We help you understand cat behaviour, like why this cute cat stares so intently at its hooman.

Understanding Cat Behaviour – Quirky Much?


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Is weird cat behaviour no stranger to your furry bestie? Don’t panic, you’re not alone. As cat parents ourselves, we feel you. That’s why we’ve collected some info to help you understand cat behaviour, like why your cat loves to sit on you so often or stares at you so intently…

In this article we’re demystifying some of the strangest, seemingly inexplicable cat behaviour… From sitting on your laptop (when you need it) to squeezing into spaces seemingly smaller than they are, let’s explore understanding these quirky cat behaviours.

I knead you

Lying comfortably and kitty comes to cuddle? But wait, you (or the soft blankie) are being kneaded like dough now. The paws massaging the same spot repeatedly while purring. All with a glazed look in the eyes.

As kittens, cats knead the teats to release milk from their mother. Hi, mummy! As adults, they could be showing frustration or affection learned when they were little.

Either way, they’re saying they trust you. So how about a healthy treat to eat or a lengthy pat (until puss decides it’s time you stop touching them ASAP?!)?

Read our complete guide to why cats knead then watch this happy cat knead for 53 seconds straight…

Tail chasing

If little Bella is running in circles after her own tail, should you be worried? Yes, particularly if she’s also biting or scratching it.

She may simply be bored but she may have an infection in/on the tail or be experiencing hyperesthesia (which includes a tingling sensation on the tail). In which case make use of your cat insurance and head to the vet to get it treated.

If not, she’s just honing those hunting skills. It’s especially common in kittens who are still learning the difference between their own body and other objects around them. Too cute.

Want to understand even more cat behaviour – then read how to speak cat and unlock more of those meowser mysteries!

Sitting in all things small

Cats have a penchant for pokey places. They like the sense of security it brings. In the cooler months, it’s also warmer to snuggle up inside something tight.

Don’t feel offended if puss chooses a scrappy little cardboard box over the luxury cat bed you just gave her. Just lob more blankies into said bed to make it cosier or put the darned box inside the bed with good grace. She knows best, after all.

If you’re looking for a cool cat bed (for the box to go inside of course) then read our tips on cat gifts for winter.

Sitting on everything

Book, laptop, breakfast setting… it doesn’t matter to a meowser. If they want your attention and you’re busy with something, they know to sit right in its way.

If you’re not around and they’re sitting on your stuff then they may also just want something warm. When your lap isn’t available the laptop with its gentle hum will do. We’ve dedicated an entire article on cats sitting on laptops because it’s high up there on the list of understanding quirky cat behaviour.

They could also be marking you as their territory. They produce pheromones when they feel safe and secure and these can rub off on your possessions.

Be smart – set your devices’ lock screen to activate after a short interval to avoid pussycat pocket dials and unintentional kitty sends. Or you might have a hard time explaining why you WhatsApped your mom-in-law “asl;kfjas;;ldk,cccccccccccccccc” in the middle of the night.

We help you understand cat behaviour, like why your cat sits on you or stares at you so intently like this one.

Why does your cat stare into your soul?

Only one animal can outdo the loving dog-eyed stare and that’s a cat. Unsettling as it may be, your cat is just using you to practise on when she sits (or crouches) and stares unstintingly and unblinkingly into your eyes.

The ability to stare is tremendously useful for tracking fast-moving, fidgety prey like mice and is a natural cat skill. A stare doesn’t mean your cat is going to lunge at you, though keep a careful distance just in case.

Cats are complex and intelligent and can be unpredictable. But we don’t have to tell you that. In fact, understanding cat behaviour is all about having the know-how to decipher your cat’s sign language.

Read about cat body language for more on what your cat is really saying.

Why do cats bring dead animals?

Well, we hope it’s dead. If you’ve ever found a crunched cockroach or squished rat on your pillow and a cat sitting near it looking at you expectantly and lovingly then you know what it’s like to receive unwanted gifts.

Unfortunately, these aren’t the type of gifts you can exchange or get refunds for. They may also be valuable wildlife; in which case, read about cat collars and consider placing bells on them to alert would-be-prey.

Let’s call this one of the more grim aspects of understanding cat behaviour (because really, it means love)! Cats are, despite what some might say, very generous creatures. They’ll bring excess kills home to the colony.

If you don’t want it to happen again, don’t react. Acknowledging it with a voice gives your cat incentive to repeat the act and shouting confuses and upsets them. Wait a while and then remove the offending kill when kitty is out of the room.

Watch this PD Pet Care vlog for tips on how to help curb cat hunting:

Does a cat’s behaviour change after neutering?

