Napping on your laptop, knocking objects down, giving you "nose kisses"—cats behave in such peculiar ways! In this article, we look at the meaning behind 7 different cat behaviors.
It can be difficult to understand the meaning behind certain cat behaviors. In an effort to help you better understand your cat, we have decided to decode various types of cat behaviors.
Waking you up at night
Are you trying to sleep while your cat meows at you and rubs their face against your own? Are they purring loudly while you are trying to get a few more hours of sleep? We have a tendency to think that cats wake us up early in the morning because they are hungry. However, this is not the only reason why cats do this. Cats are predators and crepuscular creatures. In the wild, they are most active during the twilight hours. Cats prefer hunting around this time. At dawn, birds sing while everything around them is silent. This makes them easier to identify. At around 4 a.m. or 5 a.m., your cat probably wakes you being they are feeling active. They are ready to hunt, play, run around, and eat. During the day, they can nap and relax to gather their energy again.
To prevent your cat from waking you up early in the morning, you can close the door of your room. In addition, you can play with them in the evening so that they are tired after. Another tip is to make sure that they have food in their food bowl before you head to the bedroom to sleep.
Napping on your laptop
We often think that our cats put themselves on our laptops because they do not like that we are working or they think that we are not interested in them. However, this could not be further from reality. Do you open your computer, start to work, and find your cat walking towards you to lie down peacefully on your keyboard? If your cat does this, it is because they believe that it is the best place in the house to relax. One of the reasons for this is that it is warm. This could be from the light of a nearby lamp or the heat from your laptop. It is also usually a peaceful area where there is no noise. Cats love this! Above all, they have your attention when they are with you. You talk to them and caress them while they are there.
If you want to continue working without having your cat lie down on your computer, you can place a pillow under the lamp of your office to encourage them to lie down there instead.
Licking themselves after being petted or brushed
Do not be offended if your cat licks themselves after you brush or caress them. It is not your odor that is bothering them. Instead, several different reasons can explain this behavior. The first is that your cat is analyzing the odor of the brush or of your hand that was left on their skin. They might also be trying to put their hair back in place. Another explanation is that the stimulation of their epidermis triggered a reflex to groom themselves. Lastly, it is possible that your cat does not really appreciate physical contact. It might have been a moment when they did not want to be be touched. Therefore, they are bothered and are licking themselves to calm themselves.
The best solution is to wait for your cat to come to you for cuddles when they want to.
Blinking their eyes
Cats communicate a lot with their eyes. If they look away when you look at them, they are not ignoring you. They are simply doing this to avoid conflict. In the wild, when cats look at each other in the eyes, they are announcing a confrontation. That is why staring at a cat can be seen as a threat. They are, therefore, escaping our gaze. To reassure them, blink your eyes, they will do the same to show that they understand that it is not a threat. That is how cats that are far away from each other have pacifist exchanges.
Knocking objects off a table or counter
Pens, napkins, elastic bands—even the slightest object can be found lying on the ground after your cat sees it. Do you think that your cat is doing this to bother you? Actually, they really just want to play with you. Because cats sleep a lot, when they are awake, they need to move and play. Therefore, it is like a game for them to knock down objects that are near you. In addition, this usually makes you react and complain. In their eyes, they have gotten your attention and this encourages them to continue. Do not hesitate to take breaks to play with them in the morning and the evening. They need it!
Giving "nose kisses"
A cat's sense of smell is very important. Similar to dogs, when two cats greet each other, they smell each other and let their noses touch. This allows them to exchange certain information about their identities and where they come from. Your cat is doing the same thing to you. When they give you a "nose kiss" by bringing their nose close to yours, they are saying hello and making sure that it really is you.
Asking for food
When you are in the kitchen, does cat stay close-by? Do they follow you around or meow while rubbing themselves against your legs? We tend to think that they do this because they are hungry. However, this is not always the case. For most cats, meowing is a way to ask for attention. They just want to be in contact with you. Most of the time, we interpret this as a sign that they are hungry, so we give them food. Cats, therefore, associate food with a reward for their meowing and this can reinforce cat behaviors like this.
To avoid overfeeding your cat when they meow, respond to your cat with words, cuddles, or a game instead.
Originally written by Salomée Vidal (Yummypets) and translated by Jennifer Eubank (Yummypets).