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Cat behaviour explained

By Dawn Parrish Content Writer

Updated on the

Cat behaviour problems are quite common. It can take even the most experienced pet owners by surprise when their cat displays erratic or problem behaviour

During your daily interactions with your cat, you may notice some rather strange habits. First of all, you need to understand that many of your cat behaviour issues are due to natural instincts.

At other times, they can appear to be either crazily deranged or very amusing. As a protective, feline owner, just how do you tell which of the cat’s quirky actions are natural and which may be linked to a cat behaviour problem?

Cat behaviour explained

Here are 10 cat actions that you may notice from time to time.

No 1. Touching noses

Many cats greet each other by touching their noses together. In effect, it’s the same as humans shaking hands. As they rub their noses together they use their intense sense of smell to specify if the other cat is friend or foe.

No 2. Head-butting cat behaviour

When a tiny kitten is searching for her mother’s milk, she head-butts into the mother’s breast. However, an adult cat will rub pheromones from her face onto humans, other felines or furniture. This is probably a greater display of trust than rubbing noses.

No 3. Eating litter

This is quite a normal activity for young kittens who are very curious. Because of their inability to digest clay-based litters, ensure that you use a digestible litter product. Likewise, if it’s an older cat that is eating her litter, this could be a symptom of anaemia.

No 4. Excessive meowing and crying

A cat making a meowing sound is normal, especially with Siamese and Asian breed cats. However, any increases or changes in the tone of the crying might mean that something is wrong with the kitty. A cat will communicate and chat with her owner by meowing.

No 5. Lying on her back, showing her tummy

This lying down position is so different from a cat’s predatory stance that it makes the cat quite vulnerable. Because of this, take care when you approach the cat when she is in this position, as she may feel threatened. In contrast, this situation also shows you that the cat is quite relaxed and happy in your company.

No 6. Cat hissing behaviour

A feline will use hissing behaviour when she is frightened or as a preamble to fighting. An alpha cat will hiss to show that they are the dominant cat on the street.

No 7. Cat Purring

We all love to hear our cats purr. It is certainly a sign of a contented kitty. However, similar cat behaviour can also display as purring when she is nervous or hungry. Tiny kittens will purr happily when bonding with the mother cat.

No 8. Eating grass – strange cat behaviour

A cat will sometimes eat grass to help with the transition of any bones and fur eaten as prey. It seems like that it is also a good cure for a cat with a sore throat. Certainly, we know that grass contains folic acid that not only helps with haemoglobin production but is also a necessary vitamin.

No 9. Clawing and scratching

There are several reasons why a cat will scratch at objects. First of all, it’s brilliant for conditioning and sharpening their claws. The pads on their paws emit a scent once they have scratched at something. As a result, this scent acts a deterrent to other felines in the same territory. A cat scratching post at home should deter her from clawing at your furniture.

No 10. Night-time cat behaviour

It probably seems as though your cat waits until midnight, then begins to run wild with lots of excess energy. Certainly, just as a cat will snooze for most of the day, she will be alert during the later hours.

Every cat’s behaviour and body language is totally different. For this reason, quite often it is rather difficult for their owners to realise just what their pet is communicating or how their cat is feeling. Consequently, there is no guarantee that how one cat behaves, will mirror the same conduct and manners of any other feline.

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