Feline Frenzy: The “Why” Of Strange Cat Behavior

As a cat owner, have you noticed your cat do some pretty…well, strange things? We’re willing to bet that you’ve seen your cat roll around in their litter box, attempt to fit in small spaces, knead their paws on your bedsheets, or even bring you “kills” if they’re an outdoor cat. And while some of these erratic behaviors can be chalked up to “well, cats will just be cats,” there must be some logical explanation for these behavior quirks, right?

A Close Look At Cats From Our Local Animal Hospital In Gaithersburg

In a deviation away from our recent blog posts about dogs, our local animal clinic

in Gaithersburg, MD offers to shed light on one of the most puzzling topics for cat owners: explaining all of the weird things that cats do. If you have any pressing questions about your cat at the end of this post, remember that Goshen Animal Clinic is just a click or a call away from you — feel free to contact us or schedule an appointment at any time. Let’s get started!

Strange Cat Behavior Meets Logic

Rubbing Her Head On You

At one point or another, you’ve probably been standing in your kitchen or sitting down on the couch minding your own business, when your cat comes up to you and rubs their head and body along your leg or lap. Why is your cat doing this? Though most people see this as a sign of affection (which is partially true), there’s more to this cute action than that.

This behavior is actually known as “bunting,” and involves your cat actually releasing pheromones from the top of her head and onto your body. Your cat does this to show ownership over you (what a cat thing to do, right?), not unlike rubbing her body on a piece of furniture to mark their scent. This is a good thing, though, because she’s expressing her pride in you…without using “other” ways to mark her territory.

Kneading Her Paws

You’ve probably been laying down on your bed sleeping in on a lazy Saturday morning next to your cat, and noticed that she’s repeatedly pressing her paws into your bedsheets in a kneading-like fashion. What’s up with that? Though adorable, this action has long-perplexed many cat owners.

Feline kneading occurs because cats are exercising muscle memory from their early days of nursing. As a wee little kitten, your cat pressed on her mother’s mammary glands for increased milk production, and that’s what your cat is trying to replicate as an adult. Though she doesn’t need any nutrition in the way of milk at this point, this is typically an expression of contentment, happiness, or a stress-release mechanism. As a cat owner, you should take this action as a compliment, as this is a sign of trust that you remind her of mom!

Fitting And Sitting In Small, Random Objects

It’s always entertaining to watch your cat putz around and try to fit in various objects, especially those with a relatively tight space. That wide-open, plush cat bed you purchased seems like a great place to sit down and relax, so why does your cat choose the most random and seemingly-uncomfortable places to sit or lay down?

The logic of this action actually boils down to an instinctual cause. When cats are out in the wild, their instinct tells them to avoid being in open, unprotected areas. Doing so would make them more vulnerable to predators, and it would also give them a disadvantage while attempting to ambush their own prey. So, cats “hide” in smaller, more compact spaces to feel more protected and to observe what’s going on around them from a safe distance.

Cat and dog in blanket, rescue, adopt, discountThe “Zoomies”

All cat owners have seen their cat run back and forth around the house in an erratic and often-hilarious manner. Of course, what’s not so funny is when this behavior occurs at 2:30 in the morning and you’re just trying to get some sleep.

Your cat barreling around your home or excessively meowing in the middle of the night is usually a result of their nocturnal hunting instincts and pent-up energy that wasn’t utilized during the day. This nighttime energy phenomenon is fairly common among most housecats, especially those that don’t get enough exercise throughout the day.

Our Gaithersburg animal clinic recommends feeding your cat right before bed or providing him with “food puzzles” to keep him occupied throughout the night. Making extra efforts to exercise your cat during the day is also recommended.

Knocking Random Objects Off The Table

As hilarious as this is to watch on YouTube videos, it’s frustrating when it actually happens to you. Is your cat just being a jerk? Not exactly. This is a sign that your cat is merely bored and curious about the things around him. As the owner, you should try to stimulate him with toys or engage with him in a playful manner if he’s attempting to knock anything down.

Is this a rude action to communicate the fact that your cat is bored or curious? Perhaps, but cats don’t know any better about respecting your things — they’re cats.

Stay Tuned For More Cat-Friendly Content From Our Gaithersburg Veterinarians!

If you’re the owner of a cat, dog, reptile, or another house pet, rest assured that the best veterinary care in the Gaithersburg, MD area is only a cat’s leap away from you.

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