Understanding Your Cat's Behavior: Insights and Tips

Cats are fascinating creatures with unique behaviors that often leave their owners puzzled.

Understanding your cat's behavior can help strengthen your bond and ensure their happiness.

Purring is one of the most recognisable and comforting sounds a cat makes.

While purring is often associated with contentment, cats also purr when they are frightened, in pain, or even when they're healing. Understanding the different contexts of purring can help you better understand your cat's emotional state.

When your cat purrs while being petted, it usually means they are enjoying the attention. However, if your cat purrs in a stressful situation, offering comfort and a calm environment can help them feel more secure.

Kneading, often referred to as "making biscuits," is when cats push their paws in and out against a soft surface.

NZ cat treat made from real meat

This behavior originates from kittenhood, as kittens knead their mother cat' belly to stimulate milk flow. In adult cats, kneading is a sign of comfort and affection.

If your cat likes to knead, provide them with soft blankets or pillows where they can knead comfortably. This can help them feel more relaxed and at home. Some cats might also knead on their owner's lap, which is a sign of trust and bonding.

Cats are natural hunters, and bringing "gifts" like toys, insects, or small animals is a way to share their hunting success with their human family.

This behavior is rooted in their instinct to provide for their loved ones and to show off their hunting prowess.

While it might be unpleasant to find a surprise "gift" from your cat, it's important to recognise this behavior as a sign of affection and their instinctual need to hunt. To manage this, keep small toys that mimic prey available for your cat to "hunt" and praise them for their play. Redirecting their hunting behavior to toys can also help reduce the likelihood of them bringing actual prey.

Cats may hide for various reasons, including feeling threatened, unwell, or just needing some alone time.

Hiding can be a coping mechanism for stress or fear, but it can also indicate that your cat is not feeling well.

Ensure your home has plenty of hiding places like cat trees, tunnels, or quiet corners. These spots should be safe and easily accessible to your cat. If your cat is hiding more than usual, it might be a good idea to check with your vet to rule out any health issues. Providing a calm and stable environment can help reduce stress and make your cat feel more secure.

Scratching is a natural behavior for cats that serves several purposes, including marking territory, stretching their muscles, and maintaining their claws.

Scratching leaves both a visual mark and a scent mark, thanks to the scent glands located in their paws.

Invest in sturdy scratching posts or pads and place them near your cat's favorite scratching spots. Encourage your cat to use these by sprinkling catnip or using interactive toys. You can also place scratching posts near furniture or other areas your cat likes to scratch to redirect their behavior.

Hairballs are clumps of fur that cats ingest while grooming.

Most of the fur passes through their digestive system, but some can accumulate in the stomach and form hairballs, which are usually expelled through vomiting.

Regular grooming can help reduce the amount of loose fur your cat swallows. Providing a diet that supports a healthy digestive system can also help minimize hairballs. If hairballs become frequent or cause distress, consult your vet for advice. Some cats may benefit from hairball control foods or supplements.

Many cats eat grass occasionally, and while the exact reason isn't fully understood, it's believed that grass helps them digest and may help expel hairballs.

Grass might also provide certain nutrients that cats crave.

In moderation, eating grass is generally safe for cats. However, ensure the grass is free from pesticides and other chemicals. You can also provide cat grass grown specifically for pets as a safe alternative.

Understanding your cat's behavior is key to creating a harmonious and happy home. By recognising the reasons behind their actions and responding appropriately, you can strengthen your bond and ensure your feline friend feels safe and loved. Keep observing, learning, and enjoying the unique quirks that make your cat special.

Back to blog