WEIRD CAT HABITS AND THE REASONS BEHIND THEM
I love my cat, but it does some weird things. From going literally crazy when there is a cardboard box left open, to staring at me like it wants to kill me from corners of the room. I wish there was a way to communicate and ask him what is going on. Until scientists invent a device which lets us converse with our felines, we will have to settle for these explanations for strange cat behaviour.
MAKING STRANGE NOISES AT BIRDS OUT THE WINDOW
Every afternoon, when the birds are dipping in and out of the birdfeeder I hang outside, my cat sits on the other side of the window with its mouth open making a weird clicking noise. Scientists think that this is instinct and they do it in preparation for hunting, and eventually killing their prey, brought on by the sight of the prey within hunting distance.
DRINKING FROM THE TAP, DESPITE HAVING PLENTY OF WATER IN THEIR BOWL
Every time I turn on the tap, my cat is there light a shot. Sometimes he will just sit in the bathroom staring vacantly at the drips, hoping running water will appear by magic. This is likely to be a hangover from their evolutionary stages. Drinking running water was likely to be safer as it would have been less polluted than stationary, stagnant water. Through natural selection the cats who preferred running water may have lived longer and had more opportunity to reproduce, thereby leaving plenty of cats around today which share the same preference.
RANDOMLY DOING SPRINTS
One minute my cat is happily sitting on the sofa, suddenly, without any prompt, it sprints across the room like Usain Bolt. It wouldn’t be so bad if it only did these “random house sprints” (as I like to call them) in the day, but my kitten frequently jumps off my bed in the night and tears round the house like a banshee.
Scientists believe this is just a cat’s way of relieving pent up energy. The energy can manifest itself suddenly and this sets them off on a set of random house sprints.
It’s always the same, you’ve been on your feet all afternoon at work, finally get home and sit on the couch with a newspaper, then Bam! The cat jumps up, leaving the lifestyle section a crumpled mess on the floor, and proceeds to headbutt your chin over and over again.
This is the cat’s way of greeting you and telling you that they trust you and feel relaxed in your company. They are rubbing their pheromones on you as a sign of affection. He or she wants the world to know you are their human. It’s basically like tagging you in a Facebook post for the world to see you two are mates.
KNEADING THE PILLOW BEFORE GOING TO SLEEP
A cat’s bedtime ritual is a lengthy process. It starts with circling the pillow, then kneading it with its paws, before finally laying down and getting some shut-eye. They likely learnt the kneading from their mother. When they were kittens they probably had to knead their mother’s belly to get her to let them have some milk, and have carried it on and applied it to situations where they feel content and comfortable before bed. They also push their scent into the bed with their paws. It is just their way of making their bed
BRINGING YOU DEAD MICE AS PRESENTS
The morning delivery of a dead mouse next to the bed is a strange way to say good morning (if only I could train it to bring me breakfast and a cup of tea instead). But it is intended as a nice gesture. Your cat likely wants to say thank-you for feeding it, and is offering to share the spoils of its night-time hunt with you. In the wild, cats will bring extra food from a hunt back for their kittens. If you don’t want her presents, you can be sneaky and attach a small bell to her collar. She’ll never be able to sneak up on a mouse again.
Does your cat have some strange behaviours you can share with us?