A few years ago I wrote a post about a strange behavior my cat does and what it means. I covered why do cats head butt us. Technically this behavior is called head bunting and according to several cat behavior experts, it is specifically used to denote the bond your cat has with you, that they are being social, that they feel comfortable and/or are being friendly. So yes your cat is loving you while simultaneously owning you, all by smashing their head into you.
As I have continued on my now fourteen-year journey with my domestic shorthaired tuxedo cat, more strange behaviors have caused me to question, why does my cat do that?
Besides head bunting, here are three other behaviors that I found odd and explored the reasons why they do them.
Why does my cat knock things off of counters and tables?
My dogs have benefitted from this practice particularly when it has been food-related. They have received baked goods, marinated chicken and a host of other items that would normally sit on a kitchen counter. Why in the world is my cat sharing with the dogs?
After researching it appears to be there are many reasons why cats knock crap off our counters. They range from curiosity, playfulness, related to play drive, or even a brazen attempt at getting our attention. The latter being the more likely, especially in my house. But as a pet sitter, I have certainly seen cats knock their fair share of stuff on the floor, many item glass or porcelain that I am left cleaning up.
Why does my cat chatter at flies and birds?
If they were out hunting in the wild, this noise seems counterintuitive to being a stealth hunter. Much like knocking things off our counters, the behaviorist jury is still out on this behavior too. The reasons range from predator behavior to frustration to even excitement. I think announcing oneself with a chattering noise makes less sense than making the noise out of frustration because there is a window or inability to catch what the cat so desperately wants. I’m certainly not an expert but I’m leaning towards frustration and excitement, like a dog that whines when they want something.
Why does my cat blink slowly at me?
This is my favorite behavior that my cat does, especially after I learned it means she is being affectionate and trusts me! Think about it, taking your eyes off of something, or in this case, long blinking which decreases your ability to see definitely seems to mean the animal trusts you. Learning that cat behaviorists believe it to be a sign of affection sweetens the deal. Here’s the even cooler part which I am going to try, try slow blinking back at your cat, I’d be curious to hear what happens. Drop us a comment and share your experience.
Our feline friends do some funky things. I had fun learning that some of them are indeed weird ways of saying they love us. I’ll have a greater appreciation for my long blinking cat and be more accepting of her head butts, not sure I can let my guard down with the kitchen counter. That’s a sticky point, and I am not certain if I want to promote the behavior by having a safe item for her to knock over. Having dogs in the house complicates the issue. I will make certain to give her more attention.
And speaking of attention, have you checked on your cat’s health lately? After taking our online pet first aid & CPR course, I know that cats tend to hide injury and illness way better than any dog. So while they certainly are not nearly as demanding of our attention, they certainly deserve it.