Cat Behavior Explained

Why do cats do the things that they do? Many cat owners are puzzled by strange cat behavior. But usually there is a good explanation for the behaviors that your cat exhibits. Many of these cat behaviors helped to ensure the survival of ancient cats and thus were reinforced by natural selection.

Why do some cats act mean and aggressive?

Often this occurs when a cat was not allowed to spend enough time with its mother and siblings at an early age. This early interaction teaches the cat that aggressive behavior will result in punishment from its mother. Without this interaction it never learns that aggressive behavior is unacceptable. In addition, if a cat was not carried and petted gently very often as a kitten, it may not have learned to accept this as an adult.

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Why do female cats spray?

Female cats aren’t as into marking territory as male cats. Female cat spraying usually occurs when there are a lot of other cats in the house and they wish to assert their dominance. Or they may spray simply because they don’t want to use their litter box. Perhaps it is too close to their food dish or it isn’t kept clean enough.

Why do cats purr?
Cats purr when they are happy, but they may also purr when they are in pain. So purring is not necessarily a sign of happiness. Before they are able to see and hear, kittens are able to feel their mother purring, so the purring is a signal for them to find their mom so they can feed. When they become full the kittens will also purr to let their mother know that they have received enough milk. So purring is really just a form of communication.

Why do cats like to approach people who don’t like cats?
Most of the time people who don’t like cats just ignore them. They don’t talk to the cat and they don’t look at the cat. But ignoring a cat tells the cat that it is safe to approach the person and that is why cats always seem to go to the person that doesn’t like cats. When a cat runs into another cat that stares at them and hisses at them, they know that they should run in the opposite direction. But when the other cat looks away and is quiet they know it is safe to approach that cat and they feel the same way around humans who act this way.

Why do cats rub up against their owners?

They like to rub to mark their territory. They have scent glands all over their body and rubbing transfers this scent to you. They are just marking you with their scent. Male cats will also spray to mark their territory. But most people would probably not wished to be marked in this manner.

Why do male cats spray?
Male cat spraying is almost invariably caused by a drive to mark their territory. Male cats generally want to assert their dominance and spraying is one of the ways that they do it. Usually the only way to prevent this behavior is to have your cat fixed before it starts spraying.

Why does catnip drive cats crazy?
Catnip contains a chemical that resembles a smell exuded by female cats. This scent, of course, drives male cats wild. But it also seems to have a big impact on female cats too. Cats have a set of cells in their nose that are specially designed to detect this scent and it has a huge impact on their behavior. However, a certain percentage of cats lack a gene that causes catnip sensitivity and thus they aren’t affected by catnip like other cats.

Why do cats bury their droppings?
They bury their droppings to hide their scent from predators. The presence of droppings tells predators that prey maybe near. By hiding their droppings they hope to evade predators.

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