

Scent detection

When a cat sneers or curls back its upper lip, it is a behavior known as the flehmen response. This behavior is often observed when cats encounter a new or strong smell. By curling back their lips, cats allow the scent to reach a specialized area called the vomeronasal organ, located in the roof of their mouth. This organ helps cats analyze and process pheromones and other chemical signals, providing them with valuable information about their surroundings.

Assessing unfamiliar scents

Sneering or flehmen response is particularly common when cats encounter unfamiliar scents. It’s their way of gathering more information about the smell and assessing whether it poses any threat or indicates the presence of other animals. Cats rely heavily on their sense of smell and use the flehmen response as a tool to understand their environment.

Expressing displeasure

In some cases, sneering can also be a sign of displeasure or irritation. Cats may sneer when they encounter a smell they find unpleasant, such as strong chemicals or certain cleaning products. It’s their way of expressing their dislike for the scent and potentially trying to avoid it. If you notice your cat sneering, it’s a good idea to remove them from the area or change the scent to something more pleasing for them.

Behavior: Winking

Blinking communication

When a cat winks at you, it’s actually a form of communication known as a slow blink. Slow blinking is often seen as a sign of trust and relaxation. By closing their eyes halfway or fully and then opening them again, cats are essentially saying, “I feel safe and comfortable with you.” It’s their way of showing that they are not a threat and that they trust you.

Displaying trust

A cat’s slow blink is a clear indication that they trust the person or animal they are interacting with. It can be seen as an invitation to further establish trust and deepen the bond between the cat and their companion. If your cat slow blinks at you, it’s a good idea to reciprocate by offering a slow blink in return. This mutual exchange can strengthen your relationship and make your cat feel even more secure in your presence.

Signaling relaxation

Slow blinking is also a sign of relaxation and contentment. Just like humans, cats can feel stressed or anxious, and by blinking slowly, they are essentially signaling that they are in a calm and relaxed state. If your cat is feeling particularly tense or stressed, engaging in a slow blink can help them feel more at ease.

Behavior: Kneading and treading

Kittenhood behavior

Kneading and treading are behaviors that are often associated with kittenhood. When kittens still nurse from their mother, they engage in these behaviors to stimulate milk production. They will rhythmically push their paws against their mother’s belly or any surface they are lying on, imitating the action of nursing. This behavior is comforting for them and helps them associate kneading with feelings of security and contentment.

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Comfort-seeking

Even after they have been weaned, cats may continue kneading and treading as a way to seek comfort and security. The action of kneading helps release endorphins and creates a soothing sensation for cats. It’s similar to how some humans find comfort in activities like knitting or squeezing stress balls. When cats engage in kneading, they are essentially self-soothing and seeking relaxation.

Marking territory

Kneading can also serve as a way for cats to mark their territory. Cats have scent glands in their paw pads, and by kneading on a particular surface, they are leaving behind their scent. It’s a form of marking their territory and signaling that the area is familiar and safe. If your cat is kneading on a certain spot, it’s likely that they feel a strong sense of ownership and comfort in that area.

Behavior: Interrupting phone calls

Behavior: Interrupting phone calls

Attention-seeking

Cats are known for their love of attention, and interrupting phone calls is just another way for them to gain the spotlight. When you’re on a phone call, your focus is directed towards the person on the other end of the line, and cats may feel a sense of competition for your attention. By interrupting your phone calls, they are essentially saying, “Hey, pay attention to me!”

Curiosity and boredom

Cats are naturally curious creatures, and when they notice you engaging in an activity that seems important to them, like talking on the phone, their curiosity is piqued. They want to investigate and be involved in anything that catches their attention. It’s also possible that your cat is interrupting your phone calls out of boredom. They may see it as an opportunity to engage in play or receive some much-desired attention.

Sensing humans’ focus on the call

Cats are incredibly perceptive animals and can often sense when someone’s focus is directed elsewhere. When you’re on a phone call, your attention is primarily on the person you’re speaking with, and cats can pick up on this shift in focus. They may interpret it as a sign that you are unavailable for play or interaction, and by interrupting your call, they are attempting to regain your attention.

Coping with cat’s weird behaviors

Provide interactive toys and puzzles

One of the best ways to cope with your cat’s weird behaviors is to provide them with interactive toys and puzzles. These toys can help channel their curiosity and energy into positive and stimulating activities. Puzzle feeders, for example, can encourage them to engage in problem-solving and provide mental stimulation. Interactive toys with feathers, strings, or small treats hidden inside can keep them entertained for hours.

Use cat water fountains

If your cat has a habit of drinking from unconventional sources like faucets or toilets, consider investing in a cat water fountain. Cats are naturally attracted to running water, and having a dedicated water fountain for them can help satisfy their preference. Not only will this encourage them to drink more water, which is important for their overall health, but it will also divert their attention away from potentially harmful water sources.

Create alternative warm and cozy spaces

Cats are notorious for seeking out warm and cozy spaces to curl up and relax. If you find your cat frequently sitting on your keyboard or laptop, it may be a sign that they are drawn to the warmth generated by these devices. Creating alternative warm spots for your cat, such as a heated bed or a cozy blanket, can help redirect their attention and keep them away from your electronics. Providing them with their own warm and comfortable space will show them that they have a designated spot where they can relax undisturbed.

Understanding and appreciating your cat’s quirky behaviors is an important part of being a cat owner. By learning about the reasons behind their actions, you can better meet their needs and provide them with a fulfilling and enriched environment. Remember to consult with a veterinarian if you have concerns about your cat’s behavior, as they can offer personalized advice based on your cat’s specific needs. With patience, understanding, and plenty of love, you and your cat can have a harmonious and rewarding relationship.

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