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Cracking the Code: Understanding Your Cat’s Behaviors and Habits

Cat Behavior and Habits: Understanding Your Feline Friend

Cats have captivated humans for thousands of years with their mysterious and unpredictable nature. Despite being one of the most popular pets in the world, many cat owners are still confused by their feline friends behavior and habits.

In this article, well take a closer look at the various aspects of cat behavior and habits to help you better understand your furry companion.

Cat Behavior

Rolling Over

Have you ever seen your cat roll over and show its belly to you? This is a sign that your cat feels safe and trusts you.

Rolling over also serves as a subtle request for attention. When a cat rolls over and exposes its belly, its also marking its scent on you and your surroundings.

A cats scent glands are located on the belly, and by rolling over, your cat is leaving its scent and claiming you and your home as its own.

Presenting Its Butt

Cats have a strange habit of presenting their butt to their owners or other felines. This behavior is commonly referred to as elevator butt because it looks like the cats butt is going up and down like an elevator.

When a cat presents its butt to you, its actually showing you a sign of affection and compliment. This behavior is similar to a human handshake or hug.

Its also a way of greeting another cat or establishing familiarity with a new feline friend. Butt-sniffing is a normal cat greeting behavior and helps them gather information about the other cat.

Covering Poop

Cats are instinctively clean animals, and they are very particular about where they go to the bathroom. When a cat covers its poop, its actually a sign of respect for the other cats in the home and a way of establishing territory.

Its important to keep your cats litter box clean and in a quiet, private location to ensure they continue to use it properly.

Covering Food

Have you ever observed your cat covering its food after a meal? This behavior is actually rooted in their instinct to hide their food from other predators.

In the wild, cats cover their food to keep it safe from other animals and to save it for later. While cats dont need to hunt for their food in domestic settings, this behavior still persists.

Eating Plastic

Its not uncommon for cats to chew on plastic items like bags or toys. While cats enjoy the texture of plastic, it can be dangerous and potentially life-threatening.

Chewing on plastic can lead to choking or blockages in their digestive system. Providing safe chew toys for your cat can help satisfy their chewing needs while keeping them safe.

Eating Grass, Leaves, and Plants

Its a common misconception that cats are carnivorous and dont eat plants. In reality, cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they need meat to survive, but they also benefit from eating small amounts of plant material.

Grass contains enzymes that help cats break down food in their stomach and can also add trace nutrients to their diet. However, some plants are toxic to cats, so its important to do your research and ensure the plants in your home are safe for your feline friend to eat.


Have you ever seen your cat make a snarling face and curl its lip back? This behavior is called the flehmen response, and its a way for cats to smell and process pheromones.

When a cat detects pheromones in urine or feces, they will often sneer to get a better read on the chemical signals.


Have you ever had your cat wink at you? This behavior is actually a sign of affection and a way for cats to communicate non-threat signals.

When a cat gives you a slow, deliberate blink, its similar to a human smile or nod of the head. Its a way of saying I feel safe with you and expressing trust and affection.

Kneading and Treading

Cats have a unique way of showing affection, and kneading and treading are some of the most common behaviors associated with happy cats. Kneading is when a cat pushes its front paws in and out on soft surfaces, like blankets or their owner’s lap.

Treading is when a cat makes a digging motion with their hind legs usually before settling down to sleep. These behaviors are rooted in their nursing behavior as kittens and serve as a way for cats to mark their scent and claim objects and individuals.

Interrupting Phone Calls

Cats are social animals and can often become jealous if they feel like theyre not getting enough attention. Interrupting phone calls, keyboard usage, or reading is a common behavior that cats use to try and regain one-on-one time with their owner.

Providing your cat with interactive toys and playtime can help satisfy their social needs and keep them from interrupting your daily activities.

Butting Heads

When cats butt their heads against you or rub their faces against objects in your home, its actually a form of scent marking and claiming you or the object as their own. This behavior is called bunting, and it’s a way for cats to deposit their scent on objects and individuals in their territory.

Chattering and Chirping

Cats have a wide range of vocalizations, from meows and purrs to chatters and chirps. Chattering is when a cat makes a series of rapid teeth-grinding noises, often in response to seeing prey or a bird outside.

