Cat Behaviour Explained - Why Does My Cat Do That?

Photo of Karen Dell

Karen Dell

Senior Editor • Backyard Cat Enclosures

18 September 2018

Let’s face it. Cats are weird. But there is good news for baffled purrents wanting to understand their fur-baby’s puzzling behaviour. No matter how confusing it seems to us, usually there is a purrfectly logical explanation for your kitty doing what they do.

Why does my cat lick me?

There are several reasons your pudda could be relentlessly rubbing their sandpaper tongues on you. While it can just be something tasty on your arm, or a gentle reminder that you need to groom yourself more often, usually it’s a sign of affection! Cats can’t exactly say “I love you”, so licking is how they communicate this. It’s also a way for them to mark you as their hooman. They lick and headbutt to send signals to other cats that may be thinking of stealing you away from them!

Why does my cat bite me?

The most important thing to determine is the nature of their biting. It can be anything from a love-bite - the painful version of the affectionate lick - to a more aggressive reaction to over-stimulation, or simply a way to tell you they need food or a clean litter box. You know your cat better than anyone, so if you think they look calm and happy when they give you a gentle nibble, then it’s nothing to worry about. But if it’s a painful bite, or they are showing more aggressive body language, you should be taking steps to prevent it.

Why does my cat scratch me?

Similar to biting, scratching can be a way for your fur baby to communicate a number of different things. It often occurs in the middle of a pat session - when you’re least expecting it! It’s very normal cat behaviour to enjoy affection at first, but become stressed and lash out once they decide they’ve had enough. Kittens scratching and biting is usually playful, but in an adult cat it is often a request for the affection to stop. This doesn’t mean they don’t love you though! They just need some space.

cat always sleeping

Why does my cat sleep a lot?

Anyone who’s been woken at 2am by their pudda doing laps of the house knows that cats are most active between dusk and dawn. Like their wild cousins, your fur baby likes to prowl around at night, in the search for an unsuspecting plush toy to pounce on. This means that when the sun comes up they’re ready to get some z’s - on average 15 hours a day! Most of this time they are simply dozing, still alert enough to spring to attention at the first crinkle of a food bag!

Why does my cat drag her bum across the floor?

If your cat has just had a trip to the litter box and decides to very kindly wipe their bottom on the floor, then it’s nothing to worry about. But if they are dragging their butt, or ‘toot scooting’ on a regular basis then it’s a good idea to take them to the vet to check for parasites, allergies, infections or gland issues.

Why does my cat lick herself so much?

There’s a reason your fur-baby’s tongue feels like sandpaper. It’s covered in tiny barbs which lifts off dust and pulls out loose hairs. Along with their paws to wipe hard-to-reach-places, and teefies to remove grittier material, cats are nature's cleaning machines. Not only do they groom themselves to maintain their pristine appearance, it’s also an attempt to remain undetectable to predators, as well as bond with other cats they do it to.

Why does my cat pee on everything?

Another instinctive link to their wild ancestors, cats like to leave their scent on objects and hoomans! Rubbing and scratching is fine, but when they start to mark their territory by peeing on things it becomes less cute! There are ways to train them out of this, but it’s important to first rule out other factors like stress, medical issues, or even a simple litter change.

cat arching back

Why does my cat arch her back?

It depends on the situation. If your kitty has just spent the last 6 hours dozing next to a window, they will need some serious stretching when they wake up. However, if their hair is raised and claws are out, an arched back shows your cat feels threatened and is in attack mode. Best to back away when they are in ‘Halloween Cat’ mode! On the contrary, an arched back could simply be your fur baby asking you to come closer and provide some affection.

Why does my cat keep vomiting?

This usually comes down to what you’re feeding them. If your pudda continuously chucks up their dinner, it’s probably time to try something else. They are just like humans - some foods just don’t agree with some cats! Eating too fast can be another cause, as well as treats with nasty additives. Of course, if you are concerned about the frequency or nature of their vomiting it’s important to ask a vet, as it can be a sign of something more serious.

Why does my cat not sit on my lap?

Because not all cats are lap cats! It’s entirely down to your pudda’s personality whether or not they enjoy lap time, but if they don’t - don’t take it personally! They will still show that they love you in their own unique way.

Still have questions about the weird and wonderful things our cats do? You’re not alone, the mysteries of cat behaviour really are never-ending! Have a peek at our guides to 5 Weird Things All Cats Do and 5 Creepy Things Cats Do That We Can’t.

Keep your fur-baby safe from the weird wide world outdoors with a secure and furbulously fun cat enclosure or run from our range! Have a peek at our shop :)    


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