Explaining all about cat behaviour in one post is challenging, but I’ll attempt to give you the basics of why your cat behaves the way it does, so keep reading..
As a cat owner you’ll want to understand all about cat behaviour so you know what your pet is trying to tell you. Cats are usually very subtle when it comes to body language and it can take a while to get used to.
In this post I’m going to explain some common cat behaviour you’ll probably find your cat displays. You may not notice of all of them, but if a cat wants to get your attention it will!!
Just like people, all cats have different personalities. Some are more sociable than others, but all will use the following behaviours towards humans or other pets in your household.
Cat tail flicking behaviour- what it means
Cats use their tails a lot to show how they’re feeling. Your cat has a wide vocabulary with her tail, and will certainly get her point across!
An upright tail is a good sign. It shows your cat is feeling contented. You may notice how your cat greets you on your return home. A quivering upright tail shows she’s happy to see you, and is a friendly, welcoming sight.
If your cat’s tail is upright but curved at the tip it’s a sure sign she’s feeling playful. Feather wands are great for interactive play sessions with your cat.
Be mindful of overstimulating your kitty as cat’s claws are sharp, and so are their teeth! I’ve frequently had playful nips on my hand and they can be sore!
Seeing a cat’s tail swish dramatically from side to side and thumping it on the ground is a sign of aggression. Your cat may be preparing to fight, but we wary of trying to stop a cat fight.
If your cat comes running in with her tail resembling a bristle brush she’s scared. Another cat may have chased her, so gently calm her down.
If your cat’s tail is lowered and tucked under her body she’s demonstrating submission. She may have been sizing up another cat and felt intimidated by it.
Why does my cat head butt me?
Headbutting is also called bunting and is a true sign of affection. If your cat headbutts you she’s marking you with her scent.
Though humans can’t detect it, other animals can. It’s a way of saying you belong to her and is a huge compliment! In the wild, all felines headbutt members of their pride.
Headbutting is never done to outsiders, only those considered family. If you have a multi cat household you’ll probably have noticed how they interact and headbutt one another.
Watch the video below as animal behaviourist Francine Miller explains all about this curious behaviour
Why do cats pat your face-is this a wake up call?!!
Face patting is another way your cat shows affection by marking you with her scent. Of course, it may also be a way of getting your attention!
I’ve often been woken up in the morning by a gentle pat on the face by my cat! I consider it the ultimate wake up call! Of course, he wants breakfast, but it’s so much better than a noisy alarm!.
Why do cats rub against your legs?
In exactly the same way as face rubbing, if your cat rubs up against your legs she’s showing affection. This is also attention seeking, usually for food of course. However, always see this as a sign your cat is happy to stay with you!
Have you always noticed how your cat weaves in and out of your legs as you prepare her food? She’s marking her scent with the sides of her body and tail. This is true attention seeking, and she’s making sure you’re not ignoring her!.
Why is my cat staring at me- is she trying to hypnotise me??!!
Ever had the feeling you’re being stared at by a pair of watchful feline eyes??
You suddenly look up from the laptop to find your cat staring intently at you! It’s like she’s trying to hypnotise you into obeying her wishes!
Cats can maintain a steady stare without blinking unlike us. This can make it all the more unsettling when kitty focuses a gaze on you.
Cats are curious creatures and take a strong interest in our activities. They are also masters of learned behaviour, and note certain activities that signal food. For example, you go in the kitchen to make a cup of tea and your cat follows you within seconds!
Staring intently at you while you boil the kettle, she’s trying to get your attention! You may have fed her earlier, but her staring eyes are making out she’s starving!
As a dedicated cat parent it’s hard to resist, and your cat knows the kitchen is where her food is! Likewise, if you’re relaxing, watching tv and find your cat staring at you, she probably just wants a cuddle.
You’re a big part of her world, especially if you spend a lot of time at home. Sometimes your cat will stare in your direction for reassurance. They’re good at reading body language and know if you’re calm or anxious.
Cats also stare at each other. This is a sign of aggression, and is done until one of them backs down in submission. It can ultimately lead to a cat fight, or in the very least, swatting and growling.
Why does my cat trill? What’s going on?
If you’re a new pet parent you may wonder what’s going on when your cat starts making odd little chirping noises. It’s very normal and all part of a cat’s language vocabulary.
These funny little sounds made in short bursts are known as trilling. They’re typically used in greeting, and is your cat’s way of saying “hi, nice to see you”
Cat’s use it to greet one another, and show affection in the family. As you’re a member of kitty’s family she’ll use it to greet you on your return home.
You may have seen your cat sitting on the window sill, excitedly chattering at birds outside in the garden. This may be frustration at not being able to catch her prey, as well as excitement at seeing it.
Why your cat kneads you- the purfect kitty massage!
Anyone who’s been in the company of cats is familiar with the soft, kneading motion of their front paws. Combined with gentle purring it’s the most relaxing massage you can experience!
You may be wondering why your cat delights in kneading, and why she does it. Keep reading as I explain..This behaviour is instinctive in all kittens. They knead the mother’s breast to stimulate milk flow.
As adults, cats knead when they’re contented and happy. If your cat cuddles up to you and starts kneading, she’s a happy kitty! Pulled jumpers or tears on tights and jeans can be a downside.
If your cat decides to jump on your lap for a cuddle and kneading session, cover yourself with an old cloth or blanket to save your clothes. A purring and kneading cat on your lap is the purfect way to lower blood pressure:)
Help!! My cat is biting me!!
If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of your cat’s sharp teeth you’ll understand what I’m talking about. So why do cats bite people?
You’ll be pleased to know it’s rarely aggressive. It’s common for cats to bit each other during play, and it’s a way of showing affection to us cat parents.
A gentle bite on the hand while you’re playing with your cat is a sign of love. However, pull away quickly and you may startle her!
Your cat’s natural instinct for self protection kicks in, and she’ll bite harder!! It’s rarely serious, but you may get a few little teeth marks on your hand or arm!
Biting can happen if your cat gets over stimulated. Encourage play with cat toys that don’t involve fingers! Reward her with good behaviour by praising.
Why do cats purr then bite?
You’re rubbing kitty’s tummy one minute and enjoying her soft purrs. Suddenly she grabs your fingers sinking her teeth into them? This is so very common, and is in no way meant to harm you.
It’s usually due to overstimulation and your cat is trying to say she’s had enough. A cat can’t talk and tell you to “stop now please”!
Be mindful of your cat’s body language when you’re interacting with her. Every cat is different and you’ll soon get to know her cute, funny ways!
Understand your cats behaviour and make the bond stronger
Many people still think of cats as being solitary, aloof creatures. This is so far from the truth as most cats simply want love. Understanding why your cat behaves the way it does helps develop a closer bond.
Common cat behaviours I’ve outlined here today should give you an idea of what to expect if you’re a new cat parent. Even experienced cat crazy people can be constantly surprised by a cat’s quirkiness.
All cat behaviour explained can take a long time as there’s so much to learn. Look out for future posts here as I’ll be diving deeper into some of them.
Wishing you a purrfect day 🙂