Chirping is when a cat makes a short, high-pitched sound, often used to get attention or communicate with other cats. These behaviors can be a source of entertainment for owners and a fascinating insight into your cats complex communication abilities.

Cat Habits

Sitting in Boxes

Cats love to sit in boxes, no matter how big or small they are. This behavior is rooted in their instinct to hide and seek cover in the wild.

Boxes provide a safe and cozy place for cats to rest, play, or observe. Providing them with boxes and other hiding places can help them feel more secure in their environment.

Knocking Things Over

Cats are natural hunters and often exhibit playful behaviors to release pent-up energy and stimulate their natural instincts. Knocking things over, like objects on shelves or tables, can be a form of play or a way to get attention from their owners.

Providing interactive toys and puzzle feeding dishes can help satisfy their playfulness and keep them from getting into trouble.

Drinking From Faucets

Cats are often drawn to running water and may prefer drinking from faucets over still water in bowls. This behavior is rooted in their instinct to seek out fresh water sources in the wild.

Providing your cat with a cat water fountain and placing cozy cat beds near your faucets can help encourage them to drink more water and stay hydrated.

Sleeping Near Computers

Cats are often drawn to warm, cozy places, and the heat from a computer or laptop can be very appealing to them. This behavior is also rooted in their natural instinct to seek out alternative heating sources in the wild.

Providing your cat with cozy bedding or a heating pad can help keep them warm and discourage them from sleeping on or near your electronics.

Zooming Around the House

Cats are natural predators and need outlets to release pent-up energy. Zooming around the house, or zoomies, is a typical behavior that cats use to release energy and entertain themselves.

However, sudden bursts of speed can also be a sign of fleas or other medical issues, so its important to keep an eye on your cat’s behavior.

Licking You

When your cat licks you, its actually a sign of affection and ownership. The rough texture of a cats tongue feels like sandpaper and is used to groom themselves, other cats, and their owners.

Chin biting is also a common sign of affection and a way for cats to leave their scent on you.

Running Away From Plastic Bags

Cats have a natural fear of loud noises and sudden movements, and plastic bags can often trigger this fear. If your cat has had a traumatic encounter with a plastic bag, it may take some time and desensitizing training to help them overcome their fear.

Providing enrichment activities and engaging with your cat can help reduce their anxiety levels.


Just like humans, cats can experience flatulence. Anxious, scared, or allergic cats may experience more frequent flatulence, but chronic gas can also be a sign of dietary issues or parasites.

If you notice your cat experiencing persistent flatulence, its important to consult with your veterinarian.

Sucking Wool

Some cats have a habit of sucking on soft objects like wool or blankets. This behavior is often traced back to their nursing behavior as kittens.

While sucking on wool is generally harmless, it can become a chronic behavior that requires intervention. Providing your cat with safe objects to suck on or removing the wool object altogether can help reduce this behavior.


Cats communicate primarily through body language and vocalization. When a cat stares at you, it can mean many things.

Wide-open, affectionate staring is a sign of trust and love, while staring with wide eyes can be a sign of fear or anxiety. A cats eyes can also communicate asking for attention, or hostility if staring intensely without blinking.


Understanding your cat’s behavior and habits can help you better communicate with your feline friend and provide them with the care they need. From rolling over to eating plastic, each behavior has a unique purpose and meaning rooted in their natural instincts.

By paying attention to their body language and vocalizations, you can gain valuable insights into your cat’s thoughts and feelings. With the right care and attention, your cat can thrive and live a happy, healthy life.

In conclusion, understanding your cat’s behavior and habits is crucial for providing them with the care they need. From rolling over to staring, each behavior has a unique purpose and meaning rooted in their natural instincts.

Providing your feline friend with enrichment activities, cozy bedding, and access to fresh water can help keep them happy and healthy. By paying attention to their body language and vocalizations, you can gain valuable insights into their thoughts and feelings.

Always consult with your veterinarian if you have concerns about your cat’s behavior or health. Remember, with the right care and attention, your cat can thrive and live a fulfilling life.

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