understanding cat behaviors
|

Understanding Cats 101: All You Need to Know About Cat Behaviors

What is your cat trying to tell you? Are they feeling anxious or upset? Or do they want something from you? Are they in pain?

Cats are mysterious. They are affectionate, cuddly, independent creatures who often have their own agenda but will never turn away from attention when they want it. I am sure we can all agree that their behaviors can be hard to understand at times. Finding out what the cat is trying to tell you can make life together more enjoyable and less stressful for both of you!

This blog post will cover cat behaviors and their meanings so cat owners like you can decode the messages coming from these lovable creatures!

What is cat behavior?

First, let’s start with understanding the basics of cats. Cats are a species that is unique in many ways. They communicate not only through sounds but also by their body language and facial expressions. This means understanding these cat behaviors can help you better care for your pet and understand them on an emotional level!

Cats have different ways they act depending on their mood. Therefore, it is essential to understand how they feel and know if they may have a reason for the behavior or how they would like to interact with you.

For example, some cats show interest by purring, while others may rub up against your leg when they’re happy to see you arrive home again after work!

The most important thing to understanding cat behaviors is understanding the different moods that they can have. That way, you can better understand what your pet needs and how best to provide for it!

Why understanding cat behaviors are important

Understanding behaviors in cats can help cat owners best care for their feline friends. It teaches you how to “understand” their language, and it gives them a sense of trust in your care for them. Cats are masters at controlling thoughts, but they need humans to take the lead in protecting themselves.

Cat behaviors are also important because they can indicate several health issues such as stress, illness, and more! Cats are not able to express themselves through words. If you learn to identify these behaviors, it can help understand the cat’s health and best for them.

The seven common cat behaviors and what they mean

Cats are mysterious creatures with a slew of behaviors that can be hard to decipher. However, cat owners need to know what their cats are trying to tell them, and this blog post will help you do just that! Whether your kitty is over-grooming or meowing excessively, we’ll go over the most common behaviors, so you’re never confused again. 

Cats rubbing against you to mark their scent

When cats rub against you, they mark you with their scent and tell other cats that this is “their person,” and no one should mess with you. 

A cat may rub against you if they want pats too! It can also signify a “thank you” in some cases as well. Cats who feel safe with their owners will often do this, while those who fear humans may only exhibit this behavior.

Cats meowing at people or objects to “say” something

If your cat meows at people or objects but does not seem distressed, they are probably just trying to communicate something to them! Cats may meow to tell you that they enjoy watching the birds from the windowsill, for example.

A cat may also do this if it wants something! For example, if your pet is meowing at a family member while they’re eating dinner, then chances are they want some of their food as well.

When my cats meow, they’re typically hungry or looking for some playtime. But, sometimes they just want attention after going potty and make noise too!

Cats over-grooming themselves might be a sign of stress.

Cats typically groom themselves daily to keep their coats healthy. But if they start to groom themselves excessively, then it could be a sign of stress!

Cats may over-groom when they are anxious about something, in particular, that is happening or anticipatory anxiety before traveling, for example.

If your pet is over-grooming due to being anxious or stressed out, try providing them with some extra cuddles and attention. It is also essential to understand what’s causing it in the first place! Eliminate the stressor and observe the behavior. If this is something you cannot manage, time to seek professional help from a vet.

Cats purr because they are contented.

A cat will purr when they are happy and content. It is a sign of happiness, bonding, and comfort. They will also purr when they are nursing, eating, and grooming themselves.

When my cat starts to exhibit these behaviors, it means he’s ready to be rubbed. Yes, he usually purrs even BEFORE we touch him. He does it in anticipation of being rubbed and pet.

Cats may also produce this sound to heal themselves from their injuries and illnesses as well! If you’ve noticed they tend to purr for no reason and you observe a change of behavior (e.g., hiding, no appetite), it would be best to consult with a veterinarian right away!

Cats engage in kneading behavior when they’re happy

Kneading behavior is a typical cat instinct, and it’s likely to happen when they are happy. When cats knead, their claws extend out on the surface of whatever they’re on (e.g., your lap).

This action can be comforting for both you and them! It can also mean that he wants more attention or food in some cases as well.

Cats with arched back

If your cat has an arched back with bristled fur, this means she’s feeling aggressive and wants to fight. Or, it can also signify that she is feeling scared.

In these cases, keep an eye on your cat’s movements and make sure to remain calm. Try to slowly back away, but not too quickly. Remove the thing or animal that is causing him stress, and distract your cat’s attention to something else if possible.

