Decoding a Cat’s Behavior- Part 1 (Body Language)


Decoding your cat behavior tips 

Does your cat’s quirky behavior perplex you? Do you fail to figure out whether her constant purring means she is happy and healthy or signals she is scared and in pain? You wonder what’s gone into her when she snaps back at you or rubs her head continuously against your legs.

Cats have a complex communication system. And, it would surprise you to know that every move your feisty feline makes has a definite purpose. If you are eager to learn about your kitty’s behavior, you should skim through this article. We have explained some of the weird cat behaviors below.


1. Bunting and Rubbing:

Your cat gives you a gentle head butt or rubs against your body. You tell her to stop, but she just wouldn’t listen.

Bunting and rubbing are marking behaviors in cats. It is a way of claiming ownership. Cats rub against people, furniture, walls, fences, tree trunks and a lot more. The rubbing action releases a scent from the scent glands located in the cheeks and the paws.

The scent is very comforting to the cat and makes it feel at home. It’s very similar to how a dog marks its territory by urinating. Rubbing is a display of affection, but at the same time it may also indicate that your cat seeks your attention.


2. Biting:

A few minutes ago, kitty was enjoying the love you showered on her and the next moment she turns around and gives you a painful bite. What went wrong? It’s called petting induced aggression. The cat generally resorts to such biting when the owner bestows more affection than it seeks. So, it likes the cat got irritated with the excess sweetness. On other occasions, cats bite if they feel threatened.


3. Rolling

Experts suggest that a cat will never expose its underside unless it is absolutely certain of its surrounding or trusts the person in its presence. Exposing the tummy is a sign of trust. When a cat suddenly lies down on its back, rolling from side-to-side, rubbing its head against the floor and all four paws in the air, the cat intends to convey that it is relaxed and comfortable.

Rolling on the side or back is also a defensive move in cats. A cat rolls on its back to free its fours and get a better grip with its claws. If in addition to rolling on its back the cat displays its claws, it is a warning that it will scratch or grab everything that comes its way.


4. Kneading

Kneading is another of the most common behaviors in cats. But it is also one that puzzles cat owners the most. The action of cats digging their paws in and pulling them out alternating between (resembles the action of kneading bread) the right and left limb is called kneading. Cats knead blankets, comforters, sweaters, pillows or even their owners lap. Kneading is a positive behavior cat’s pickup as kittens. They knead their mother’s tummy when feeding to stimulate the flow of milk. Experts suggest that the kneading behavior in cats is an expression of satisfaction, ease and contentment. It is a comforting behavior.


5. Scratching furniture:

Scratching is an inherent instinct in cats. Cats scratch to sharpen and clean their claws and to exercise the muscles in the limbs. Cats also mark their territory by scratching (they have scent glands in their paws too). In addition to the two reasons mentioned above, a cat scratches when it feels threatened by an object or person. Scratching may keep your cat healthy and happy, but causes a lot of damage to furniture. You can keep your cat happy by providing scratching posts.


6. Crouching:

If your cat crouches, beware because it is getting ready to pounce. A cat usually adopts this stance when it tries to get hold of a bird or a smaller animal or other pets around the house. You will be surprised when she comes for your leg. A crouching cat indicates she’s waiting for the most appropriate moment to attack.


7. Elevated Butt/ Arched back with raised fur

The elevator butt has two interpretations- one in kittens and one in adult cats. When a kitten arches its back accompanied by raised fur, it wants to play. But, the same in an adult cat is telling you to “Stay away”. The arched back signals a bad mood and that the cat would like to be alone and undisturbed for a while.


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