You love your cat very much but there are probably a few behaviors that leave you scratching your head. These are the behaviors that don’t seem to make any sense. Even though you may not be able to figure out why your cat displays some odd behaviors doesn’t mean they aren’t functional or serve a very logical purpose. Here are seven things that make sense to your cat… but not necessarily to you:
1. The Jekyll and Hyde
The set-up for this behavior: your cat jumps into your lap and curls up. He may even rub up against you as if he’s asking to be stroked. You start petting him, he purrs with delight and then after a few minutes he hauls off and swats you. What gives? Has your cat turned into a Jekyll and Hyde? Although this sudden change in attitude seems to come out of nowhere, it’s a relatively common behavior in some cats who reach their tolerance threshold when it comes to being petted. The behavior, known as petting-induced aggression, happens when a cat gets too stimulated from the constant petting or his body language signals have gone unnoticed. He feels the only way to get you to stop is for him to scratch or bite. To avoid this behavior in the future, pay attention to signals your cat is giving off that indicate he may be reaching his limit. Typical signs include skin twitching, tail lashing, cessation of purring, shifting body position, ears pointing backward, meowing.
2. The Nibble and Puke
This happens to some cats who are allowed outdoors. Many cats enjoy eating grass and will sit in the grass, doing their best sheep impersonation. After a few minutes of munching the greenery, you hear that familiar sound of a cat about to vomit. Many cat guardians even grow some kitty greens for their indoor cats’ munching pleasure and in most cases, it results in having to do a little post-puke clean up afterward. So just why do cats like to eat something that almost always causes them to puke? There are several theories among experts but no one really knows for sure. One theory is that a cat uses the grass as a way to address an upset stomach. Some cats may also munch on grass to help them vomit up hairballs that aren’t passing through the stomach.
3. The Paw Dip
Why does your cat dip his paw into the water bowl and then lick the water off instead of just drinking the normal way? It doesn’t seem to make sense to humans but it’s a very practical behavior from a cat’s point of view. In some cases, the cat chooses the paw method if the water bowl is too deep or too narrow. Cats have long whiskers and they don’t like getting them squished. Dipping the paw makes it more comfortable. A cat in a multiple cat household may resort to paw dipping as a matter of safety if there’s tension in the home. He may not feel comfortable enough to lower his head into the bowl which will obstruct his view. If he needs to keep an eye on any opponents, then dipping his paw is a better method. Finally, if you don’t keep the water level consistent, your cat may develop the habit of paw dipping if he has trouble determining where the water line is.