Cats have got big personalities. They can seem aloof and independent at one moment, and then incredibly affectionate and clingy the next.
They can also be downright peculiar, from kneading away at your lap - often quite painfully - to hiding in boxes or sleeping away most of the day.
Here we consider some of the behaviours that most baffle and endear cat owners and lovers.
Why is my cat always sleeping?
Even seasoned cat owners can be surprised by how long their cat spends snoozing each day. This is normally around 15 hours a day, but it can be even more.
They don’t sleep at the same time as their owners either. In fact, cats are crepuscular, meaning they’re most active during the twilight of dawn and dusk.
But why so much sleep? Though cats have been long domesticated, they’re still hunters at heart. So, like big felines such as lions, they tend to conserve energy as much as they can in preparation for a hunt.
Why does my cat lick me?
If your cat likes to lick you, you may not find it a particularly nice sensation: the texture of a cat’s tongue is similar to sandpaper.
But, though it may feel rough and rasping, if your cat licks you, it’s likely their way of creating a bond with you. They will have probably received the same treatment from their own mothers, both to show affection and to clean them.
Why does my cat stare at me?
It can be slightly unnerving to look up from your newspaper or TV programme - or even wake up in bed - and be met by your cat’s steady gaze.
There are thought to be several reasons for this intense, prolonged staring. For a start, cats are curious.
Also, they may associate making eye contact with you with getting something from you, whether it’s food or affection.
Why does my cat keep sneezing?
Like people, cats do occasionally sneeze. If this just happens every now and then, it shouldn’t be cause for concern. Just as with people, sneezing is normally an automatic response to irritants in the nasal passages.
But if your cat suddenly starts sneezing a lot, you may consider getting it checked out by a vet. Frequent sneezing could be the result of a respiratory infection or allergy.
Why does my cat follow me around?
Sometimes you might feel like you have a little four-legged shadow at home.
Cats often pad behind their owners and, for some reason, they seem particularly keen on following them into the bathroom. In extreme cases, they tag along when their owners leave the house, following them down the road.
Part of the reason for this may be because they simply want to be near their human companion. Or you may find your feline friend follows you around more near feeding time; cats’ internal clocks - at least when it comes to a regular feeding time - can be astonishing.
As for those feline bathroom fans, one theory is that cats probably know that when their owner is sat on the toilet, they have a captive audience – and may see it as a great lap opportunity.
Why does my cat knead me?
Sometimes all you want is a nice, warm ball of fur on your lap, perhaps softly purring away. But then something pushes your cat over the edge - into a state of utter contentment - and you get the kneading. This is the firm, alternating pawing motion with their front legs.
There can be little doubt this kneading means they are happy. There’s also likely to be link to your cat’s infancy, when they will have kneaded their mother’s stomach to help stimulate milk.
Why does my cat drool?
Some cats drool when they’re relaxed and happy, such as when they’re kneading away on your lap.
But if your cat suddenly starts drooling like they haven’t done before, it could signal a medical problem. You know your cat best - if they’re behaving differently, consider whether you need to take them to the vet.
Why does my cat love small spaces?
Cats must surely be overjoyed by the boom in internet shopping. It means many of them get a regular supply of boxes. And as cat owners know, they can’t resist a box, and will likely jump straight in, often for another snooze.
In fact, cats love small hiding places in general. It’s likely they’re after comfort, warmth and security; on a primal level, they see it as a safe hiding space from predators. Also, it’s another sign of feline curiosity.
‘’What is in this new box?’’
Whether you’re a long life cat lover or a first-time owner, odds are you’ll find your cat’s quirks adorable – even if puzzling, at times.
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