Why Does My Cat Do That: Odd Cat Behaviors
Everyone knows, either by instinct or experience, that if a cat's tail is fluffed and its back is arched to stay away! One encounter with a cat in this position would quickly teach you why we need to listen to cat's body language.
Aside from the obvious postures, there are a lot of other expressions that a cat makes that are not as obvious and often dismissed as weird cat behavior. Due to the oddity of these creatures, not all answers will ever be known. For instance, why does my cat stare at blank walls for hours on end? Why does my cat chase "flies" that really aren't there? Why does my husband's cat only like me when he's hungry or when my husband is away on business? Truth is, I don't know. I know men better than I know cats, and that's not saying a lot! Fortunately, some of these odd behaviors are explained about these lovable, temperamental creatures.
My Cat Polly
My cats are notorious for self petting. Instead of just standing still and letting me pet their silky manes, they run frantically back and forth under my hand, against my leg, or any other object so that way they are being petted. They will even head butt me if I am not petting them as frantically as they feel fit. Why would they do this?
Okay, I don't know, but I do know that if they rub against you with their cheek, they actually are marking you as their property. There are glands on the side of their mouth that leaves a scent. Essentially, if they are rubbing with the side of their face, they are saying, "You are my human.
If a cat self rubs with their whole body, they might be wanting to signify how important you are, by rubbing you with both of their scent glands. They actually have another scent gland on their tail. So if your cat is the kind that wraps around your entire body, he is making sure that other cats know that you are his property and not theirs!
My cats seem to have a haughty air about them. If you look at him, he appears to be saying, "Yes, I know I'm better than you." Although, I am not one hundred percent sure my cat is not truly narcissistic, I do know that they actually do say more than that with their eyes.
Cats will often blink a couple quick blinks when they enter a room. If they do this, it is actually their way of saying a friendly "hi." Have you ever looked at your cat, and the cat does a very slow blink, it almost looks like he or she is tired? This slow meaningful gesture is their way of trying to be affectionate saying, "I like you."
Supposedly, you can actually talk back to your cat with your eyes. I have not yet tried it, as I always forget about it when I'm at home, but I've heard that cats become very responsive if you try to mimic their little eye language.
My Cat Mr. Nibbles
Cats Speak through Their Ears
Ears Pointing Forward:
Cats will point their ears forward when they find something interesting. If they are curious what is happening or just like what they see, their ears will naturally point forward.
Ears Pointing Backward:
I have to giggle at my husband's cat when my daughter carries him around. His ears will be pointing backward, but he puts up with it. Sometimes I swear his eyes are looking at me saying, "Please put this embarrassing charade to an end." But I pretend not to notice. Cats are full of pride, they need to be humbled. I am fully aware that his ears are telling me he is annoyed. Cats will also do this if they are angry, so beware to a cat in this position.
An Accidental Bath
Acting Like Its Nursing or Kneading
My husband's cat loves to knead on him (he never does to anyone else). When my husband is home, he's on his lap, stretching out his paws just as a kitten would do during nursing. This is a very good sign, it means that the cat is truly happy. The more content your cat is, the more apt it will knead. My cat is more of an emotional creature and rarely does this unless she is very calm.
Licking and Soft Bites
Although my emotional cat rarely kneads she will lick you. If she crawls in bed with you after she thinks you should be up, she will spend several minutes licking you with her rough tongue until you either have found a way to make your covers cat proof or finally get out of bed. This is another form of affection. Both my cats will groom each other as they cuddle in their bed together. It's sweet.
My other cat, on the other hand, does not lick as often, but he will nibble on us. His name is actually Mr. Nibbles. Every morning when I go into the bathroom, even though Mr. Nibbles is my husband's cat, he will nibble my toes just as a way to say, "good morning." Rarely will he do this to anyone but me and my husband, although I have seen him do it to my daughter when she is not carrying him around.
Our Cat Tweeg
Showing Its Belly
This is probably the ultimate compliment from any cat. If they show their belly to you, not only are they wanting a soft scratch on their belly, but they are saying, "I trust you". In the wild, a cat will protect its stomach from any possible danger. It only reveals this vulnerable spot when it feels secure.
Flicking or Swishing Tail:
This usually means they are annoyed, although if only the tip of the tail is flicking back and forth, it means they are somewhat playful and happy. If their tail is standing straight up, that means they are feeling very confident. Mr. Nibbles sometimes does this if my husband comes home from a business trip, it is also a sign of happiness.
Curling of the Tail Like a Fish Hook:
This is also another sign they are happy.
Tail Straight Down:
If the tail is straight down, beware! The cat wants to be left alone. My husband's cat runs away from me with his tail down if I ever sneeze or cough in his presence. I seriously think he is saying, "Don't disgrace me with your germs." He thinks a lot of himself.
Cat in the Cupboard
We often associate purring with contentedness. This is not necessarily true.
Yes, it often does mean that. In fact, my husband's cat who is generally laid back purrs much more and louder than my cat. My cat, on the other hand, is quite emotional and I believe she is rarely ever truly relaxed and content. Although on some occasions, she will purr a very soft quiet purr.
Other reasons a cat might purr is if they are ill. If a none vocal cat all the sudden is purring continuously and acting sluggish you may want to take him or her to the vet. Purring usually means extremes of feelings. They will purr if they are afraid, sick, or just plain happy!
Now, maybe I have been just lucky enough to get all the strange cats in the world in my lifetime, but I truly believe that cats are just odd creatures. They seem to have a superiority complex. They often are emotional. They choose a favorite human for no reason whatsoever $6, and often choose the person who is allergic to them, since that person appears to be the least threatening person in the room. I will never pretend to fully understand cats, but here are some aspects of catspeak that I do know.
Questions & Answers
Why does my cat hug walls?
This question made me laugh as I pictured my own cat playful and running around the house. Then all the sudden it would stop and hug the corner of the wall in the hallway to the living room. Although I do not know if we could ever truly know the motives of a cat, I believe it is so they can keep an eye around both corners. This would not only protect them from an attack but also make them more alert for their own attack. Cats are so weird!
Why does my cat rub the sides of his mouth after he drinks water?
Cats rub the side of their face for two reasons; one is to show they are well pleased and another to mark ownership of something because they have scent glands in the sides of their mouth that tell other cats, "this is mine." In this case, your cat is either marking the area he drinks water as his, which is possible, or more likely, he feels very satisfied after he drinks and is saying that he is very pleased.
Why is my cat trying to feed himself off his own body?
I am trying to picture what this actually looks like. Truth be told, I have absolutely no idea. Cats are odd! I once had a cat who refused to eat out of his dish if he could see the bottom of the bowl. We would shake his bowl to cover the spot that he could see and he would proceed to finish eating.
© 2010 Angela Michelle Schultz