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Decoding Cat Behavior To Better Understand Our Feline Friends

Decoding Cat Behavior To Better Understand Our Feline Friends

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Cats do whatever they want. This is the first thing that comes to my mind whenever I think about cat behavior in general. 

As you may already know, I currently have 7 cats, and each of them is different. They all do the usual cat stuff, but they all do other things that are completely different from others. 

For example, Mikey would do just about anything for food, while with Freddie it feels like he wouldn’t even eat if he was offered to stay in my lap forever. Similarly, I feel like every cat has its quirks and traits, but some things are just universal.

Let’s look at the most common cat behaviors and examine them, so we can understand our beloved pet cats even better in the days to come. 

1. Your Cat Will Wake Up And Decide To Have A Midnight Play Session

the cat stretches out on the bed

My aunt recently adopted a kitten and named her Mila. She goes crazy when Mila comes to her bedroom and starts pouncing on her feet in the middle of the night. Hahaha, I find it hilarious. 

However, I know how it can be infuriating when you need to relax and get a good night’s rest, but your cat decides that her playtime is more important. However, cats have internal instincts that tell them nighttime is the time to be most active. 

Wild cats hunt at night, and our feline friends often feel like they have to do something at that time. Another reason for this behavior is that most people are busy during the day. You might even be out of the house for the most part, and your cat misses you.

If this is the case, your cat won’t understand you need your sleep, because it needs you.

2. Your Cat Does Their Own Grooming 

the cat licks its paw

Some new cat owners often wonder how often to wash their pet cats, and are weirded out when we tell them that cats groom themselves. For the most part, grooming, and bathing don’t necessarily need to be done by you. 

Your cat will do it! Cats do a pretty good job cleaning themselves, which is why frequent baths aren’t necessary. You’ll notice your cat licking and cleaning its fur very often, or if you have more than one cat, they’ll lick each other, and that is normal. 

If you notice your cat biting any spots in its fur or excessively licking itself, then it’s advisable to contact your vet to prevent any possible issues, e.g. loss of fur. 

3. Cats Will Climb Anything

the cat is standing on the tree

Every cat tends to explore and climb almost anywhere. I often wonder how my cats climb onto the top of the fridge or my bedroom wardrobe when they can’t be reached from a smaller surface. 

For example, if they climb onto the table, it’s not that high up and they have chairs to help them on the way up. But on top of the fridge?! I’ve owned cats for many, many years and they still manage to surprise me. 

Similarly, many cat owners will see their cats climbing everywhere and anywhere around the house. Cats are generally great climbers and they love to explore. Sometimes, your cat just wants to have some privacy so it climbs the highest spot it can find. 

4. Curiosity Did Not Kill The Cat

a white cat with a flower on its head

I love the level of curiosity my cats have. They’ll sniff around anything that comes into our house. Whenever I come home, they all rush toward me and sniff my bags. They’re probably expecting some yummy treats, but still. 

They sniff and explore our home daily. Cats will observe you and sometimes even watch every step you make. They’ll paw at objects, sniff them, pounce on them, sometimes play around, and other times just push the object off the counter and leave. 

Haha, it’s hilarious, but so are cats. 

5. Meowing And Meowing, As If We Can Understand

the cat meows in front of the balcony door

Some cats are more talkative than others by nature. However, there’s no definite rule that states that every Siamese cat, for example, will definitely be more talkative than a mixed-breed domestic kitty.

My domestic shorthair tabby cat is the most talkative cat I’ve ever met. Sometimes I love our conversations, and sometimes I’m like “What do you want?!” Cats can get carried away, and sometimes we can’t understand what they need based only on their meows. 

Sometimes they’re hungry, they want cuddles, or maybe they’re lonely. Your cat might also meow if its litter box is dirty or there’s been a change in its environment and it’s “complaining” about it. 

If you can’t figure out why your cat is meowing so much, talk to your vet. If everything is fine health-wise, but your cat still meows a lot, then maybe your cat is just talkative so try talking back. 

6. Kneading And Kneading, But There Are No Biscuits

Cats love to knead on their owners, or in their comfy napping spots. If your cat’s been making biscuits on you, consider yourself very lucky! 

Cats knead on us to show us their love. Kittens do this to their mothers, and if your cat does this to you it means it feels safe, comfortable, and affectionate towards you. Check out some more reasons why your cat might be kneading.

See also: Why Doesn’t My Cat Knead? 5 Most Likely Reasons

7. Cats Will Scratch On Your Clean Glass Window

No, your cat won’t do this just to dirty up your clean glass window! Your cat most probably does this to make sure that the glass is really there. The glass is preventing your cat from going outside, catching the bird that’s in front of the window, and similar. 

So it’s normal for your cat to scratch at the window to check if it can go out. Your cat might also be irritated by the fact it can’t go out so it paws and scratches at the glass out of annoyance. 

8. Cats Love “Drowning” Their Toys

the cat washes the toy in the water

Some cats, not all, love to put their favorite toy in their water bowl. Some might even put it in their food bowl. I’m sure that you’ve had to refill your cat’s water bowl at least once because there was a toy in it.

