Explanations for Common Cat Behaviours


Cats make excellent companions, there is no denying that. Sometimes their behaviours can seem a little odd though! Have you ever wondered why cats like to bump heads with you or wrap themselves around your ankles? What about their fascination with boxes or the chattering noise they sometimes make? Why do cats bring birds and mice in to your home?

Why do cats chatter at birds?

Behaviourists cannot agree on why some cats emit a chattering sound when they see a bird. It is generally believed to be a hunting instinct designed to prepare their jaws for the kill of their prey.

Why do cats head-butt you?

Cats rub their heads against you as a form of greeting but it may also be a way of them sharing their facial pheromones with you.

Why do cats bring dead mice or birds for you?

Cats have an instinct to hunt and will bring you presents even if they are well fed. It can also be because they want to say thank you… or maybe they feel you are not eating enough! In a colony situation successful and well fed hunters bring back extras for kittens and nursing mothers. Do not punish your pet for following their natural instincts but try not to encourage them either. Perhaps a collar with a bell will help to protect your local wildlife and minimise the number of presents you receive!

Why do cats knead you?

When cats are born they knead their mother’s mammary glands to stimulate milk flow. Many cats continue this behaviour as a way of relaxing and making their bed before they fall asleep on your lap or in their cots. Enjoy the massage as long as there are no claws involved!

Why do cats love cardboard boxes?

Cats like to feel safe so often seek out small spaces to curl up in and go to sleep. In the wild they would not sleep in the middle of a field but find somewhere snug to feel safe. A small cardboard box or your sweater drawer are just perfect places to hide out.

Why do cats hiss?

Cats will hiss if they are angry; it is a warning not to upset them further. They will also hiss if they are scared of something or someone, in an effort to warn away their attacker.

Why do cats ear twitch?

If your cat’s ears are twitching back and forth it may be wise to give them some space. They are expressing agitation or anxiety. They may run away or swat at whatever is causing them anxiety or bothering them.

Why do cats sleep on your chest, laptop or newspaper?

For warmth, comfort and to be close to you and leave their scent. You are their family!

Why do cats not cover their faeces or refuse to use the litter tray?

Your cat is likely grumpy with you, someone else in the house or another pet so refuses to cover their poop. Alternatively there could be a medical reason why, so if the behaviour continues it may be wise to seek the advice of your vet.

Not all cats will exhibit all of these positive or negative behaviours but you will love them anyway. If you have to go away and need a pet hotel to care for your feline family members, take a look at the facilities offered by the Greenlane Cat Hotel: a New Zealand cattery in North Shore, Auckland. For more images, rates and to contact this Auckland pet hotel visit www.thecathotel.co.nz.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s