If your cat is just feeling aggressive and doesn’t want to fight, then you may gently pet her on the head or chest. This should calm them down, and they will return to normal behavior after some time passes by.

Cats growl and hiss

Cats can be territorial and will hiss, growl, and swat if they feel threatened or are fearful. Doing this is their way of defending themselves and showing dominance over other pets or objects. So don’t be surprised if your cat is still hissing at an inanimate object. He’s just feeling threatened.

Cat Behaviors by Action

In this section, we are going through all the possible behaviors demonstrated by cats and their meaning. This portion is like a dictionary. If you are only looking for a specific action, go through the content table and click on the relevant topics.

Cats are mysterious creatures with a slew of behaviors that can be hard to decipher. However, cat owners need to know what their cats are trying to tell them, and this blog post will help you do just that! Whether your kitty is over-grooming or meowing excessively, we’ll go over the most common behaviors, so you’re never confused again. 

Cats rubbing against you to mark their scent

When cats rub against you, they mark you with their scent and tell other cats that this is “their person,” and no one should mess with you. 

A cat may rub against you if they want pats too! It can also signify a “thank you” in some cases as well. Cats who feel safe with their owners will often do this, while those who fear humans may only exhibit this behavior.

Cats meowing at people or objects to “say” something

If your cat meows at people or objects but does not seem distressed, they are probably just trying to communicate something to them! Cats may meow to tell you that they enjoy watching the birds from the windowsill, for example.

A cat may also do this if it wants something! For example, if your pet is meowing at a family member while they’re eating dinner, then chances are they want some of their food as well.

When my cats meow, they’re typically hungry or looking for some playtime. But, sometimes they just want attention after going potty and make noise too!

Cats over-grooming themselves might be a sign of stress.

Cats typically groom themselves daily to keep their coats healthy. But if they start to groom themselves excessively, then it could be a sign of stress!

Cats may over-groom when they are anxious about something, in particular, that is happening or anticipatory anxiety before traveling, for example.

If your pet is over-grooming due to being anxious or stressed out, try providing them with some extra cuddles and attention. It is also essential to understand what’s causing it in the first place! Eliminate the stressor and observe the behavior. If this is something you cannot manage, time to seek professional help from a vet.

Cats purr because they are contented.

A cat will purr when they are happy and content. It is a sign of happiness, bonding, and comfort. They will also purr when they are nursing, eating, and grooming themselves.

When my cat starts to exhibit these behaviors, it means he’s ready to be rubbed. Yes, he usually purrs even BEFORE we touch him. He does it in anticipation of being rubbed and pet.

Cats may also produce this sound to heal themselves from their injuries and illnesses as well! If you’ve noticed they tend to purr for no reason and you observe a change of behavior (e.g., hiding, no appetite), it would be best to consult with a veterinarian right away!

Cats engage in kneading behavior when they’re happy

Kneading behavior is a typical cat instinct, and it’s likely to happen when they are happy. When cats knead, their claws extend out on the surface of whatever they’re on (e.g., your lap).

This action can be comforting for both you and them! It can also mean that he wants more attention or food in some cases as well.

Cats with arched back

If your cat has an arched back with bristled fur, this means she’s feeling aggressive and wants to fight. Or, it can also signify that she is feeling scared.

In these cases, keep an eye on your cat’s movements and make sure to remain calm. Try to slowly back away, but not too quickly. Remove the thing or animal that is causing him stress, and distract your cat’s attention to something else if possible.

If your cat is just feeling aggressive and doesn’t want to fight, then you may gently pet her on the head or chest. This should calm them down, and they will return to normal behavior after some time passes by.

Cats growl and hiss

Cats can be territorial and will hiss, growl, and swat if they feel threatened or are fearful. Doing this is their way of defending themselves and showing dominance over other pets or objects. So don’t be surprised if your cat is still hissing at an inanimate object. He’s just feeling threatened.

Cat Behaviors by Action

In this section, we are going through all the possible behaviors demonstrated by cats and their meaning. This portion is like a dictionary. If you are only looking for a specific action, go through the content table and click on the relevant topics.

Why do cats meow
Understanding cat behaviors – Why do cats meow

Cats meow for a few reasons. They may be hungry, looking for some playtime or attention after going potty, and sometimes just to show they’re happy! There is no cause of worry if your cats are very vocal and meow at your several times a day.

However, if they started being vocal suddenly, keep an eye on him and see if he showed other signs of stress or illness.

Why do cats purr?

Cats purr because they are content and happy. They also purr when they’re nursing, eating, grooming themselves, or while relaxing in your lap. Cats may also produce this sound to heal themselves from injuries or illnesses as well!

