Left pawers, laptop lovers, and other quirky cats we adore.
Does your cat behave in ways that seem a little...odd? Cats' peculiar habits have driven people to adore them - and sometimes, to fear them - for thousands of years.
We love our cats and all their unusual mannerisms, but it's important to decode the weird things cats do so you know what's normal-crazy for a cat vs. what needs your intervention.
Here are ten eccentric cats and why they act the way they do.
Butting - or bunting - happens when a cat lowers its head and bumps against you. There are two schools of thought on why they do this. The first is that they are claiming things (or people) by rubbing their pheromones - those chemicals cats secrete through their glands - on them. The second theory is that butting is a way to show affection. Either way, if your cat does it, take it as a sign of love.
The laptop lover.
Cats and computers seem magnetically attracted. What fascinates an animal about an inanimate object that doesn't provide food or feline-friendly amusement? Probably nothing. They just want your attention or are soaking up the heat. You can curb this behavior by offering the cat a comfortable place to snuggle next to you.
Earlier this year, LiveScience did an article entitled "If Your Cat Swats with Its Left Paw, It's Probably Male." A study done at Queen's University Belfast's School of Psychology says 73% of cats have a definite paw preference. Most male cats are left-paw dominant while most females prefer using their right paws.
You may notice your cat making an odd chattering sound while chillaxing in the window near the bird feeder. It could be the sound of a predator about to leap on its prey, or it could just show sheer excitement at seeing the birds. One theory suggests that cats are imitating monkeys to set the birds at ease during the hunt.
The bread baker.
Kneading is another of life's little mysteries with cats. We know most cats do it, but there's no clear reason why. Feline experts generally explain this weird cat behavior by saying it's similar to the way kittens draw milk from their mothers.
This behavior can get creepy. Cats were gifted with those luminous, mysterious eyes that glow in the dark, and when they turn them on you, it can cause a shiver. In the wild, cats stare into the dark to catch a glimpse of their prey, but in our homes, they're probably just showing interest in whatever it is their humans are up to now.
The plague that stalks the darkness.
As YouTube's Cole & Marmalade show in their video, cats love to prowl at night. While humans lie in bed, our feline friends are meandering through the house, clattering and caterwauling. Why can't they let us sleep? Most cats enjoy a midnight romp simply because their natural circadian rhythms keep them awake late at night and early in the morning. Some cats, however, have a rambunctious nightlife because they don't get enough exercise during the day. Try giving your cat a little more active playtime, and see if she calms down.
The belly baiter.
You know how cats show their bellies so fetchingly? Don't your fingers just ache to scratch them there? If you've tried it, you've probably gotten a scratch or bite. Unlike dogs who appear to think belly scratches are the best thing since tennis balls, most cats find fingers on the tummy frightening. They only show the belly as a sign of trust, not an invitation to play. Some cats, though, do enjoy a nice belly rub. Go in cautiously!
The litter box leaver.
Most cats cover their leavings after doing business in the litter box. When some don't, it could be a medical problem. Declawed cats, those with injured paws, and cats suffering from urinary tract infections may find digging in litter too painful. Alternatively, not covering droppings could be a behavioral issue. Maybe the cat doesn't like the litter, or the box could be too small. The Modkat XL is perfect for bigger cats that need more room. If your cat doesn't cover up, mention it to the veterinarian.
Cats can turn their houses topsy-turvy, knocking vases, lamps, cups of coffee, and even lit candles off tables. At first, our little hunters are probably trying to figure out if the knickknacks in the living room are prey. By the time they've realized your antique vase isn't going to dart off, they've also learned that a good push on it can bring you running. As an alternative to sweeping up the pieces of your favorite items, make sure your cat has plenty of toys, gadgets, and games to keep her entertained.
Most odd cat behavior has some kind of logical reasoning behind it. If you are concerned, talk to your vet or to a certified cat behaviorist.
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