What's Up, Weirdo? Decoding Strange Feline Behavior
Cats make great pets, but not because they’re normal. Indeed, as most cat owners will tell you, one of the reasons they’re fun to live with is because they’re a bit odd. They keep strange hours, do some pretty weird things (when they’re not sleeping), and keep us guessing from one moment to the next.
While observing and interpreting feline behavior is a fantastic pastime, there could be more going on beneath the surface, commanding equal attention. Careful observation is key when deciphering whether a behavior is normal, or cause for concern.
Normal, but odd feline behavior
Once you have a baseline for what’s “normal” for your cat you can start to unpack some of the more puzzling features of their behavioral patterns. Some of the following may not surprise owners of cats, but are sure fun to review:
- Zoomies – Who doesn’t love waking up to the sound of your cat tearing up the hallway? While this boost in a cat’s energy can be explained by numerous things, the fact is that cats express themselves by running around, looking crazed. They also have superior eyesight, and are driven by instinct to hunt at night.
- Crashing Out – Cats require about 18 hours of sleep a day. They are crepuscular, meaning that they are most active during the hours surrounding dawn and dusk. Hunting takes a lot out of them (even indoor cats that use predatory play at home), and they need to regain energy through dozing.
- Chit Chat – This feline behavior typically occurs when they see prey that they cannot get to, such as an animal through the window. They may simply chatter in frustration, or they may be moving their jaws as they would when killing prey.
- Plastic Licking – While not all cats lick plastic bags or objects, many cats do. Perhaps it crinkles like the sound of prey, or it just tastes and feels good on their tongue. If you notice your cat doing this compulsively, please let us know. Pica, the act of eating non-food items, can be dangerous to their health.
- Trophies – This gross, yet normal, feline behavior shows your cat’s appreciation for you. Or, they may just think that you are a terrible hunter and they’re showing you how to kill. If you have questions or concerns about your cat’s nutritional needs, please let us know.
- Mine – Cats that hop up on your laptop while you’re working, or pawing at your newspaper are not subtly asking for your attention. They demand it, and you will give it to them (or they really will sleep on your keyboard all day!).
- The Shove – Are you tired of picking up broken glass or ceramic? There’s no rhyme or reason to this feline behavior, but we can assure you they aren’t doing it to make you mad.
What’s It All Mean?
Owners of cats are, by far, the experts on feline behavior. You know what’s normal for them, and what’s not. Because cats are notorious at hiding their symptoms, cat owners may not realize that their cats are ill or injured. Keeping a close eye on the ways your cat behaves and reacts is an important defense against developing problems.
Ruling out medical issues can lead us to consider behavioral counseling as a way to help you meet your cat’s needs. Please contact us to schedule an appointment. Advantage Veterinary Center is always here for you and your cat!