Decoding Your Cat’s Behavior: 7 Odd Habits Explained 

Bringing home a kitten is a big responsibility, much like bringing home any other animal. Cats provide companionship, love, friendship, fun, and entertainment, but taking care of them is also a lot of work. Ensuring a good relationship with your feline friend entails learning more about them, including their personality, characteristics, and seemingly odd behavior.

Unlike dogs and other common household pets, cats can often display weird behavior towards humans, but later on, you figure out they aren’t so strange. Understanding your cat’s behavior can help you decipher what’s still normal for your feline and when it’s time to call your veterinarian. Start with consulting your veterinarian and turning to credible sources like Cats Online. To that end, here’s a quick introduction to understanding your cat’s odd habits.

cat eying a tasty house plant

  • Chattering 

Well, this isn’t like chattering in a way that humans understand and do. However, you may have noticed your cat emits intense and fast teeth chattering, usually when creatures like birds fly over the window.

Because your cat is inside and can’t go near that bird or insect, it could feel frustrated while excited and also slightly aggravated. This is entirely normal behavior for cats, though strange, usually associated with your cat’s jaw movement preparation to attack prey.

  • Kneading 

As its name suggests, many cat owners and veterinarians call this behavior kneading, given how it looks like a baker kneading dough. Kittens usually knead their mothers in the hopes of getting the milk flowing. For adult cats, however, the purpose is now more than just a thing of habit from when they were little. Cats knead as a display of affection or when stressed and anxious.

Kneading is characterized by your cat pressing each paw alternately on a rhythmic pattern. This is one of a cat’s behavior, however, that most cat owners love, given how it’s sweet, gentle, and also very comforting.

  • Purring 

Purring is something every cat certainly does, but while common, it can still leave many cat owners confused as to what it means. Generally, however, purring can mean many different things, so it’s important to assess this alongside your cat’s demeanor and mood while they purr.

If your cat is relaxed while purring, it could be a show of affection or appreciation, such as when you cuddle or hug your cat. If they’re moving around, seemingly confused, or looking distressed, purring can also mean your cat is going through stress, pain, or an injury.

  • Preference To Drink From A Faucet Than A Bowl 

When cats are in the wild, they’re more inclined to drink running than stagnant water. If your cat is adopted, you may have to transition to getting them used to its water bowl. In those first few months, your cat may run to the faucet more, scratching it, often signaling that they’d rather drink from running water in it.

Be careful with this, however, as excessive water drinking can also be a sign of diabetes or kidney disease in cats. Check and observe whether or not your cat happens to be drinking more than usual.

  • Face Rubbing 

Rubbing is when your cat rubs their head on you. Many cat parents may see this as a display of affection, but veterinarians will tell you it’s so much more than that.

Cat rubbing is also called ‘bunting.’ To scent-mark their territory, they do this on furniture, doors, and even on you, as their human parent. Your cat is trying to tell you that they have ownership over you when they do this.

  • Hiding In Small Spaces 

Cats like to think of themselves as fierce predators. But, given their size and relative weakness compared to others in the animal kingdom, cats are also prey animals. Because they’re both, cats often like to hide in small spaces, which you’ll be able to notice even in a domestic household setting.

This fact is why many pet shops have cat playgrounds for owners to purchase. Many cat playgrounds come with hideouts and multiple levels, so they satiate a cat’s need for ‘hide-and-seek.’

  • Sudden Nip / Bite 

Many adult cats can regulate their emotions very well, which makes them safe and easy to get along with. Kittens, however, have more trouble controlling their emotions. So, when petting them, it’s normal for kittens to feel over-stimulated once in a while. This is why they may suddenly nip or bite your finger, albeit harmless.

cat stretching on couch

The Bottomline

The inability to decode your cat’s behavior can often frustrate cat parents. Even if your kitten is up-to-date with their required vaccinations, unusual behavior may worry you to death. There are many stories of cat owners sending their pets to the shelter or veterinarian, because they’re exhausted trying to figure their cat out. The truth is, you’re not the only one with a crazy cat. Most cats can display strange behavior and traits every so often, such as those discussed above. Once you get the hang of it and completely understand what message they’re trying to send across, your relationship with your feline friend can be more smooth-sailing than it is difficult.

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