Five common cat behaviours that owners often misunderstand
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Five common cat behaviours that owners often misunderstand

Cats
General
Pet Psychology

Cats are often renowned to be somewhat mystical and mysterious animals, and they do tend to keep their cards very close to their chests when it comes to working out their moods and what does and does not make them happy. This manifests in a whole range of different ways, such as working hard to mask pain and keep it from you that they do not feel 100%, and a whole range of other cat activities that often confuse their owners, but make perfect sense to the cat!

Over time, cat owners do of course naturally get to know their cat’s individual personalities and what they do and do not like very well, but even the most experienced cat owner with the most straightforward and easy to understand cat is probably missing something, when it comes to properly understanding their cat’s everyday, normal behaviours.

In this article, we will look at five common and usually natural cat behaviours that their owners often misunderstand, and reveal the truth behind them. Read on to learn more.

Inappropriate toileting

If your cat sprays inside of the house or pees in places that they shouldn’t with no regard for their litter tray or opportunities to go outside, it is fair to say that your cat is acting out in one of the most annoying ways, and this is something that will usually make cat owners very frustrated and potentially, annoyed.

Playing “hunt the puddle” every time you get home or spending your weekends trying to sniff out the source of that horrible smell soon grows old for cat owners that have to do it, and many cat owners think that this behaviour happens simply because the cat is trying to be a pain, unless of course they have medical problems causing the problem, which is the first thing that you should get checked out.

However, assuming that there are no medical problems in play, inappropriate toileting is highly unlikely to occur because your cat is annoyed or trying their best to make your life a misery-the chances are that they feel insecure or unsettled, and are trying to make their home feel more like their own by marking their territory.

This type of behaviour is most likely to manifest when you move home, bring a new cat home or introduce a new cat to an existing one, but it can also happen for a range of other reasons, such as a high number of cats in the neighbourhood or other issues that can lead to your cat feeling insecure.

This means that resolving the problem means getting to the bottom of it, and making changes to ensure that your cat feels safe, comfortable and relaxed at home.

Attacking when you touch their belly

Every cat owner is familiar with the scenario: your cat is deeply relaxed and happy, stretches out on their back and presents their tummy to you, as a clear invite to stroke it. However, when you do stroke it, your cat folds up around your hand like a vice full of needles and attacks you, sometimes letting you get a couple of strokes in first!

Although it may seem as if your cat has deliberately lured you into a trap with the intention of attacking you, the opposite is true-while some cats really enjoy having their tummies stroked (and you will usually find this out about them fairly quickly) for others, their tummies are very sensitive, and stroking them will either be too ticklish or too firm, and so they react instinctively.

When a cat that does not like having their tummy stroked shows you their tummy, they are essentially telling you that they trust you enough to show you their most vulnerable area-and if you then stroke their tummy without being very, very speculative about how your cat reacts, your cat is apt to see this as a potential breach of trust and faith in you!

Leaving the litter tray in a mess

Most cats spend a lot of time tidying up their litter tray and scraping about to cover all traces of their waste, but some cats do the exact opposite-deliberately leaving a prominent, stinky mess front and centre, which is the exact opposite of usual cat behaviour!

Most cat owners interpret this as either a lack of common sense on the part of the cat, or an indication that they never actually learned from their mother to cover the waste-but in fact, waste covering is instinctive, and something most cats will do naturally, even if they were hand reared.

Leaving an obvious, unburied mess in the litter tray is a very bold, even cocky statement on the part of your cat-they are essentially saying that they are the boss of their territory and the apex predator within it, and so, have nothing to fear from other animals picking up their scent-and in fact, those other animals should take it as a warning that someone else is in charge around here!

Washing fastidiously

Cats spend a large amount of their time grooming, usually when they look their usual beautiful selves and do not have a hair out of place. While grooming is important in and of itself for cats, it is also a way of removing the scent of other things from them, including people-which is why most cats will frantically wash after you have petted them!

Offering you dead prey

Some cats are prolific hunters, and will be very proud of bringing in dead or half-dead animals for you, and most cat owners interpret this as being brought a trophy in order to reward and recognise you as their leader. The opposite is actually true-your cat probably simply doesn’t understand why you don’t hunt and get involved with looking for your own food, and assumes that you’re not hunting because you either don’t know how, or you’re not any good at it!

By bringing you pray with a big fanfare to try to get you interested in it, your cat is not so much giving you a reward, as trying to get you interested in hunting with them!

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