5 Unique Cat Behaviors

Some feline activities are rarely found in other species

  1. Burying urine and feces. Cats are believed to have evolved to bury their eliminations to keep their presence hidden from predators. Those that leave stool uncovered either in the box or outside of it or that spray urine may be staking out a territory, but these behaviors can also be signs of health problems. A cat that suddenly avoids the litterbox should be examined by a veterinarian promptly.
  2. Kneading. Kittens will knead on their mother’s abdomen as they nurse to stimulate milk production. Cats that were weaned at a young age may intermittently knead as adults, and this is believed to release pheromones from the sweat glands in their paws. No matter the reason, though, kneading is considered a sign of a contented cat.
  3. Scratching. While scratching can be destructive, it is important to realize that it is a natural feline behavior. Cats scratch to help remove the old outer sheaths on their nails and to mark territory by leaving traces of pheromones on the scratched object. Trimming your cat’s nails will help to control this behavior, but you still need to provide a variety of acceptable scratching options in the form of scratching posts. Some cats prefer wood, some prefer certain types of fabric. Some cats love to stretch and scratch on a horizontal surface while others only use vertical surfaces, so try to provide your cat with a couple of options and see what she prefers.
  4. Hiding in small spaces. Cats seem to naturally gravitate to small spaces to hide out, whether for a restful break from the world or as “launching pads” for sneak play attacks on unwary passersby. Provide your cat with some private hiding places, and she would also enjoy a cardboard box or paper bag to play in.
  5. Bringing you dead animals. Gifts of dead prey don’t bring joy to most cat owners, but they should. Your cat may share prey with you as a gift, or she may feel that you are incapable of hunting on your own. Either way, try to accept these “gifts” in the spirit that they are given.