Cats have always had a reputation as somewhat mysterious animals, and there are a great many feline behaviours that are perfectly natural for our cats, but which leave their owners scratching their heads in confusion! If you have ever wondered why your cat does the things that they do, in this article, we will look at seven of the most commonly misunderstood cat behaviours, and explain the reasoning behind them. Read on to learn more!
If you have ever been woken up during the wee hours by the sound of your cat zooming around the house, playing noisily with a toy or coming in and out through the cat flap several times, you will be all too familiar with this one!
The sleep cycle of cats is of course very different to that of people, and cats do not sleep through the night and stay awake through the day like we usually do. Cats go through several sleep cycles in each 24 hour period, which tend to be a couple of hours at a time, interspersed with periods of activity.
Cats tend to like to hunt at night, and indoor-outdoor cats will often spend a lot of the dark hours outside. Activity at night is normal for cats, and comes down to a combination of their natural circadian rhythms, and the fact that the world is quieter, and generally more cat-friendly at night.
If your cat is apt to head-butt things and likes to rub their face on you and household products, this one may be confusing you! Have you ever noticed that your cat is particularly apt to rub their face on things that are new within the home, such as new furniture or other fittings? There is a good reason for this! Cats have glands at the side of their faces that produce a scent pheromone, which can be used to mark invisibly with. Rubbing their faces on things allows your cat to mark something as theirs, and they will, out of choice, like everything in your home to smell of them!
There are entire websites and blog feeds dedicated to sharing images of cats sleeping and chilling out while lying in the sink, and as cats are reputed to dislike water so much, this can seem rather odd!
Why any given cat may enjoy lying in the sink can be due to varying reasons; they might like the coolness of the sink in hot weather, or they may simply like the fact that the sink is the perfect shape and size to snugly contain a sleeping cat! Many cats also like to play with water dripping from a faucet too, adding to the appeal of the sink.
If your cat has a litter tray, you will probably have observed how fastidious they are about their toileting! This does not always mean that they are tidy about it, and many cats manage to fling cat litter all around the surrounding area on every visit! However, litter tray cleanliness and masking the scent of their own outputs is really important to cats, and in the wild, cats would usually dig or scrape a shallow hole to do their business in, before covering it over when they are done.
This wild behaviour is what your cat is emulating when they seem to be spending ages arranging their litter tray to their liking before and after they do their business!
Cats are fascinated with boxes, and this is well documented. Many tales share the woe of pet owners who buy a fabulous and expensive new bed or toy for their cat, only to learn to their chagrin that their cat greatly prefers exploring or sleeping in the cardboard box that it came in!
Being within a small, enclosed space gives cats a sense of security, as you will probably have seen if something upsets your cat, and they go off to hide in the smallest spot that they can find.
Small spaces such as boxes will make your cat feel secure, and also, possibly provide a source of warmth. They also present a great den for cats that are trying to ambush each other, or passing unsuspecting people!
A huge number of animals actually sleep curled up as small as possible, particularly when the weather is cold. This works as a way of retaining body heat, by exposing as little of their body as possible, and also, increases their sense of security. The smaller your cat can make themselves look, the smaller the target that they will present to potential predators, making your cat keep comfortable and secure to sleep.
Many cats have got into the habit of sleeping on the keyboard of the computer, whether it is in use or not! While this can be annoying and seriously limit your productivity, for your cat, there are sound reasons behind it! First of all, a laptop that is switched on will generate heat, and the chances are that initially, your cat just views your laptop as a convenient heat pad.
However, they will also soon learn that sitting on your laptop will get your attention and cause you to interact with your cat, even if only to turf them off, and so cats soon learn that this is an effective way to get attention.