Your cat might be trying to hide its toy or find a secure spot for it. Wild cats bring the prey they’ve hunted to their safe area. Your cat might just feel that its water bowl is its safe territory. 

9. Your Cat Loves Cuddles, But Suddenly Bites You In The Middle Of It

a cat bites a man's finger

Most cats love to cuddle, it’s a known fact. But every cat is different, and the amount of petting they require can vary. If your cat bites you while you pet it, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t love you. It can mean that it has had enough at the moment.

I often pet my cats too much, or I get carried away and stroke their fur a little too hard. Oh, this makes them mad. And if you’ve been doing the same, your cat then simply needs to warn you by biting or even scratching you. 

10. Cats Sometimes Try To Dig In Their Food Bowl

Of course, this isn’t possible. However, cats might sometimes try to bury their food bowl when they don’t like their meal. Or perhaps your cat doesn’t like the spot its food bowl is in. Most often, cats will try and bury the food that’s left.

Sometimes, your cat might not be hungry anymore but there’ll be food left, so it will try to bury it to hide it. My cats used to do this until I separated their food bowls. I realized that they didn’t really like sharing food or eating so close together.

This is why I separated them by putting each food bowl in a different spot. Now I live with 7 food bowls surrounding my kitchen island, but anything for my cats’ happiness, right?

11. Cats Love Running Water

the cat drinks water from the fountain

No still water for me! I often feel like my cats are too spoiled because I let them drink out of a running faucet whenever they want to. However, many cats like to do this. 

Many cats are drawn to running water because it appeals to them, and their sense of sight and hearing. However, when you’re not at home your cat should be drinking water and it should be from its water bowl. So always make sure it has clean, fresh water. 

Bacteria can form very quickly, which is why it’s best to have stainless steel bowls and change the water every day. 

12. Cats Will Try And Run Out The Door

the cat tries to escape to the door

It’s not just yours; many cats do this. Mikey still sometimes tries to run outside when I open the door. I remember when he first tried it, I felt so sad. I thought he wanted to run away from me. However, that’s not the case!

Cats are simply curious and they love to explore. Most cats do this when it’s time to mate. If you haven’t spayed/neutered your cats, expect them to try running outside when the time comes. 

13. Your Cat Rubs Its Head On You

Your Cat Rubs Its Head On You

Your cats might rub anywhere on you; it might be your feet, your clothes, or even your head. Perhaps your cat headbutts you or simply rubs its head against you; this means it’s marking its territory. 

My cats always do this when I’m going out of the house. I remember how at first when I didn’t know so much about cats, I thought to myself aww they’re greeting me on my way out

Actually, they’re marking me so anyone in the outdoor world knows I have a cat at home. Cats mark us so that everyone knows we’re theirs. 

14. Preying On – And Pouncing At – Your Feet

The following video is humorous in nature, and is not to be taken seriously:

Cats, especially while they’re young, love hunting and playing around. If you haven’t been too playful lately or your cat has gotten bored of its toys, then expect it to hunt you down. 

If your cat preys upon your feet, get it some new scratching toys or a scratching post if it doesn’t have one. 

15. Cats Often Dig Around Their Litter Box

It’s not just your cat! I felt like this a long time ago when our family cat would dig around. She would scratch and try to dig on the bathroom floor around her litter box like crazy. I thought something was wrong with her. 

However, now I know that many cats do this for a specific reason. It is either that they don’t like the litter type, or the size of the litter box doesn’t fit, or the location of it. Your cat has to show it’s not content and that’s the way they do it. 

See also: How Much Litter To Put In Litter Box? A Complete Guide

16. Some Cats Nurse On Their Owner’s Clothes

Well actually, this is usually only done by kittens, but my friend had an adult cat that nursed til he was maybe three years old. He was abandoned as a kitten and my friend adopted him, that’s why we thought he must try nursing the clothes of anyone who would take him into their lap.

Cats most likely do this because they didn’t spend enough time nursing from their mother cats. However, most cats outgrow this type of behavior, sooner or later. 

17. Hoarding And Hiding Small Objects

the sweet sword carries a ball in its mouth

I am so thankful that my cats aren’t hoarders, haha. My cousin’s cat used to collect change and take it under the bed. She liked only small coins, and we often joked about how she was the only one in the family that could save any money, hahaha. 

Some cats collect pieces of string or they might even claw at small jewelry. This is also a part of their instinct. Wild cats take their prey and eat it in their hidden safe spot. So cats sometimes “hunt down” a small object in the house and hide it in their “safe spot”. 

18. Ah, Those Slow Blinks

the cat is looking at the camera

When a cat is slowly blinking at you, it means you are loved! Cats sometimes look at their owners and blink slowly, and it’s their way of showing how content and relaxed they are. I sometimes blink back, in the same manner, so my cat knows it is secure and can safely nap.

Check out: 7 Ways Your Cat Says “I Love You”

The Bottom Line Is

There are so many different behaviors that cats exhibit. These were the most common ones which I believe every cat does, which I explained briefly so we can better understand our furry friends.

If you found this interesting, check out what the different sounds your cat makes mean: Breaking The Code Of Cat Sounds

And if you want to have a good laugh, check out this compilation of cats just being cats.