Owning a cat means learning all about their strange little foibles some of which are pretty amusing to watch whereas others are a little harder to understand. If you are a new cat owner, you may be surprised at some of the things your pet gets up to when you are there and when you are not around. Below is a list of 5 things that our feline friends often do which leaves their owners a little bewildered!
You may have noticed that your cat likes to chew and eat paper, even when you are reading it and wondered why on earth they do this. Firstly, our feline friends are very playful creatures by nature and they also love to be the centre of attention. So if you are trying to read the paper, there is nothing they like more than playing with it to get your full attention.
Some cats have learnt that shredding paper is lots of fun and just can't resist doing this to amuse themselves whenever they feel a little bored with things. Cats that get into the habit of ripping up paper might need a little bit more stimulation in their lives which means investing in some great toys. With this said, as long as your cat is happy playing with paper and cardboard boxes, there's no real harm in this type of feline behaviour unless they start eating newspaper which is a real no-no because the ink is toxic!
If you have an open fire, you may find that your cat likes to lick the ash out of it which is not a normal sort of feline behaviour but more an acquired one. It's a habit they pick up and there could be many reasons for this. It's a behavioural problem referred to as "pica". However, just because your cat does this, does not necessarily mean they are suffering from an underlying health issue.
With this said, the reasons for this type of "pica" behaviour could be put down to dietary deficiencies. Vets often think it may have something to do with a lack of certain nutrients in a cat's diet. As such, our little feline friends look to find these nutrients from other sources which are often non-edible like ash!
Cats suffering from anaemia often eat cat litter, but other factors like boredom or stress could also contribute to this type of strange behaviour, it's a cat's way of relieving both!
Many Oriental breeds often love sucking on anything made out of wool. This is another "pica" behaviour which is often found in a breed's genetic make-up. However, if an older cat suddenly starts doing this or trying to eat or chew of other strange things, it could be time for them to visit the vet because they might be suffering from some underlying health issue that would need diagnosing and treating sooner rather than later.
Some of our feline friends adore carrying around their toys and meow loudly when they do! Cat behaviourist believe there could be a couple of reasons why some cats do this. One reason being that domestic cats are still very much like their wild cousins. As such they carry toys around as if they were carrying around their prey which in a home environment might seem rather strange and quite funny.
The second reason being that nursing mothers often carry their kittens around when they feel the need to move them from one place to another safer one. In a domestic situation a cat will behave in the same way only not with kittens but with their toys often hiding them away from prying eyes, much to their owners amusement.
Behaviourists don't see this type of behaviour as a problem but rather an in-built trait that cats just can't help doing even when they are in a home environment.
If you own a cat that loves standing on their back legs and scratching at your curtains you might like to know how to stop them from destroying them. Cat behaviourists think our feline friends scratch at curtains because they want to take a good look at the world outside which is especially true if they are kept as indoor pets. They scratch and pull at the curtains in order to get a clearer view of what's going on outside!
You may need to enrich their environment by providing them with lots of interactive toys and provide places for your cat to climb on so they can watch the world go by whether it's the garden or a busy street whenever they feel the need to.
Stopping a cat from tearing and scratching at curtains can be a challenge especially if it's become a habit with many owners giving up and preferring to make sure their pets have a clear view from a windowsill so they don't feel the need to scratch at curtains and ruin them!