Cats have strange hobbies. Some like to run around and around in circles, while others like to rearrange your shoes. And they love boxes. If you’ve wondered why cats have these quirky behaviours, wonder no more! We’ve asked our experts to unlock the secrets behind these unusual behaviours, and give you an insight into the world of your cat. The answers will surprise you.
WHY DOES MY CAT JUMP ON ME WHILE I’M SLEEPING?
Your cat is trying to send you a message. They’re letting you know that they want food, water, or just attention. If you don’t like your sleep being interrupted, here are two things you can do to calm them down:
- Slowly get your cat used to staying away from the bedroom while you sleep
- Provide your cat with an object that will calm them down, and distract them. Try a comfy blanket, or a toy that emits an ongoing heartbeat like sound
WHY DOES MY CAT LOVE BOXES?
Cats are silent and stealthy hunters, and they love to find places where they can watch their territory without being seen by others. For cats, boxes are such a place. These small spaces satisfy your cat’s protective instinct, and make them feel their environment is safe. To help your cat feel more comfortable, place a few boxes around the house for your cat to climb in. Try hiding a toy in one of these boxes, and watch your cat’s reaction!
WHY DOES MY CAT LIKE TO SIT ON THE COMPUTER AND THE TV?
There are two main reasons your cat likes to sit on devices of this kind. Firstly, TVs tend to be warm and comfortable for cats to lie on. Cats are also attracted to the moving image on the screen. They may not understand what they see, but the movement still piques their interest.
Secondly, sitting on your computer or TV could be a way for your cat to attract your attention. Your cat is trying to pull your focus away from the screen, and onto them.
A great way to test why your cat sits on these devices is to check your cat’s behaviour when you’re not in the room. If you find them sitting on the TV anyway, they probably just enjoy it.
MY CAT DOES NOT MEOW, IS THIS OK?
Cats make a wide range of sounds, from squeaks to purrs, and not every cat will meow. However, if your cat never meows this may be a sign of a problem. If you have an adult cat which never meows, take them to a vet for a check-up and talk about what you’ve noticed. If you have a kitten, squeaks and muted meows are more common. However, it’s best to still talk to a vet to make sure everything is normal.
WHY DOES MY CAT STEAL THINGS?
Stealing is a common cat behaviour, and it could occur for a wide variety of reasons. Here are the most frequent reasons why cats steal, and what to do about them. If the behaviour continues, we recommend you take your cat to the vet.
Reason 1: Attention and Play
Your cat may steal to attract your attention, especially if you reinforce this behaviour by providing your cat with a lot of negative attention after it steals. They may see stealing as a form of play.
What to do: Give your cat another way to play. Pet puzzles, toys, and an interesting environment can all help with this behaviour. For even better results, try and establish a daily playtime routine. This will keep your cat interested, and out of trouble.
Reason 2: Predatory Instinct and Environmental Stimulation
Your cat may steal as a result of its predatory instinct. Objects like pillows or slippers take the place of prey that your cat has killed and brought back. As part of their hunter instincts, your cat may be looking for different textures to bite and chew, as a form of environmental stimulation.
What to do: Provide a more interesting environment for your cat to play in. Make sure to include plenty of toys and environmental features with different textures. Your cat will need places to chew and scratch, and objects to move around, to satisfy its predatory cravings.
Reason 3: Stress
Your cat may steal because they are stressed, and taking objects helps to relieve that feeling.
What to do: Read up on the signs of stress in cats. If the behaviour continues, seek the help of a vet.
WHY DOES MY CAT JUMP ON HIGH SURFACES? WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT?
It will probably come as no surprise, but this is yet another manifestation of your cat’s survival instincts! Cats are always looking for the best space to get out of harm’s way while observing the world around them. When they are high up, they can see what’s happening nearby while being safe from potential dangers on the ground.
You can’t stop your cat searching for safety, so the best way to protect important surfaces is to encourage your cat to jump up somewhere else. Cat shelves and cat trees are popular items that allow your pet to be safely high up in your home. If you’re trying to attract your cat to an alternative spot, here are three things that can help:
- Place your new shelf at a height and position that allows your cat to see the whole room, and jump up or down with ease
- Make the space warm and comfortable for your cat to rest on
- Encourage your cat to enter this space by giving them a special new toy that stays in that spot
WHY DOES MY CAT LOVE WATER?
Many cats love water – on their own terms. They like to approach water at their own time and pace, and hate being forcibly wet. Cats are most attracted to water that appears in forms that they would naturally expect in nature. You may have noticed your cat drawn to water fountains, or licking leaves after rain. That’s because moving water and water droplets are the way cats would have been able to access water in the wild. Naturally, water in a bowl will be a less attractive option, but they also can’t see it as clearly. If you’re worried about keeping your cat hydrated, see our appetite and drinking tips.
What about washing your cat? When your cat needs a clean, don’t use the shower or splash water. Cats prefer a nice bath, drawn at about the same temperature as you would be comfortable with. Give your cat time to enter the water, and let it dip its paws in for a test. Each cat will approach the water differently, so give your cat time and try different approaches to coax your cat into the bath.
WHY DOES MY CAT PAW, MEOW OR BUTT ITS HEAD AGAINST ME?
Your cat wants a bit of quality time! The amount of attention your cat needs will vary depending on their personality. For some cats, a gentle pat or movement may be enough. Others will want to be played with, or given a treat. It’s best to start with minor forms of affection that will not overwhelm your cat.
Your cat may also perform certain actions you have rewarded in the past. For example, if you give your cat a treat when it meows or comes to play with you, expect your cat to exhibit these behaviours much more often in hope that you’ll continue to make it worth their while!