Why do cats knead?

Kneading is a calming, reassuring behavior that is linked to the mother-kitten bond. Kneading may also signify contentment, show the cat’s dominance over a person, or even be seen as a form of showing gratitude. 

In most cases, it is harmless and can be enjoyed by the owner, who feels loved and cared for in return. It should only be discouraged when excessive kitty kneading causes physical or mental pain for humans.

Why do cats hiss?

When a cat hisses, it does it because they are frightened or threatened.

Hissing is a typical cat warning behavior, mainly directed at unfamiliar animals, people, and inanimate things like an area that’s been marked by a cat as its territory.

Why do cats crouch?

A cat crouches to protect its vulnerable underbelly. They’re most likely to exhibit this behavior if they feel unsure or threatened. Cats also crouch to avert being seen and to pounce from short distances. It’s simply an instinctive response to seeing prey. They do that sometimes during playtime as well.

Why do cats hide?

Understanding cat behaviors - Why do cats hide
Understanding cat behaviors – Why do cats hide

Cats usually hide because they are frightened or stressed. Cats will seek to be as invisible as possible when they feel threatened. Their first line of defense is typically a hiding place where they can escape from the reach of aggressors before pouncing on them.

They might also hide when they’re injured or sick because their instincts tell them to stay still and avoid being detected by predators.

Why do cats rub against people?

Cats rub against people because they are marking them as the owner. Cats will do this to show that an area is their territory, and it’s a form of scent-marking. They also rub against their owners to show affection.

Why do cats arch their back?

Cats will only arch their backs if they feel threatened by something. It’s a way for them to protect their necks from being bitten.

Why do cats scratch furniture?

 Cats scratch to sharpen their claws and remove the outer protective coating on their claws. Sharper claws allow cats to catch small prey more efficiently, while the claw’s unique design helps cats climb trees.

We know that scratching is a significant cause of furniture damage in households. Still, it should be understood as a natural behavior for house pets. You can use deterrents like double-sided tape or plastic wraps to discourage cat scratching indoors. However, the best way is probably consistency and patience: reinforce good behavior by feeding the kitty his favorite treats when scratches on designated surfaces.

Why do cats spray?

Domestic cats spray when they feel threatened by something. It’s essentially a form of cat aggression that can quickly turn into a habit.

In addition, cats will spray to mark their territory and establish boundaries with other animals in the house. These are often multiple sprays that signify an attempt at claiming two territories. Cats may also spray when they’re stressed out by something else, like a new cat or dog entering the household.

Why do cats hunt?

Cats hunt small animals like rodents, birds, and insects. This is because cats are natural predators. It’s an instinctive behavior that they do for survival, and it can be hard to resist even if you want them to stop hunting outside the home.

Why do cats sleep all day?

Cats are very skilled predators, and they hunt a lot at night. Cats are crepuscular, which means they hunt during the twilight hours, sunrise, sunset. During most of the daylight hours, cats rest to be fully energized to do their best foraging in the dark time (when it is safer).

Cats usually sleep 16-18 hours per day because this mimics their hunting cycle!

Why do cats groom themselves?

Cats clean themselves with their tongues to remove dirt, oil, and dead skin cells. Cats also groom themselves when they are stressed out or distracted by something else because it’s a way of coping with anxiety.

Cat behaviors by body language

Cats are fascinating creatures. They have their own language that is difficult to understand for humans. It can often be hard to tell what they’re trying to communicate. This section aims to help cat owners decode the body language of cats to understand them better!

Cat’s tail language

Tail wag – Cats wag their tails to communicate affection, curiosity and that they are not angry or frightened.

Tail tucked between legs – A cat with a tail between its legs may be trying to avoid a fight because it feels threatened. It is also an instinctive response to show submission. If the animal doesn’t want a fight, he’ll try his best to appear less threatening.

Tail fluffed out – A puffed-out tail is a cat’s way of telling you that he feels threatened. It may also mean that your kitty doesn’t want to be bothered by anything and wants some space!

Cat’s ears language

Ears pointing forward – A cat with its ears pointed forward is listening to something, but it’s not necessarily a sign of aggression or fear. It could also mean that your cat has picked up on your excitement and wants you to give some attention!

Ears flat – Ears that are flattened back can indicate fear, aggression, or submission in a cat. In this case, your pet will probably try to avoid contact with people and animals surrounding him.

Cat’s eyes language

Dilated pupils – Dilated pupils, are one of the first signs of cat aggression because it shows your cat’s readiness for a fight (they need more oxygen when they are in fight mode).

