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7 Odd Cat Behaviors, Finally Explained

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Cats can be hard to understand because many of their odd behaviors seem to defy logic. Cats are very clever and intentional creatures though and most of their quirky actions actually do serve a purpose. Read on to learn why your cat does what she does… including why it’s actually a sweet gesture when she brings you dead mice!

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Image Source: Tobias Mandt via Flickr.com

#1 – Kitty Marathons
Kitty marathons (as I like to call them) are some of the most perplexing and ridiculous things cats do. One moment they are normal, relatively sane creatures, and the next they are racing around at dizzying speeds– up to 30mph! This behavior can seem completely irrational and random, but it actually serves a purpose. When your cat races around your home, jumping onto furniture and crashing through anything in her way, she’s just releasing and explosion of pent up energy. Many indoor cats have a hard time finding necessary stimulation and exercise. If your cat is a marathon pro, consider adding more interactive toys to your home.

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Image Source: Christopher Bowns via Flickr.com

#2 – Laying On a Pile of Your Things
Does your cat try to lay down on your keyboard when you’re surfing the internet? Or make a bed for herself in a pile of your dirty laundry? Or better yet, take a nap on a massively uncomfortable pile of books? When she tries to sit on your keyboard (or whatever else you are focused on) she’s saying “Hey! Pay attention to me!”. When she makes a bed out of your laundry or naps on your purse she’s just trying to be closer to your scent, which is comforting to her. She’s also trying to leave her scent behind for you, hoping you’ll remember her later.

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Image Source: Dominika Komender via Flickr.com

#3 – Sleeping On Your Chest
Having a napping cat on your chest can be one of the most soothing and sweet things to happen… assuming you don’t need to be anywhere else. It’s soothing for her too, to feel your warmth and heartbeat. When your cat falls asleep on your chest it’s a sign of trust. She knows that she’s safe from predators as long as you’re there to protect her. She also likes to know that, once she has you pinned down, you can’t go anywhere without her knowing (and probably following you).

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Image Source: Shane Gorski via Flickr.com

#4 – Up All Night
You may have noticed that your cat is just starting to wake up and become alert as you are preparing to sleep for the night. Your cat’s wild ancestors were nocturnal because it was easier and safer for them to hunt under the cloak of jungle darkness. Since domestic cats are still very rooted in their ancestry, they maintain the instinct to hunt and explore at night.

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Image Source: Jan-Erik Finnberg via Flickr.com

#5 – Head Butts
Head butts are friendly greetings. Your cat has several glands on her head that emit special pheromones when she’s happy and content. She uses those pheromones to mark things that she has deemed safe and secure. She’s marking you when she head butts.

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Image Source: Eddy Van 3000 via Flickr.com

#6 – Gift Giving
When she brings you a dead mouse or insect it’s because she thinks you’re a bad hunter and doesn’t want you to starve to death. She may also be thanking you for feeding her and attempting to be a contributor to the household. Despite how it feels, it’s actually a sweet gesture.

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Image Source: Stephen Woods via Flickr.com

#7 – Squeezing Into Very Small Boxes
Surely you’ve seen your cat not-so-delicately squeeze into a box or space that was far too small to reasonably accommodate her. This quirky behavior can be traced back to her wildcat ancestors. In the wild, cats would never dare to fall asleep in the middle of a field– it would make them too vulnerable to predator attacks. Instead, a wild cat would seek solace in a nook. Being able to feel several sides of a container– and knowing she can’t be attacked from those sides– will help her feel safe, even if it means undertaking a contortionists act to get there.

Written by Andee Bingham
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