Have you ever wondered why cats behave in a certain way? If you’re a cat owner, chances are that you’ve seen your cat do all kinds of strange, unexplained cat behaviors — like stare and blink at you from across the room, or butt her head against you, or massage his paws against your leg.
Believe it or not, your cat isn’t just being silly. Each one of these behaviors actually has a meaning, and in many cases, even reflects the way your cat feels about you and your relationship.
Here’s a look at the real reasons behind four of the most common cat behaviors.
1. Staring and Blinking
Do you ever get the feeling that you’re being watched, only to look up and see that your cat is staring at you, with an occasional slow blink every few seconds?
Every cat behavior stems from your feline’s wild, undomesticated past. As predators, cats are wired to be constantly on their guard. In the jungle, if you even blink, you put yourself at risk. When cats blink at you, they’re really showing you that they’ve reached a comfort level where they trust you and feel comfortable in your presence.
Those blinks are tantamount to cat kisses that they’re sending you to show their love and devotion. You can return those kisses by blinking slowly back at your cat. This will be interpreted as a mutual sign of contentment and love.
Cats usually stare for two reasons: either they’re curious about what you’re doing, or they want something from you.
2. Head Butting
It’s always adorable when your kitty butts his head against you, but what is he actually doing?
Cats have scent glands along their mouths and cheeks that enable them to mark their territory with their own scent, so they’re essentially marking you as their property and confirming that you belong to them. When they do this on objects and furniture, they’re confirming that the objects are all part of their world. It’s proprietorial, but in a zen, one-with-everything kind of way.
In the cat world, head butting is also a sign of comradeship and affection (that’s why they often butt heads with each other). When your cat butts her head against you, it can also be a sign that she’s very fond of you.
Have you ever seen your cat rubbing her paws into a blanket as if she were giving a massage? This captivating cat behavior is called “kneading” because it looks like they’re kneading bread. In reality, this action replicates the way that kittens push their little paws against their mother’s tummy while they’re nursing. The action actually stimulates milk flow.
In many cases, cats knead to show that they’re exceptionally contented and satisfied with life, so if your cat kneads against you, take it as a great compliment and sign of affection.
4. Bringing Gifts from Afar
If your cat has ever brought you a dead bird or a rodent carcass — or (if you’re lucky) merely a favorite toy, don’t show disgust. You’ve been gifted with an important lesson in survival. Cats are wired to hunt for food. They’re convinced that your hunting skills are probably lousy, and you’d never survive in the wild. They’re actually showing that they’re concerned about you, and that you need to get on the stick if you don’t want to starve. In this respect, it’s actually a token of affection; so no matter how disgusting the “gift” from the great outdoors might be, it’s best to react with surprised delight.
One important note: if your cat spends a lot of time outdoors, it’s important for him/her to be on a regular regimen of heartworm medication. Heartworm tablets are an affordable way to prevent dangerous heartworms (and other parasites) from infesting your cherished pet. Thanks to Allivet, you can buy Heartgard online, as well as Comfortis and other types of discount pet medication to help your cat live a long and healthy life.
You might not always understand what your cat is trying to tell you; but the important thing to remember is that, in many ways, you’re the whole world to your cat. She looks to you not only for food and shelter, but also for love and companionship. By showing her the love and affection she craves, you’re being the best cat parent you can possibly be. You’ll most likely be rewarded with the best gift your cat can give – a lifelong love and devotion.