Eyes wide open – If a cat’s eyes are completely and evenly opened, it means that the animal is very relaxed. It could also mean that your kitty has been startled by something!

Eyes closed – Cats sometimes close their eyes when they are tired or feeling affectionate. When a cat’s eyes are wide open with dilated pupils, he is probably frightened by something and trying to see what it could be!

Cat’s mouth language

Mouth closed and relaxed – If a cat has his mouth open and relaxed, he probably feels comfortable around you. It could also mean that your kitty is trying to cool down by panting!

Panting – Cats will often have their mouths slightly open when they are hot and/or tired or stressed. Panting is a way for cats to cool themselves down, so if you see this behavior, it means that your cat needs some water or maybe overheating!

Mouth opened wide – A cat with a mouth that is open and stretched will probably be hissing. This means your kitty feels threatened and defensive!

Cat behaviors by their meanings

In this section, we give you the overall body language of cats when they are happy, scared, and sick. In this way, you may be able to better understand your cat’s behavior by going through the list.

How do cats behave when they are happy and relaxed?

Purr – When cats purr, it means they are very content and relaxed. It is often a sign that your cat feels safe around you or recognizes you as part of their “family.”

Tail upright – If your cat holds their tail upright, it means that they are feeling confident and happy!

Rubs against you – Cats rub their faces along objects or people to mark them with their scent. It’s a sign of affection for the object or person they are rubbing up against (including humans).

Head butt – Head-butting is a sign of affection in which your cat presses her head against you as a way to communicate trust and love.

Kneading – When cats knead, they show that they feel very comfortable around their human companion or other animal friends! It’s also the equivalent of purring (it could be seen as “happy humming”).

Show his belly – Cats often expose their belly when they feel very safe and comfortable in the presence of someone.

The “slow blink” – The slow-blink is a sign that your kitty trusts you or feels content around you. It’s a way for your cat to show you affection!

How do cats behave when they are scared and alert?

Hide – If a cat is hiding, it means that he feels frightened or threatened by his surroundings. It’s the feline version of “playing dead.”

Panting – Like when they are excited, cats might pant when they feel scared and/or stressed. This behavior can also mean that your kitty needs some water!

Ears flat back – Ears that are flattened back can indicate fear, aggression, or submission in a cat.

Eyes wide open with dilated pupils– If a cat’s eyes are completely and evenly opened, it means that the animal is very relaxed. On the other hand, it could also mean that your kitty has been startled by something!

Mouth closed but tense – If a cat has his mouth closed but tense, it’s the opposite of relaxed. It means that your kitty is extremely stressed and might be ready to attack someone or something!

Hissing – Cats will often hiss when they are afraid of something or feel threatened. It can also be a way for cats to communicate with other animals and humans in their environment!

Alert stance – When cats stand upright on their back paws, they will often have their ears up, whiskers out, and tail straight in the air. This means that they are alert to something: either a threat or prey.

How do cats behave when they are sick?

Lethargic – If a cat is lethargic, it means that he might be very tired or sick. It could also tell that your kitty isn’t feeling well!

Hunched over – When cats are in pain, they will often hunch their backs as a way to protect themselves from the source of the pain (or make themselves look smaller to predators).

Mouth closed but tense – If a cat has his mouth shut but tense, it means that he is not feeling well. He might be sick or in pain!

Excessive grooming – Grooming is a way for cats to take care of themselves and remove parasites, dirt, or dead hair from their bodies. Cats who are trying to groom too much might be either sick or in pain!

Eyes closed/discharge around the eyes– If your kitty has her eyes closed all the time and has discharge around her eyes, it means that she is very sick.

Ears back – When ears are flattened back against a cat’s head, it usually means that he feels stressed or threatened by his surroundings. However, sometimes this can also indicate illness! If your kitty’s ears are constantly flat like this over an extended period of time, it might be a good idea to take him in for an exam.

Whiskers pulled back – If your kitty’s whiskers are pulled back, it means that he is feeling very stressed or anxious. It could also mean that he is sick!

Dilated eyes – Dilated pupils in a cat can mean that he is sick or feeling threatened.

Closing thoughts

Understanding cat behaviors is vital because understanding how they behave can help you better understand your cat’s needs. While cats are not very expressive animals, understanding their behaviors should help us detect when something is wrong with them or need some kind of attention.

Takeaway

Understanding cat behaviors is important because understanding how they behave can help you better understand what your cat needs. Cats are very not very expressive animals, but understanding their behaviors should make it easier to identify when something may be wrong with them or if they need attention of some kind.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.