Surprising behaviors in cats

Does your kitty surprise you on more than one occasion with his unexpected reactions? Feline behavior, many times, can be incomprehensible to the naked eye for humans. However, science has studied the why of these 10 strange cat behaviors.

Sucking fabric objects, sleeping in the sink, sudden attacks of madness or licking human hair are some of the examples of what you will discover in the next lines. Pay attention, because in some of the cases it will require a visit to the vet. We started!

  • You may also be interested: Why do cats walk between our feet?

Strange behaviors and their explanation

Of all the feline behaviors that attract our attention, we are going to focus on those that we consider to be the most recurrent and significant in order to detect possible behavioral disorders or physical pathologies.

1. Ask for food and then ignore it

Keep in mind that cats create a strong association between food and affection. Hence, the pedagogical value of snacks or sweets when we refer to positive reinforcement . If your pet insists that he wants food, meowing or rubbing against your legs, and then doesn’t eat it, don’t worry: he is simply claiming your attention .

2. Sleeping in the sink

The predilection of felines for narrow, roofed and inaccessible sleeping places is known to all. Their survival instinct leads them to take extreme precautions against possible predators. Washing, like a cardboard box, meets these requirements perfectly. Also, if it’s summer there won’t be a cooler place.


3. Biting cloth or themselves

Enjoying biting and sucking on cloth, especially wool, is common among cats that have been prematurely weaned. This is a clear indicator of distress . In some specimens it manifests itself only when they are under stress .

In others, on the other hand, it is a persistent practice and reveals a behavioral disorder, what specialists call stereotypy: a repetitive action without any purpose caused by the impairment of any of the 5 freedoms of animal welfare that we have already discussed on previous occasions .

Abandoned, crowded, or uncared for cats try to vent their chronic anxiety in this way . If they eat plastic or cardboard objects, we are faced with the so-called pica syndrome, an alteration that demands a quick visit to the vet. Biting your tail or nails while grooming yourself to injury also induces a picture of stress.

4. Bouts of madness

Is your cat sitting quietly next to you and suddenly runs off as if he had seen the devil? Do not be scared, most likely he is bored and needs to vent his excess energy . It is usually more typical of young cats or adults at night. Don’t forget to provide interactive toys or intelligence toys.

However, it could also be due to a massive infestation of external parasites. The itching is so generalized or localized in difficult-to-access points that it motivates this behavior in a clear attempt by the pussycat to mitigate its discomfort.

If you notice that, apart from the attacks of madness, his grooming is compulsive you should consult your vet. It could be neuritis or feline hyperesthesia syndrome . The skin on the back, from the shoulders to the tail, is raised and the animal believes that it has an object under the skin or that someone is chasing it.

5. Lick human hair

Your pet is emulating its parent, just like when it was a puppy and it licked it to keep it clean. Now, your pet repeats this behavior with you, because it feels safe by your side and, in this way, takes care of you. It is a clear manifestation of affection. You belong to his family group.

6. Scratching out of the sandbox

Your cat does not like the texture of the sand in his litter tray. In this particular way, by scratching the ground near the sandbox, he is trying to supply his instinct to cover the feces.

7. Biting plants

It may be due to boredom or the desire to eat food of a different texture, but most of the times when a cat bites plants it is due to its need to purge itself . Our recommendation is you have available at home catnip or catnip for its many benefits for felines.

Make sure they don’t have access to plants that are toxic to cats. Azalea, eucalyptus, ivy, hydrangea, lily, hyacinth, tulip, poinsettia and narcissus are some of them.

8. Dragging your butt across the floor

This behavior suggests that something is wrong. It may be because feces have adhered to your coat, if you have long or semi-long hair, or if you are having an episode of diarrhea.

However, it can also be due to an infestation of intestinal parasites or inflammation of the anal glands. In both cases, a visit to the specialist is mandatory.

9. Drink from the tap

Do you know that felines love to touch the water with their feet to check its freshness? Some prefer metal waterers while others only admit to taking it directly from the tap. It is the only way to consume it fresh, they think.

Plastic drinkers can distort the taste of the water to the liking of kittens. Therefore, the general veterinary recommendation is to replace the water in the drinking fountain several times a day or get a fountain for cats.

10. Put the paws on your face


If the pose is soft, it is an expression of affection. However, if he does it with force he could be bored and this would be his way of reproaching you. You should spend more time with it or try new games and try them out with it. He will appreciate it.

As you can see, cats mobilize countless surprising behaviors to communicate with us. Knowing them is essential to take better care of them and not stop being fascinated by their wisdom, don’t you think?

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