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Apr 4, 2023 | Our Blog

Understanding Cat Behavior: Why Cats Do What They Do

Written by Paul James

Cats have been domesticated for thousands of years, but they still maintain many of their wild instincts. Understanding cat behaviour can help us better care for our feline friends and create a happy, healthy home environment for them.

  1. Why do cats scratch?

Cats have a natural urge to scratch, which helps them to stretch their muscles and keep their claws healthy. It’s also a way for them to mark their territory and communicate with other cats. Providing your cat with a scratching post or pad can help redirect their scratching behaviour away from your furniture.

  1. Why do cats knead?

Kneading is a common behaviour in cats, where they push their paws in and out against a soft surface, like a blanket or your lap. This behaviour is often associated with contentment and relaxation, as it’s reminiscent of the kneading motion kittens make when nursing from their mother.

  1. Why do cats purr?

Cats purr for many reasons, including when they’re happy and relaxed, when they’re seeking attention, and when they’re in pain or distress. The vibrations of a cat’s purr have been shown to have a calming effect, both on the cat and on humans in their presence.

  1. Why do cats meow?

Meowing is a form of communication for cats, and they use different types of meows to convey different messages. Some meows are requests for food or attention, while others are warnings or expressions of discontent. Paying attention to your cat’s meows can help you better understand their needs and wants.

  1. Why do cats groom themselves?

Cats are fastidious animals, and they spend a significant amount of time grooming themselves each day. This behaviour not only helps to keep their fur clean and healthy but also serves as a form of stress relief and a way to regulate body temperature.

  1. Why do cats bring us gifts?

Cats are natural hunters, and bringing their owners “gifts” like mice, birds, or insects is a way of showing their hunting prowess and sharing their spoils. While this behaviour can be unsettling for some owners, it’s important to remember that it’s a natural instinct for cats.

  1. Why do cats hide?

Cats are solitary animals by nature, and they may hide when they feel threatened or overwhelmed. Providing your cat with a quiet, private space where they can retreat when they need to can help them feel safe and secure.

  1. Why do cats rub against us?

When cats rub their bodies against us, it’s a way of marking us with their scent and claiming us as their own. It’s also a way of showing affection and seeking attention.

  1. Why do cats stare?

Cats have a reputation for being mysterious, and their tendency to stare can add to this perception. However, cats often stare as a way of assessing their surroundings and determining whether there’s a potential threat or prey nearby.

  1. Why do cats sleep so much?

Cats are crepuscular animals, which means they’re most active at dawn and dusk. However, they also sleep for long periods throughout the day and night. This behaviour is a holdover from their wild ancestors, who needed to conserve energy between hunting and foraging.

Understanding cat behaviour can help you better care for your feline friend and strengthen the bond between you. By paying attention to their body language, vocalizations, and habits, you can provide a safe, comfortable, and stimulating environment that meets their needs and enhances their quality of life.

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