18 Behaviors Explained to Understand What Cats Really Mean

18 Behaviors Explained to Understand What Cats Really Mean

Most of us have at least one cat in our lives, and we think we know them pretty well. But do we really know what our feline friends are trying to tell us?

1. Why do cats nibble on you?

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Sometimes while playing, your cat starts to nibble. He grabs your hands and at the same time pushes on your arm with his paws.

Even though this gesture is a game to your feline, you mustn’t encourage it. Reprimand him immediately:

Tap him gently on the end of his nose without hurting him so that he understands his error but does not feel under attack.

2. Why is my cat sniffing everything?

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Your cat spends a lot of time sniffing plants, bushes and even trees. He’s using his keen sense of smell to try to pick up the scent of urine of one of his fellow creatures.

Each scent he picks up is memorized. The animal can then easily recognize a cat whose scent he’s smelt before. When he was young, he recognized his mother by her scent alone.

3. How do I know if my cat is greeting me?

Cats have a really specific body language. To greet one another, they approach one another really slowly at first.

If everything goes well, the two cats end up touching noses, gathering precious information through their keen sense of smell. For example they learn if the other individual is male or female.

4. What does it mean when my cat is licking itself?

A cat that is happy in himself is perfectly relaxed and wants to spend time with his master. When he licks a human, he’s showing his affection.

Through this simple gesture, he is expressing that he considers him a family member. In practical terms, he’s showing the cat social ritual of affection towards a human.

5. How do I know if my cat is restless or excited?

Does your cat wakes you up every night? Does he run all over your house and seem all excited? The reason for this is simple: cats are nocturnal animals that are used to hunting when the moon is high.

This behavior is common if your feline spends the day time alone. He will have slept during the day and will be ready to have fun all night.

6. Is weight gain bad for cats?

A cat starts to get fat when his nutritional intake is greater than the energy he expends. This phenomenon is common among greedy domesticated cats.

Sterilization can also lead to significant weight gain. In any case, you should watch your companion’s food hygiene and having him monitored by a vet.

7. Why does my cat keep on drinking water from the tap?

Although his water bowl is full, you might catch your cat drinking water from the tap. This behavior is easy to explain.

Either the water in his bowl isn’t fresh, or the cat simply wants to have fun getting water from the tap.

You could change the water in his bowl, but your feline may continue to help himself directly from the source.

8. Why does my cat or kitten suck on wool?

You’ve only just got your kitten and you notice he’s sucking your woolly jumper or your skin. Your pet is imitating the nursing gesture and trying to reassure himself.

This behavior is common when the kitten has been separated from his mother too early. It’s advisable to wait at least 6 weeks before separating a feline from his mother.

9. Why does my cat keep on Rubbing on me?

A cat that is looking for his master’s attention can do so in various ways. In particular, he may rub up against his legs. This gesture indicates that he considers him to be in charge.

He therefore needs to coax him to get what he wants. It’s what’s known as a “cat caress”, in other words a caress with an ulterior motive: your cat is trying to get something from you.

10. What does it mean when my cat is Rolling on his/her back?

If you catch your cat rolling on the ground, check she’s not in heat. If she is, she’s making it clear to her partners that she’s available and wants to mate.

She generally accompanies this gesture with a throaty sound: she’s moaning to attract attention.

11. How do I know if my cat is Stretching and why does he/she do that?

A cat generally has a long stretch after waking up. Straight after rounding his back, he lowers his front legs and draws back.

He’s stretching his paws, claws and neck all at the same time. This position stimulates his blood circulation and reactivates his sense of touch.

12. Why does my cat keep on Yawning?

Among other species, yawning may be a sign of nervousness, but for a cat it expresses a certain well-being. A cat yawns when he’s calm and relaxed. He generally ends his siesta with a yawn to stretch his jaw muscles. He uses this time to come round and wake up peacefully.

13. What does a Round back posture mean with cats?

A cat spends most of his time sleeping. When he wakes up, he feels the need to stretch. He does what is known as “rounding his back”.

The feline puts his paws together and pulls on the rear ones while rounding his back. This gesture allows him to awaken his muscles gently. He’s preparing his body for his next activities: playing, hunting, running…

14. Why does my cat pee on the sofa or furniture?

You’ll certainly have noticed that your cat has urinated on your sofa, carpet or even your clean linen. Your feline is stressed and feels the need to mark his territory.

He’s reassuring himself by leaving his scent through his urine. Until you’ve determined the cause of his anxiety, you can reduce his territory to a single room.

15. Does a cat mother trust her kitten to humans?

Don’t trust a mother that is protecting her young. She’s capable of anything and would give her life to save her kittens. Generally, she positions herself in front of her offspring and growls while spitting at whatever she perceives as an intruder. If the enemy comes too close, she attacks, pouncing at him.

16. When do I know if my cat is Frightened?

When your pet feels threatened, he’s stimulated by a release of adrenaline. His pupils dilate, his eyes fix on his enemy and his tail is raised, slightly bristled.

He may also round his back to appear bigger and heavier. The animal is trying to intimidate and provoke whatever is frightening him.

A frightened feline will try to intimidate his enemy no matter what. He curls up and draws his ears back. He growls and shows his claws.

The greater the danger he feels, the louder the growling. The feline may even start to spit. He’s ready to pounce to defend himself or run away.

17. When do I know if my cat is defensive?

A frightened cat may react in several ways. If the animal wants to hide his fear, he stands on all fours and starts to round his back, with his tails and coat bristled. He positions himself slightly to the side in order to trap his enemy. This position clearly shows that the cat is frightened, but that he’s ready to defend himself.

18. What does it mean when my cat tries to balance him/herself?

When your feline sits up in the air on his rear paws, he wants to reach something that’s intriguing him. It may be a simple object or a family member. Whatever it is, this position is what your companion uses to attract your attention and get what he wants.


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