Why Does My Cat . . . Do THAT?

By February 14, 2018Behavior
grey cat with blue eyes

With a dog, what you see is what you get- a happy, waggy tail, a goofy look, a “drool”y muzzle.

But cats are an enigma, a mysterious conundrum wrapped up in furry puzzle that no one can figure out. They certainly have some strange habits that are bewildering to their owners. The top ten most commonly asked questions about cats are listed below along with an explanation of what the reason might be.

Why Do Cats Purr?

Purring is caused by the vibration of vocal cords due to neurological stimulation from brain activity. The purpose is unknown, but it does seem to be associated with pleasurable activity. Cats can also purr when they are sick or hurt. Purring also reinforces human response; people like hearing their cat purr so they pet it more. Cats usually purr when they are with someone they like or experiencing a pleasant sensation.

Why Do Cats Knead?

This instinctual behavior is left over from kittenhood when cats knead on the mother to stimulate the production of milk. In adult cats it can be a sign of contentment, a form of stretching, or a way to get attention. Kneading might also just feel good to the cat.

Why Do Cats Hate Water?

Some breeds such as the Turkish Van and Maine Coon are comfortable around water. For those that avoid water, it may be because of the way their fur is constructed and can become quite heavy when it gets wet.

Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?

One reason is energy conservation. They use a special kind of sugar to fuel their bursts of energy. It takes time to restore this energy. Cats sleep an average of 16 to 18 hours a day, but they tend to sleep in short increments of 10 to 30 minutes, hence the term, “cat nap.

Why Does My Cat Lick Me?

Many people believe their cat licks them as a sign of affection. That may be true, but cats can lick for other reasons. Just as they urinate on things to mark their territory, when they lick you or rub against you it’s a way of saying you belong to them.

Why Do Cats Dislike Car Travel?

Some people say the hardest part about a cat’s appointment at the vet is first getting them out of the house. Unlike dogs, cats don’t like to leave their familiar surroundings. Even the presence of their owners does not reassure them because in a new environment, like a car, which sounds and smells strange to them, they can’t know what might happen. Also, cats have a very acute sense of balance, so the car’s motion might upset them.

Why Do Cats Eat Grass?

Although cats are carnivores they do like to eat grass. While not fully understood, eating grass is a normal behavior. The general consensus is that it aids in moving food or hairballs through the digestive system, either up or down, since eating grass often results in vomiting. Grass may also provide cats with essential trace elements in their diet.

Why Do Cats Like Boxes?

It’s a matter of security. Cats like to hide and yet be able to see what is going on around them. Just like their ancestors 10,000 years ago, cats want to avoid being seen by their prey or chased by their predators. A box’s sides protect them while the opening gives them the opportunity to safely view the situation.

Why Do Cats Like Catnip?

Not every cat is sensitive to catnip which is an herb. Only about half of all cats are genetically disposed to respond to the active oil in catnip. It is not certain what part of the brain is stimulated by this ingredient, but it is not harmful and can be used to help increase their use of items like scratching posts. Found in many cat treats it can encourage play. The aroma of catnip is thought to be quite pleasurable to cats.

Why Does My Cat Bite Me?

So, you’re happily petting the cat who seems to be enjoying the activity when all of a sudden, he bites you. Sometimes called “Love Biting” or more formally, “petting-induced aggression,” it may occur for several reasons. The cat decides he wants to control the situation (known as status-induced aggression). Or after prolonged petting, a negative stimulus triggers the response. Or the cat may just be telling you he’s had enough. The trick is to recognize the subtle warning signs before the bite happens.

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