Don’t panic. This is normal for a cat.
Seen a feline doing something darn weird? We feel you. Here’s a list of odd cat activities and what they might mean.
Lying comfortably and kitty comes to cuddle? But, wait, you (or the soft blankie) are being kneaded like dough now, the paws massaging the same spot repeatedly while purring, with a glazed look in the eyes. As kittens, cats knead the teats to release milk from their mother. As adults, they could be showing frustration or affection learnt when they were little. Either way, they’re saying they trust you. So how about a healthy treat to eat?
If Mittens is running in circles after her own tail, should you be worried? Yes, if she’s biting or scratching it. She may be bored, have an infection on the tail or be experiencing hyperesthesia, which includes a tingling sensation on the tail. If not, she’s just honing those hunting skills. It’s especially common in kittens who are still learning the difference between their own body and other objects around them.
Only one animal can outdo the loving dog-eyed stare, and that’s a cat. Unsettling as it may be, kitty is just using you to practise on when she sits (or crouches) and stares unstintingly and unblinkingly into your eyes. The ability to lock their gaze is tremendously useful for tracking fast-moving, fidgety prey, like mice and is a natural cat skill. It doesn’t mean she’s definitely going to lunge at you but keep a careful distance just in case. Cats are complex and intelligent and can be unpredictable.
Cats have a penchant for pokey places. They like the sense of security it brings. In the cooler months, it’s also warmer to snuggle up inside something tight. Don’t feel offended if Sushi chooses a scrappy, little cardboard box over the luxury cat bed you just gave her. Just lob more blankies into said bed to make it cosier, sprinkle it with a little catmint, or put the darned box inside the bed with good grace. She knows best, after all. 😉
Book, laptop, breakfast setting, it doesn’t matter to a meower. If they want your attention, and you’re busy with something, they know to sit right in its way. If you’re not around and they’re sitting on your stuff, they may also just want something warm, and your lap wasn’t available, so the laptop with its gentle hum will do. They could also be marking you as their territory, as their body releases pheromones when they feel safe and secure, and these can rub off on your possessions. Be smart – set your devices’ lock screen to activate after a short interval to avoid pussycat pocket dials and unintentional kitty sends, or you might have a hard time explaining why you WhatsApped your mom-in-law “asl;kfjas;;ldk,cccccccccccccccc” in the middle of the night.
Well, we hope it’s dead. If you’ve ever found a crunched cockroach on your pillow and a pussycat sitting near it looking at you expectantly and lovingly, you know what it’s like to receive unwanted gifts. Cats are, despite what some might say, very generous creatures, and will bring excess kills home to the colony. If you don’t want it to happen again, don’t react. Acknowledging it with voice gives the cat the incentive to repeat the act, and shouting confuses and upsets a cat. Wait a while and then remove the offending kill when kitty is out of the room.
What weird things have your cat done that we haven’t listed here? Tell us on Facebook and show us a photo. You could help other humans better understand their kitties.
How you can support Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month...
Meet our April Vet of the Month
The surprising reason your cat loves TV
Dr. Prinsloo answers your pet questions (Part 2)
‘Golden Oldie’ Soft Treat Recipe
Are you ready for a high-maintenance pet?