At first glance it might seem like all your cat does is sleep. While it might be true that cats sleep around 75% of their day away, it is what they do with the other 25% that sometimes baffles their owners. Suffice to say if you were only awake a handful of hours during the day or night; you would probably do some crazy stuff too. When cats are awake they tend to have some energy to burn and sometimes the burning of this energy leaves the people in their lives confused or amused. Here are a few common behaviors that seem odd to some owners:
Q. Why does my cat have to knead everything like dough before lying down?
A. Because it is a habit or a comforting habit that they picked up from their mom. When kittens are nursing they knead their mother with their paws in attempts to get more milk or to keep it flowing. Cats continue this behavior because it is either a habit or it comforts them.
Q. Why does my cat rub his head all over my feet, ankles and pants legs?
A. Simply put, your cat is marking you with her scent. Cats have numerous scent glands in their face and rubbing them along you and your clothes releases pheromones from those glands that mark you with her scent. While your cat is showing affection, she is also staking her claim to you with her scent.
Q. Why does my cat wake up in the middle of the night ready to play?
A. Cats in the wild hunt prey at night so your cat is likely genetically programmed to be her most active during night time hours. They have also been asleep for so long during the day that they wake up ready to pounce on you or shadows in the night. This behavior is perfectly natural, but it can be a tad on the annoying side if you are a light sleeper. Try getting some interactive toys and encouraging your cat to play a bit before bedtime to get rid of some of that extra energy.
Q. Why does my cat run around the living room several times in a row?
A. Cats will often create a series of moves and jumps as she travels around the perimeter of the room. Sometimes they will repeat this behavior several times in a row and then run it backwards before stopping suddenly for a nap. Cats do this because they are honing their predatory skills. They are enjoying the thrill of the hunt during these moments. Interestingly enough, cats are creatures of routine and will engage in repetitive behaviors while stalking their territory, whether it is the plains or prairies or your living room!
Q. Why does my cat put her toys in her food bowl?
A. In the wild cats typically bring trophies or possessions back to their nesting areas to keep them safe. Your cat is probably taking her favorite toys to the safest place she knows of within the house. Often, this ends up being her food and water containers. Your cat finds comfort and security in obtaining food from her bowls and likely views them as safe.
Q. Why does my cat flatten her ears and hiss when I am petting her?
A. Your cat is simply letting you know that she has become uncomfortable. Perhaps she initially enjoys petting, but grows tired of it after a certain period of time? Perhaps she is trying to let you know that you are petting her too vigorously and need to be gentle? Perhaps she is telling you that she simply is not in the mood for petting at the moment? Each of these options are possibilities, but owners should try not to read too much into this behavior. Your cat still loves you; she is just setting a boundary.