Answers to Your Five Most Common Questions About Cat Behavior

Some say the world can be divided into two types of people: the ones who love cats and the ones who love dogs. I don’t know if that’s true, but I do think more people would enjoy feline companionship if they understood some of that “strange” behavior cats seem to be guilty of.

So to help cats make a better name for themselves with the dog lovers of the world, let’s look at why cats act so weird sometimes.

Why do cats run into one room then run back where they came from?

Cats, like dogs, have a lot of energy because they were meant to be hunters. Unlike dogs, cats in the wild don’t work with a pack – they have to be solely responsible for their own survival so they need plenty of energy to sustain them for hunting. And lots of what cats hunt – birds, mice, etc. – are pretty darn fast movers.

In a home, cats don’t get to use up as much energy so they expend it by running around crazily. It’s really not so weird – I’ve seen the same behavior in at least two of my dogs.

Why do cats “knead” everything?

Kneading is the term to describe the way a cat will push down on people or material then alternate paws – almost as if they were carefully working bread dough. Cats often do this before they lay down somewhere. And sometimes the process can go on for an eternity.

Cats do this because it reminds them of those long-ago memories of being a kitten. Baby cats have to use kneading to help the milk come from their mothers. That means kneading reminds them of being safe, warm, comfortable, and near their mothers. It’s a pleasant feeling for them and one they want to experience before lying down for a nap.

Why do cats rub up on everything?

Cat lovers often enjoy the soft feeling of their favorite feline winding between their legs or rubbing against their ankles. They are cuddly creatures after all. Of course, it feels good to the cat, too.

But that’s not the main reason your cat loves rubbing up on people, doors, and everything else. Cats have scent glands under their chin so when they rub up on you or things in your home that scent is being transferred onto the items. The cat is basically claiming you and the rest of the house in case other cats come in – she wants everyone to know that she rules the roost.

Why are some cats affectionate while others are aloof?

Like dogs, cats have their own distinct personalities which are shaped by early experiences. An adult cat that was held and petted a great deal throughout its life will grow up to be a friendlier and more affectionate cat.

There are also other reasons, too. For example, some cats will roll over on their backs so you can rub their furry tummies with your foot or your hand. The cats usually love this! However, cats will only expose their bellies to people they trust so one reason your cat may not be showing you enough love is that she doesn’t feel quite sure about you.

Plus, you can do your part to help the relationship along. Petting your cat behind the ears is always a winner! Because cats can’t reach this spot themselves, you’ll be doing your cat a big favor. Expect LOTS of purring!

Why do cats cover their bathroom?

Remember that cats were solitary hunters in the wild, and they are much smaller than many other predators which means they could be very vulnerable. In fact, one reason cats like to be in trees and other high places is so they can see their potential enemies coming.

If a cat in the wild would leave its bathroom exposed, then predators could use the smell to more easily sneak up on them. So cats learned a long time ago to cover their bathroom in order to prevent those surprise attacks. It’s just one of many habits cats have brought into the home from the wild.

And it does actually reduce odor in the home so it’s not so bad even if the cat does sometimes end up throwing litter on the floor.

And there you have it: answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about cat behavior. If you already love cats, you can now appreciate their quirkiness more. If you’re a dog lover, then maybe now you understand why living with a cat can be such an interesting and rewarding experience.

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