Yes, your cat’s behaviour can change after neutering (or spaying in the case of females). Here’s how desexing your cat may (and often does) affect its behaviour:

  • Aggression. Helps reduce your cat’s desire to roam about in search of a mate, which helps prevent aggressive behaviour. Male cats are known to show less territorial and dominant behaviours after being neutered.
  • Spraying. Helps reduce urine-spraying behaviour in both male and female cats. Spraying is a way of marking territory and attracting mates, and it is often reduced or stopped after the procedure.
  • Hyperactivity. Helps reduce the levels of certain hormones in cats, such as testosterone, which can contribute to aggressive or hyperactive behaviour. Many cat owners report that their cats become calmer and more relaxed after being neutered.
  • Wandering. Unneutered male cats tend to be more prone to wandering and vocalising loudly, especially when in heat or searching for a mate. Neutering can reduce these behaviours and make kitty more content to stay at home.
  • Illness prevention. Desexing also provides several health benefits for cats. It reduces the risk of certain cancers, such as testicular and mammary gland tumours, and can prevent uterine infections in females.

Even though neutering can help change certain iffy behaviours, it won’t solve all of them. Every kitty is different, so individual differences that make them as adorable as they are may still exist.

Read more about pros and cons of choosing to spay or neuter your cat.

How to stop aggressive cat behaviour?

If you’re noticing your feline is becoming a little bit too feisty lately, almost bordering on aggressive, then you need a plan. Especially if this behaviour started evolving into swatting, biting, and scratching.

Here are some steps that you can take to stop aggressive cat behaviour…

The first step is to figure out why it’s happening. Understanding cat behaviour here is key and you may need a pet behaviourist to help you do this.

Is kitty feeling stressed or threatened? Is there something at home or the surrounding environment acting as a trigger, like a new pet or visitors at home? Understanding the cause of the behaviour can help you address it.

Once you know the cause, you can start to take steps to stop the naughty behaviour in its tracks. If stress is the cause then set up a safe space in your home where your puss can relax and feel safe. It wouldn’t hurt to fill it up with plenty of toys and a scratching post to act as a distraction and reduce stress levels.

We help you understand cat behaviour, like why your cat sits on you (like this one) or stares at you so intently.

Remain calm and use positive reinforcement

When your cat starts acting up, it’s important to remain calm and not yell or punish them. Instead, try gently redirecting your feline to a more positive activity like playing with a toy or scratching post.

Here’s why:

  • Playtime for mental and physical stimulation. Is your cat getting enough exercise and playtime? A bored cat can easily become frustrated and this could lead to aggressive behaviour. Read why playtime for dogs and cats is essential.
  • Reward based training for cats and dogs. Always reward your cat for good behaviour. If they’re gentle and calm, give kitty a treat or a cuddle. This will help reinforce good behaviour. Read how to do positive reinforcement training (and why it’s a great way to train pets).

By understanding the cause of your cat’s aggressive behaviour and taking the right steps, you’ll help stop it and keep your cat happy and healthy.

Why do cats sit on you?

Cats may plop themselves on your chest, your lap or any available area on you for various reasons. Here are some:

  • Warm snuggles. Felines are naturally drawn to warmth, and your body makes a cosy and comfortable place to curl up to. So while you read The Great Catsby let your cat sit or lay on your lap and soak up your body heat.
  • I love you, meow and forever. Cats often form strong bonds with their fav purrrson and sitting on you can be a way for them to show their affection and seek closeness.
  • I own you, duh. Sitting on you is Catalie Portman’s way of marking you as part of her territory. It’s a kitty’s way of claiming you as their own and feeling comfortable with you.
  • Meow is the time to play. Plonking, wiggling, sitting on you (whatever you’d like to call it) is just a play at your cat getting your undivided attention. So stop scrolling and start petting!
  • You’re…useful? Cats are naturally curious creatures and they often like to keep an eye on their kingdom. By your cat sitting on you, they have a higher vantage point and can observe their environment more easily! Practical, really.

Now you have a better understanding of cat behaviour like why your cat stares at you, find out know why dogs bark. If you’ve an appetite for learning new languages then be sure to also read how to speak dog.

Understanding cat insurance

Cat behaviour involves a lot of the unexpected. For that reason, having a quality and affordable cat insurance plan is a great way to safeguard your furry feline against unexpected incidents.

PD Insurance offers award winning, value-rich insurance plans that can cover your kitty in case of an accident or illness, and our Deluxe plan even covers dental. It’s a soft landing for when you need it most. Plus, if you sign up now, you’ll get one or more months of FREE pet insurance

If you’re new to pet insurance, here’s a big tip. If you start when your kitten is young and before any conditions rear their heads, they’ll enjoy broader cover than if they arrived with us with pre-existing conditions.

Get in touch today for great cover for your pet. Just click below and you’re away!

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