Our cats often engage in curious behaviour that baffles us. This article will help you decode both the unusual and common cat behaviours so you understand and bond with your pet better.
Cat Not Using the Litter Tray
One of the top cat behaviour problems involves the litter tray (or rather not using it). There are various reasons your feline friend will skip doing her business in it:
- She does not like the type of litter you used.
- The litter tray location is undesirable to your pet.
- The litter tray is not clean or as clean as your furry friend wants it to be.
- There is not enough litter in the litter tray.
- The litter tray is too small.
- Another cat or pet is sharing it.
- Your cat has a urinary tract infection (UTI) or feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD).
Abrupt Changes in Cat Behaviour
Sometimes, cat behaviour changes happen out of the blue. Your pet may be shy or aggressive all of a sudden. A number of those behaviours are troubling indicators of underlying issues. These are the most common reasons for such changes:
- Stress This can be responsible for sudden bouts of lethargy or excessive vocalisation. Stressed cats can also be unusually quiet and withdrawn. They may also become too aggressive to their humans and other pets in the home.
- Ageing The energy levels of senior cats are not as high as they used to be. They are also more likely to be affected by various illnesses. As such, they are likely to be more sedentary and may also display sudden behavioural shifts.
- Physical ailments Gastrointestinal illnesses, dental problems, diabetes, leukaemia, kidney disease, feline immunodeficiency virus, cancer, hyperthyroidism, and parasite infestation can affect feline behaviour.
- Separation anxiety Although occurring less amongst cats, separation anxiety can make lonely felines vocalise a lot more than usual.
- Depression Cats do get depressed. When they do, they lose their appetite or overeat and become withdrawn. They can sleep too much or be affected by insomnia. In some cases, diseases can trigger feline depression.
When you notice sudden changes in your cat’s behaviour, you should have her checked by the vet.
You may also like:
- Is My Cat Depressed? Natural Remedies and Solutions for Cat Depression
- Why Is My Cat Hissing?: All Your Questions Answered
Cat Showing Her Belly
Be careful not to humanise cat body language. Doing so can set the stage for future cat behaviour problems.
Take the belly-showing gesture, for example. When your cat rolls over and exposes her belly, she is not inviting you to rub it. In some instances, this behaviour can mean a sign of friendly approval. In other occasions, it can translate to the cat getting ready to fight. Such a gesture allows all four paws and claws ready to pounce at potential threats.
Also, the belly display is your cat’s way of stretching out. This is still not a good time to touch her. How would you react if you gave your arms a good stretch and someone tried to pat you on the chest or back?
Cats may bite you gently or aggressively. The gentle nibbles are called ‘love bites’ and are usually done when your cat bonds well with you. The gentle biting can also be her way of telling you that she is overstimulated (e.g., you are petting her too much).
With the more aggressive cat biting, this is done as a result of fear or territorial aggression. Sometimes, it could be that your cat is playing too roughly with you. She may have not yet learned to gauge her bite strength.
Cat Bringing ‘Gifts’
Domestic cat behaviour is not compatible with bringing home animal gifts, so you think. However, feline pets do this in imitation of their mother cats, which brought them food when they were kittens.
When your furry buddy drops a small dead rodent or insect at your door, it is just her way of giving back. Your cat may also be doing it so you can help her keep her surplus catch for later consumption.
She may also bring home such gifts because you are her favourite human. Do not be surprised if this grand gesture is accompanied by vocalisations and other showy gestures as the cat is trumpeting its cleverness.
Another possible reason for this cat behaviour—and a brow-raising one too—is that your pet thinks you are a poor hunter. She is doing the hunting duties on your behalf so you do not ‘starve.’
Cat Reaction to Human Meowing
Purring, meowing, and yowling are typical cat behaviours. But when you respond to your cat’s vocalisation, in the same manner, she will not be impressed. That is because cats use meows to talk to humans, not with other felines. Although as kittens they communicate with their mothers by meowing, they use growls, hisses, and squeals with other cats.
That being said, when you meow at your cat, she will not understand what you are saying. If she responds, she is probably remarking, ‘Cat got your tongue?’
Want to know more about cat behaviour? Check out more cat blog posts!