Cats may be our furry feline friends and beloved by the internet, but learning their body language and trying to understand their needs is sometimes a challenge. Unlike dogs, which you can please really quite easily, cats can truly be mystifying! We’ve broken down ten common cat actions and just what they mean, so we can understand our feline family members a little better and move our relationships with them a little closer to ‘purrfection’.
1. Sprint Jump
This one might seem odd and may catch you unaware. Seeing your cat sprint as if they are being chased by something and then jump off places like your couch might make you jump out of your skin. The truth is, he/she is just burning off energy, getting some solid exercise and loving life. Don’t worry if you see your cat doing this, they know what they are doing and have a body built for bursts of speed! Think of it as the origins as an inspiration for Parkour, the sport that has humans running around and leaping off things, beautiful to watch, just not done as well as our feline companions can.
2. Rubbing against you
Cats like to rub against you for the same reason that they like to rub against furniture. Your cat is “marking” you with his/her scent, trying to get your attention and influence your actions. You are his/her human and he/she wants everyone to know it. Take it as a compliment, but also possibly an instruction! You feline friend could be bringing your attention to an empty food bowl or you may want to give that massage that has been missing from his/her day. Luckily your feline companion was able to correct your behaviour and get you back on track.
This is when cats look like they are kneading/making bread. This is a behaviour from their days as a kitten, when they would knead at their mother’s underbelly to stimulate milk production. It’s a calming movement for cats that helps them to feel relaxed as well! When your cat kneads on your body, don’t worry, they’re not expecting you to lactate, they’re just expressing the highest levels of comfort with their ‘parent’ and provider. It may hurt your lap or chest a little, but your cat likes you, win!
4. Uncovered Poop
A cats independence is one of the things that make them a pleasure to have as a companion in your life and that includes how they handle their waste. So when a cat is not covering their poop, it can be that they missed when they were trying to cover it. Alternatively if they just walk away from it without attempting to cover it, they are definitely trying to mark their territory and domain. Cats are never great with authority figures, whether feline or human, so they might do something like this after a situation that questions their dominance.
5. Twitching Ears & Tail Lashing
These are things to watch for. Twitching ears are a sign of anxiety and/or agitation, and its a sign to back off and leave them alone. Tail lashing shouldn’t be mistaken for wagging it’s tail like a dog, it’s definitely not like that and you should stop whatever you’re doing to make them wag their tails, including looking at them. Why would you anger them with your loving looks of devotion! All joking aside, they are both sure fire sign that they are close to the edge, if you get a combination of tail lashing and ear twitching, there could a naughty claw coming your way!!
6. Staring With Their Mouths Open
Possibly the craziest face that a cat will pull and they look a little loopy, but this is your cat doing a natural action called the “Flehmen response.” The reason for the open mouth is that the roof of their mouth allows them to enhance their ability to smell, helping them understand more complex scents than what the by itself can decipher. It looks like your cat might be curling its lips and has a crazed look on it’s face, but it’s doing something incredibly complex!
7. Little Meow
A little meow if their way of saying hello and greeting you, if you have an oriental breed, you more than likely have never heard this because it’s always a howling meow. But for the more delicate cats, it’s subtle, sweet and easy to understand. Cats will most likely follow the ‘little meow’ up by rubbing up against you. What a great thing to come home to! Did we mention that cats are proven to reduce stress!
How many times have you seen your cat staring out of the window at a little bird sat in a tree, clearly out of reach. Then, they just start to chatter to themselves and to the target of their ‘affection’. This is another sign of frustration and excitement when your cat isn’t able to get what it wants. It sounds a little weird for sure, but it’s a completely normal sound and can definitely raise a laugh when it looks like they’re chatting to their target.
9. Laying on stuff
When cats want attention, they’ll do everything they can to get your attention, and that means laying on your stuff and demanding that you play. We’ve all seen the internet memes of people using laptops and the cat just climbs up onto the keyboard and lays down. Put simply, if they are lying on the stuff that your hands are going towards, they are kindly letting you know that your hands should be going towards them!
10. Sleeping on your chest
You may feel like you’re being stopped from doing things when your cat is sleeping on your chest and that’s probably true. Cat’s love a captive audience to marvel at their beauty. But you should also take it as the highest possible honour when your cat wants to cuddle up on you. Security and of course warmth, as well as being able to feel your heartbeat, possibly the closest thing to a purr that we can muster!
We hope we’ve entertained you with our Kitty Cat facts! Come back soon for our Top Ten Dog Behaviours article!