You may have noticed your cat displaying different kinds of behavior throughout the day. Cats may display different behaviors depending on their mood and what they want to do at the moment.
When cats are happy, they can be more clingy. When they are in hunting mode, they may bring you gifts or continuously aim for your feet. To know more about different cat behaviors, continue reading this section.
Common Cat Behavior
Cats’ body language and actions say a lot about their needs at the moment. Their behavior may seem odd to some, but if their owners really know them, it is easy for them to identify what their cat is trying to communicate. Here are some of the most common cat behavior that owners should take note of:
Bringing Dead Animals
Cats are natural-born hunters. Therefore, even if they are born and raised indoors, they still have an instinct to hunt for prey. Cats may bring you “gifts” in the form of their favorite toys or even dead animals, such as roaches, spiders, lizards, and mice.
This behavior signifies that your cat sees you as a family member. This kind of behavior is usual for mother cats that recently had kittens, as it is their survival instinct to bring food to their litter. If your cat brings you dead animals, it is best to dispose of them outside in an enclosed bin where your cat can’t take them back.
Cat kneading is known by many names, including mashing potatoes, making biscuits, sleepy marching, and playing the piano. This behavior is mainly seen in the early stages of a kitten, where they knead their mother’s belly to get milk.
Kneading is a self-soothing behavior for anxious cats. Some adult cats do this on blankets, pillows, and even on their humans to show affection. Some cats purr while kneading, and some do this before sleeping.
Knocking Things Over
You may have seen many funny cat videos where they put objects at the corners of the counter and then knocked them down. This may seem hilarious, but it is another instinctive behavior for cats.
Since cats are naturally curious beings, they tend to test the thing around them. Knocking things off the table or the counter is one of their ways to get their owner’s attention or initiate play when bored.
Additionally, this behavior relates to their hunting instinct. If they notice that the fallen object continues to my by bouncing or rolling, they will run after it and catch it. It is somehow rewarding for them to catch the ‘prey,’ therefore, repeating the behavior repeatedly.
Purring is another self-soothing behavior in cats if they are stressed, injured, or fearful. They also purr when they are happy, relaxed, and contented. Purring is also a cat’s way to communicate and socialize with other cats.
It is also believed that purring can be associated with healing bones and muscles in humans due to its frequency. Humans recently returning from space may experience loss of bone density and muscle mass. Therefore, scientists used cat purring as part of their treatment.
Scent rubbing is a cat’s way to mark its territory. If you notice your cat rubbing on your legs, face, or even the couch, they are claiming those as their territory. When your cat rubs against you, they are not just leaving their fur. They also leave their scent, which contains chemical pheromones that other animals can smell.
Some cats, especially males, sometimes use their urine to mark their territory. You may notice that if there is a new pet, they may start displaying this kind of behavior. However, do not take this male cat behavior lightly. Some of them may already have urinary tract infections or other illnesses related to the kidney or bladder.
Scratching is another way cats show that they own the place. If they are scratching your furniture, it means that they are marking their territory. Aside from having scent glands on their faces, they also have scent glands on their paws, which allows them to release an odor that can ‘mark’ the object as theirs.
Some cats only do this for fun or when they are bored. That is the reason why you should buy scratching posts or cat trees so that your cat can divert their attention to those saving your couch and other furniture from scratch.
Showing Their Belly
It is not usual for cats to show their bellies as it is their most vulnerable body part. However, if your cat trusts you, you may see them lying on their back and showing you their bellies. Some cats may even allow you to scratch them. Remember to do it lightly and check your cat’s response.
Some cats may not like belly rub, while some do. If your cats do not want a belly rub, they may scratch or bite you or immediately get up from the position. Do not force them to lie back down again, as it can lead to more severe aggression.
Aggression in Cats
Indoor cats are less likely to be aggressive compared to outdoor or wild cats. However, they may show signs of aggression if they feel threatened or jealous. For example, if your cat is used to being alone with you, then suddenly you bring a new family member, whether another cat or a puppy, your first cat may not be happy about it.
To know whether your cat is relaxed or stressed, you must consider its posture and body language. Aggressive cats tend to hiss, growl, scratch, and even bite the other pet. Some cats may also try to appear bigger by arching their back and lifting their tail. However, if your cat feels vulnerable, it may tend to hide or make itself look smaller.
When your cat looks threatened, do not attempt to pet or carry it, as it may redirect its aggression toward you. If possible, remove the cause of the aggressive behavior and calm your cat by giving it some treats or playing with it. If you plan to bring home another pet, introduce them slowly and ensure that both are adequately socialized.
How to Identify Cat’s Behavior
All cats are different, and they may act and behave differently. So, it is crucial to learn to identify a cat’s behavior, including its vocal communication, body language, posture, and even the movement of its tail.
Cat posture says a lot about their attitude for a specific moment. A cat standing with an arched back and alert eyes can either mean that they are ready to hunt, scared, or annoyed. If a cat makes itself look smaller while looking up, it means they are anxious or scared.
The usual cat standing position should be a straight or downward pointing-relaxed tail, the head parallel to the ground, and the body slightly arched downward. They usually walk slowly if they are not threatened.
Cat meowing can mean a lot of different things. Basically, if your cat is meowing, it is either they are asking for food, needing attention, being in heat, or being uncomfortable. You can easily distinguish its different meows if you have been with your cat long enough.
Cats use their tail for balance, so you may usually see them upright. However, if it is moving, we can have different interpretations. If your cat’s tail is moving slowly and smoothly, it means that they are satisfied or happy. But if their tail is moving quickly, and it seems like they are slamming it on the floor, it means that they are annoyed. If your cat is annoyed, be careful when touching them, as it may scratch or bite you.