7 Cat Behaviors De-Mystified
As a veterinary receptionist at Grady Veterinary Hospital, Nancy receives many interesting questions from clients. Here’s her list of seven common cat behaviors that might make you wonder, “Why does my cat DO THAT?”
Why Does My Cat Knead Their Paws?
It looks like your cat is making bread, but what’s really going on? Nursing kittens knead their mother’s tummy to stimulate milk production, so this behavior is important for a kitten’s survival. As cats mature, they keep the behavior to express contentment. If your lap is ever on the receiving end of kneading paws (with claws, ouch!), know that the cat isn’t doing this with malice. It’s a form of affection, but you probably want to distract your cat with something else, anyway.
Why Does My Cat Rub Up Against Me?
Rubbing against your legs or body is called bunting. Some cats even take it a step further and headbutt. It’s a sign of affection. Along with telling you they like you, they are also marking you with the scent glands around their head.
Why Does My Cat Like Boxes?
Like children, cats seem to love boxes more than whatever came in them. We don’t know exactly why, but it could be that because cats enjoy feeling enclosed and secure, a box is a natural enjoyment. Also, cats are playful and enjoy batting boxes around as a sort of hunting practice.
Why Do Cats Purr?
We love it when kitties purr, but not every purr is a happy one. Frequently, cats do purr because they are contented. But sometimes, cats purr during frightening or stressful situations, as well. When a cat is in a strange environment and feeling anxious, purring is a warning that they might bite you.
Why Do Cats Love Catnip?
Catnip is the most exciting thing for many cats. Valerian and catnip, members of the mint family, both have the chemical Nepetalactone that affects the neurological system of cats. It’s non-addictive, and the effects are short-lived, so catnip is safe for your cat.
Why Do Cats Hate Water?
As a species, cats originally came from dry, arid climates. Historically, cats are not accustomed to large amounts of water. Also, cat fur becomes very heavy when wet. As small animals, cats rely on their agility and speed to escape danger. Heavy, wet fur would slow them down.
Why Do Cats Play with Faucets?
But if cats hate water, why do some of them play with water coming out of the faucet? The movement of the water and how it sparkles in the light becomes a fun plaything. Plus, the water isn’t getting any deeper, so cats don’t feel like they will become immersed.
Why Do Cats DO THAT? Video
Many of our cats’ behaviors are rooted in instinct from when our domestic cats were wild and free. If you are concerned about any of your cat’s behaviors, please reach out to us.