Cats are not like other pets. You can’t ever truly be a cat owner. At best, your cat will allow you to be its caretaker. But if you want to build the best relationship possible with your feline housemates, you need to learn these everyday behaviors that cats perform.
Five Things Your Cat May Do and Their Meanings
There are many names for this behavior, from ‘making biscuits’ to ‘playing the piano,’ but if you notice that your cat is moving its front paws like it is kneading bread, don’t be alarmed. It is a sign that your cat is feeling secure and comfortable in its current surroundings. The kneading motion is a throwback to how kittens massage their mother’s chest to help her milk flow freely, and it is a natural way for cats to soothe themselves.
Receiving a nuzzle from your feline friend is nice. It makes you feel like your pet really loves you, and it might, but there is a bit more going on than just a little show of affection. Cats are very territorial and like to claim spaces, other cats, and even humans as their own. Special glands on the face of cats release a unique scent that distinguishes one cat from another, and the rubbing action helps to spread it around, marking their territory. Once you are marked, you become part of the cat’s tribe of trusted humans.
When your cat walks up to you and starts to bang the top of its head against your leg or hand, it is easy to get alarmed. Officially called facial bunting, this behavior has nothing to do with aggression. In fact, it means the opposite of what you may assume and is a sign of playfulness and love. The movement indicates that your cat wants you to engage with it by playing or at least providing a vigorous head scratching.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that when a cat hisses at you, you best leave it alone. But, if a cat combines hissing with other actions, it is slightly more severe than just another bad mood. If an ordinarily well-behaved combines hissing with a direct stare, spitting, a stiff tail, and swatting, it may mean a trip to the vet is in order. Just like humans, when cats aren’t feeling well, they tend to overact, and there is a good chance your kitty may be sick or in pain.
Cats are uncommonly clean pets; that is one reason why many people prefer them over other animals. This cleanliness even extends to the litterbox. Ordinarily, cats will cover their droppings with kitty litter, but if you notice that your cat isn’t, there probably is a problem. When a cat leaves its poop exposed, there are several causes, but they all stem from an unhappy kitty. Your cat could be angry with you and trying to show its displeasure. Perhaps you aren’t cleaning the litterbox as often as you should? Or maybe the cat is dissatisfied with what is going on in his environment. Do you have an unruly toddler or a new routine that upsets the cat?
Cats are fascinating creatures, and the better you understand their behaviors, the more you will appreciate them.