If you’ve ever owned—or spent time with—a cat, then you’ve probably asked the question, “Why do cats…” Cats are unique creatures with many quirky behaviors that can sometimes be downright puzzling. The Union Lake Pet Services team has put together this guide to help you answer some of the most common questions about cat behavior. Many of these are linked over to one of our blog posts that go into more detail if you’re interested.

Why Do Cats Knead?

One of the questions we hear the most about cat behavior is why they knead. Kneading, or making biscuits, offers (and demonstrates) comfort for cats. Kittens knead to try to stimulate milk flow while nursing, and it reminds them of happy times with their mothers. They also do it when showing affection to their favorite person or furry sibling. Kneading also allows them to leave their scent on their favorite places to let other animals know to back off.

Why Do Cats Knock Things Off?

Has your cat ever knocked over a glass of water, pushed a plant off the counter, or shoved a knickknack off the bookshelf? While rude, this behavior is not abnormal for cats. Experts believe it’s because they are biologically wired to hunt fast-moving critters. While their lives might not have as much hunting and chasing as they did in the wild, knocking something over can cater to this need. By pushing something stagnant off the table, it becomes fast moving. Sometimes, they might just do it because they feel bored. Don’t worry, with a little behavioral modification, you can teach your cat to unlearn this annoying quirk.

Why Do Cats Purr?

While most people associate purring with happy emotions, this is not necessarily always the case. As with most behaviors, cats purr for a variety of reasons. These can include:

  • Feelings of contentment: while it’s not always the case, it often is! Cats will often purr when getting cuddles, sitting on their favorite human, or after a particularly delicious meal.
  • Feelings of desire: sometimes cats purr because they are trying to tell you they want something. They might start purring when dinner time is approaching or when they want to play with their favorite catnip toy.
  • Milk production: kittens can use their vocal cords to stimulate milk production when nursing.
  • Feelings of fear or stress: unfortunately, purring can sometimes occur when a cat is afraid or stressed.

Why Do Cats Groom Each Other?

Cats are known for being self-sufficient, so it’s no surprise that they spend time each day grooming themselves. But, it can become confusing when they start grooming each other. This is another cat behavior that begins in kittenhood. Mother cats groom their babies, so cats recognize this as a way of showing affection to each other. They also help each other reach spots that can’t be reached with self-grooming.

Why Do Cats Love Catnip?

Scientists are not sure exactly what catnip does to a cat’s brain. Some scientists believe that when a cat inhales catnip, it turns on positive receptors in the brain and leads to a sort of euphoric reaction. On the other hand, they believe it brings on a more mellow reaction when eaten. Many cat owners have reported that their cats don’t seem interested in catnip or seem affected by it.

Why Do Cats Throw Up?

Your cat might be throwing up for many reasons, but two likely ones are hairballs and allergies. Cats are perpetually grooming themselves or another cat, and that ingested hair can be passed through the digestive system or thrown up in a lump.

Why Do Cats Have Whiskers?

A cat typically has 10-14 whiskers on each side of the nose. These powerful sensors detect danger, prey, calculate direction, and communicate feelings. Indeed, even subtle twitches or tucks can provide clues to what’s happening inside that beautiful feline brain.

Why Do Cats Love Paper?

Cats seem magically drawn to paper and cardboard. Sometimes a cat’s love of paper is the sound it makes when they step on it or play with it. Cardboard can also meet their insatiable need to crunch, shred and tear with their claws or teeth. Cardboard (along with other paper products) is also said to help regulate their body heat, yet another reason for them to love paper.

Why Do Cats Love Circles?

While we’re not sure why cats seem hypnotically drawn to circles, but it is definitely a phenomenon. We have a few theories. Check them out by linking to our blog post about cats and circles.

Why Do Cats Sleep on Top of Us?

There are several reasons–warmth, protection, bonding, and ownership. To read more about these, click to read our blog post and let us know if you have other ideas.

Why Do Cats Choose a Favorite Human?

In a multi-human household, it seems that cats will choose one family member they want to spend more of their time with. According to a study done by the nutrition company, Canadae, they discovered that the person who makes the most effort is the favorite.

Why Do Cats Seem to Hate Water?

The primary reasons are divided. Wet, soggy fur is uncomfortable and can make them vulnerable to predators. Cats can associate it with negative experiences such as being out in the rain, losing control, or being punished. Lastly, it can wash off a cat’s personal scent, including pheromones, which are essential for marking, tracking, and even mating.

Why Do Cats Always Land on Their Feet?

Cats have a better chance of landing on their feet from a slightly higher height. It gives their inner ear a chance to find the correct balance and orientation, then twist the spine into position and brace for impact.

At Union Lake Pet Services, we love cats and all their quirky behaviors. We are committed to offering comprehensive care to help you give your cats the lives they deserve. Please call (248) 363-6262 to learn more about our services.