1All cats purr, hiss, and arch their backs.
What do these cat behaviors mean? They are simply ways to communicate, just like a cat’s meow. Each unique cat’s behavior has meaning. Some cat behaviors are driven by physical needs. Some characteristics are just part of being a cat.
2All cats and many humans take catnaps.
Cats can fall into a deep sleep at almost any time of the day or night. These naps may last from a few minutes to several hours. Cats sleep up to sixteen hours per day. This is much more time than other animals spend, and there is no known cause for this cat behaviors.
When afraid or menace, cats will puff up to look big to their enemy.
3Cats are most springy in the morning and evening.
The morning and evening times are better for chasing and hunting. Even house cats that have never chased and hunted real prey pursue this manner.
4Cats are self-cleaning animals.
They groom themselves every day. Felines use their rough tongues and moist saliva to rubbing their coats and to keep them shiny and free of dirt. Because cats are incredibly supple flexible, they can reach any part of their bodies except their heads and faces. Cats lick their paws and rub them over these areas to clean them.
A cat’s tongue is rough, perfect for grooming its fur.
5Grooming also helps calm a cat.
Cats often groom if they are under stress. If a cat is upset or even bored for long periods, it might groom itself to the point of causing bald spots on its body. When a cat grooms, it eats small amounts of fur that it coughs up later as a furball. Also, you can use grooming gloves to brush away dirt and loose hair from cats and dogs and give them a soft and relaxing massage.
6Cats are territorial animals.
They mark their territory by spraying urine. A cat can smell another cat’s markings and can even tell how fresh they are. Domestic pets trained to use a litter box, as a rule, do not spray their territory except if they are stressed. For example, if another pet comes into the household, a previously litter-trained cat might begin to spray.
A domestic cat also marks its territory with smell glands on the sides of its face. This is why cats keep rubbing their jaws against walls, furniture, and even people. Cats also bump heads when they welcome each other or humans they like. Bumping heads is a sign of acceptance and affection.
7Angry cats hiss.
This is an unmistakable warning to keep away. A cat facing a threat will arch its back to make itself appear larger. Its fur will bristle and puff out. An aggressive cat stares directly at an opponent and rotates its ears. All these signs mean the cat is better left alone.
When a cat is angry, it will hiss at its foe to alert it to stay off.
8A cat that is nervous or shy crouches down and tries to make itself appear smaller.
It also flattens its ears against its head. A crouched, quiet cat is showing submission, but the cat is still ready to spring into action and defend itself in a split second if it is attacked or threatened.
9A happy, friendly catwalk in a slow pattern with its tail raised.
It may greet a human with any number of friendly noises, such as a chirp or a gentle meow. More than 20 separate cat voices have been documented. Each sound is a form of communication. With a few exercises, cat owners can understand these voices. For example, the exigent yowl of a hundred cat can barely be mistaken.
This cat is communicating happiness to its owner by bumping its head against her.
Kittens are very curious and that what gets them sometimes into trouble.
10One unique feline sound is the purr.
All cats, even the big cats, purr. Scientists think that the form of communication used by cats mothers to comfort their kittens. Perhaps this is why cats purr when being petted or groomed. Cats also purr when they are in pain, unwell, or afraid. Cat experts believe purring is caused by vibrations in a cat’s vocal cords and diaphragm (the muscle used to breathe).
11Cats can be mysterious creatures.
They are very independent, but they are also loving pets. Their cat behaviors are fascinating to watch and can be understood with experience. Feline ways may be frustrating to humans but are part of a cat’s charm.
The kneading instinct in cats never goes away. When a cat touches smooth material, such as a blanket, it often instinctively begins to rub-down the material with its paws. Cats even knead their human companions. For example, a cat will knead his or her legs when sitting on a person’s lap. Some animal experts find that this action soothes the cat.