People who own cats know that sometimes, the pet’s actions don’t make any sense. Animal lovers accept their cat’s quirks without really knowing what they mean. Trying to understand a strange cat behavior or figuring out what a cat is thinking can give you a headache.
For instance, a common house cat sometimes head-butts its owner. This behavior is called “Bunting”. When the cat rubs its head and face against its owner, it looks like an expression of affection. But then you see that the feline does the exactly same to your furniture and other household objects. What’s that about?
It’s been said that cats rub their heads and butt against people and objects to “Mark their territory” by imprinting their smell in whatever their want to establish as theirs. That’s partly true. Cats rub against each other to show friendship as well. It’s not only to mark something or someone as their property.
Some felines will “Knead” you with their paws as a display of love. This is because, when they were fed as kittens, they used the same motion to help generate a good flow of milk from their mother’s. By kneading the owner while being petted, the cat shows that he adores the human he consider his “mother”.
Other times, cats seem to turn against their owners. A lot of cats get too excited when they receive attention, so they scratch or bite the person who is petting them. They don’t do such a thing to be mean or because they want to fight. It’s their way of letting the human know that they want the petting to stop, for the time being. Constant physical contact can turn uncomfortable for the feline after a while, especially since too much petting can build up static electricity.
So, what to do if the feline gets upset while you pet him? First of all, you should let the cat seek you whenever he wishes to be petted. Do not impose yourself. Then, pay attention to indications that your cat wants you to stop petting him. He might show signs of tension. His tail might begin twitching or his years might flatten. To get your cat to enjoy petting, you should give him treats when you hold him. And keep in mind that some cats don’t like being stroked on the back, but enjoy scratches behind the years and on the chin.
Some cats chew on random inedible things or eat plants. You should know that it’s normal for a cat to eat grass, but consuming too much grass can work as laxative and make your cat sick. Felines may eat grass for the fibers, and to help clean the hairballs in their stomachs. You shouldn’t be concerned about it, unless your cat eats so much grass that he winds up vomiting. You should simply make sure that your pet can’t access to any toxic houseplant.
The problem is that some cats also like to eat inedible things such as electric cords or plastic bags. That action is called “pica” and can be dangerous. You must stop such behaviors by impregnating stuff with a substance that’s repulsive to cats, or by putting any harmful object away from the feline’s reach. It’s pointless to punish your cat or to yell at him when you see him chewing something he shouldn’t. Your beloved pet will simply try to eat dangerous objects when you are not home.
Another thing that makes cat owners go crazy is when the feline tears furniture of shreds. Cats love to scratch furniture. But they don’t do it to have fun. They actually need to scratch something on regular basis in order to keep their claws healthy and sharp. A lot of people respond to such behavior by declawing their cats. However, animal welfare organizations such as the ASPCA advise against such practice. Moreover, declawing surgery is actually illegal in some areas because it involves the amputation of part of the feline’s toes.
A much better solution is to give your cat a scratching post. Until your pet gets used to his scratching post, discourage him from tearing apart your furniture by putting double-sided tape or sandpaper wherever the cat stands when he scratches something he shouldn’t. You can also cover your furniture or put the objects you care the most out of the act’s reach. If the cat continues to scratch stuff he shouldn’t, you can put plastic caps over his claws or trim his nails regularly.
Another issue is that some felines urinate everywhere except their litterbox. It is not normal for a cat to do such a thing. It’s a sign of illness or emotional stress. It might indicate either an obstruction in the urinary tract or a bacterial infection. If this is the case, the cat is refusing to use the litterbox because he now associates using it with suffering pain. Moreover, it could be a liver or kidney disease what’s causing your pet to urinate more often than usual, which causes incontinence. You should take him to the vet immediately.
If the vet says that there are not medical reasons for your pet’s inappropriate urination, you should consider emotional causes for the cat’s actions. Many of the same things that stress humans are sources of stress for cats. For example, your cat may not use his litterbox because there’s a new pet or a new baby in the family and feels jealous; because you travel often for your job; because you have recently remodeled your home or you argue constantly with your spouse. The cat may have an urinary disease that was aggravated by the emotional stress in his life.
An additional strange thing some cats sometimes do is to play with water coming out of taps or to lay in a sink with water. Some cats even try to jump into the bathtub with their owners or play with the water in the toilet. That’s simply because, while most cats prefer being dry and hate water, others find water very amusing.
In conclusion, show your cat the respect it deserves by making an effort to understand him. Cats can’t talk, but their behavior is telling you everything you need to know.