5 Odd Cat Behaviors Explained
Published on February 19, 2016
Cats are wonderful creatures, but as we’ve mentioned before, some of their habits can be baffling to us humans. Thankfully, animal behaviorists and other experts have theories and explanations for many of their mysterious habits.
To help you better understand your feline friend, we’ve got the scoop on five cat behaviors some people consider odd. You’ll find that many of these behaviors, like pouncing on you or slowly blinking at you, aren’t strange at all — they’re totally normal.
Pees on Your Bed
There are many reasons your cat might pee on your bed. When a cat urinates anywhere besides her litterbox, you should take her to the vet to rule out medical problems, like a bladder infection, that may cause her to associate pain with the litterbox or increase her need to urinate more often. If a medical problem is not the culprit, the issue could be anxiety related. Perhaps your cat doesn't like the location or size (or cleanliness) of the litterbox, or she could be having a social issue with a pet or family member in the household. Additionally, some cats will urinate on their owners' beds if their owners work long hours or travel. If you have concerns, talk to your vet.
Pounces on You
Does your cat seem to think the best toy in the house is you? Pouncing on you is usually normal behavior, and it’s something many cats do for play or attention. Though in some situations, a cat may pounce on her owner, because she’s agitated. If your cat's pouncing increases in frequency or intensity, it’s always a good idea to have your cat examined by your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health problems that may be contributing to the behavior.
Blinks Slowly at You
Has your cat ever looked at you, slowly blinked then looked away? Consider it a compliment! She’s probably telling you she likes you and is comfortable being around you. In the animal world, direct eye contact is often perceived as a threat or challenge, and if two cats were to show neutral or even friendly behavior toward each other, they’d typically avoid making direct eye contact. So when a cat slowly blinks at you, she could also be communicating that she’s doesn’t feel threatened by you.
The theory that all cats hate water is actually a myth. Though some cats are not fans of water, there are many who don't seem to mind it, and even a few breeds that are known for tolerating it. For instance, the Turkish Van is famous for her swimming abilities. So why do some — but not all — kitties seem to hate H20? Some cats’ presumed aversion to water may be due to an individual feline’s experience. Also, many cats don't have much exposure to water, since most owners don’t bathe cats as often as they might bathe a dog. If you’d like your cat to enjoy water a bit more, try using some positive reinforcement to reward any interactions with it.
Cats can spend anywhere from 15 to 50 percent of their time grooming themselves, and that’s considered normal. Grooming serves a few purposes: Your cat’s tongue and saliva help remove debris off fur, it can help your cat regulate her body temperature and it can be a self-soothing behavior. On the other hand, it can also be a displacement behavior used when your cat feels nervous or uncomfortable; she may prefer to focus on grooming rather than the stressor. Sometimes excessive grooming — particularly if it causes thinning or missing hair — can be a sign of a medical problem. Talk to your veterinarian if you have concerns.