14 Weird Cat Behaviors (Why Do Cats Do That?)

weird cat behaviors

Who needs Netflix when you have a cat at home. I have lost count of the number of hours that I have just sat there with a cup of coffee in hand and watched my cat.

Call me a kitty voyeur but there’s nothing quite as entertaining as seeing your cat surprise you with many of its weird cat behaviors.

Some can be explained, while others just leave you scratching your hand and going “What on earth just happened??”

In this article, we will be taking a look at a number of weird cat behaviors that you will most definitely come across if you own a cat.

1. Kneading (Making Biscuits)

“This is to signal to their mummy cat that they are hungry and it is time for some milk.”

Cats would make great bakers with their kneading skills. It is one action that makes them look like they are kneading dough with their paws.

The act of kneading goes back to their very young years as kittens.

When mother cats give birth to their kittens, these little ones will start to knead on their mother’s tummy while purring.

This is to signal to their mummy cat that they are hungry and it is time for some milk.

The thing is, most kittens start to wean off their mother’s milk at about two months old.

So why do we still see adult cats continue to knead well into their adult years?

It’s likely because the cat is feeling relaxed, calm and ready to settle down to sleep or a short catnap.

Cats also have hidden scent glands under their paws and they knead to mark the cat’s scent which makes them feel more at ease.

The next time you see your cat kneading the surface when he is with you, be happy to know that he feels safe and comfortable around you.

2. Squeezing Into Tiny Boxes

cat like boxes

Have you ever seen your cat trying to squeeze itself into an empty box that is half its size?

Seeing my cat trying his hardest to fit into a really small box and looking so smug when he accomplishes the feat makes me unleash a furry of kisses on his head.

One explanation for this is that cats love to feel safe hence being in small spaces or a box gives them that feeling or the illusion of it if the box is way too small.

A cat loves hiding in plastic bags as well if they happen to see one lying around the house unattended.

The next time you plan to buy an expensive kitty bed for your cat, try an ordinary cardboard box first.

In the cat world, that’s considered a hotel suite.

3. Chattering

If your cat is vocal, this is one of the rather weird cat habits that you will notice every now and then.

This is a repetitive sound that a cat makes by quickly moving its lower jaw.

You’ll most likely find them making this chattering sound when they spot small prey like birds or lizards but don’t have access to it.

It’s your cat’s way of saying to the prey “You’re lucky this window is between us. Till next time.”

Studies have shown that cats have the ability to make more than 100 different sounds.

This can range from purring to crying like a baby at night just to get more food or your attention.

4. Bringing You ‘Gifts’

I’m not referring to breakfast in bed but it can be if you have the same natural diet as your cat.

Many cat owners have woken up to find a small critter that’s almost dead or still very much alive on their beds.

The cat will be waiting patiently nearby expecting some pets or praise for being so ‘thoughtful’.

When cats do this, it is because they consider you part of the family and are trying to bring you a snack.

Hopefully, you are still able to save the mouse that your cat brought in. Your cat wants you to hunt with it, hence the reason why the mouse is still alive

There are some cat breeds that are more prone to this weird behavior like the Siberian due to its higher than average prey drive for a cat.

5. Zoomies

Ah yes, it is that crazy cat hour when many cats love zooming, sprinting, jumping and yowling all over the house till they tire themselves out.

Domestic cats are rather lazy and laid back but it’s during this time when it seems that there’s some imaginary fire under their butts.

It is likely due to the reason of having too much pent-up energy in the cat hence physical exertion is required to burn it off.

Zoomies usually happen in the early morning or evening when cats are the most energetic.

You’ll find that after zoomies in the morning, your cat will settle down for a nap or fall into a good night’s sleep in the evening.

6. Blinking At You

“Some even call this action ‘kitty love’.”

cat blinking weird behavior

Many pet owners can agree that cats aren’t the best when it comes to showing love and affection.

However, if you ever noticed your cat blinking at you, that’s a deep message that it’s trying to tell you.

Most house cats or in fact all of them are in no apparent danger. It is the natural instinct of a cat to always be on the lookout.

If you ever tried to stare a cat down, chances are you will lose 9 out of 10 times.

For a cat in the wild, looking away or blinking for a split second could be the difference between life and death.

Therefore, when a cat blinks at you or other cats, it is sending a signal that you can be trusted.

Some even call this action ‘kitty love’.

So the next time you see a cat blinking at you, don’t forget to reciprocate and blink back.

Cats also show their affection by flopping over in front of you.

This is your cat’s way of saying that it feels totally safe and comfortable around you.

7. Interrupting Your Task

Are there days when you are busy doing something like rushing an email out for work or checking your mail and your cat has to interfere?

Your feline friend will just come between you and whatever you are doing and plop its furry butt down with no invitation.

This is your cat’s way of telling you that it wants your attention and it wants it now.

My cat has this really bad habit of going out of his way just to be a cat loaf on my phone in the midst of my call.

The best thing you could do is to give your cat a generous amount of head strokes and chin scratches until it gets bored and walks away.

8. Drinking Running Water

cat drink running water

If you have ever seen your cat drink from bathroom sinks while you are brushing your teeth, it must seem rather weird.

As strange as it might be, this behavior is derived from a cat’s natural survival instinct.

In the wild, it is safer for cats to drink from flowing water where the chance of contamination is lesser compared to stagnant water.

Furthermore, drinking flowing water is also cooler and fresher thus making it tastier.

If your cat has this ‘weird’ habit, you can get a cat fountain to mimic a flowing water faucet and satisfy its flowing water fetish.

Sometimes adding a few ice cubes to the water bowl helps too.

9. Chasing Its Own Tail

Seeing a cat chase its own tail is like watching someone try to catch his shadow. It’s both hilarious and silly at the same time.

Cats are natural hunters and to them, chasing their tails simulates a hunt.

Kittens tend to do it more than adult cats as they are still more easily excitable and curious.

However, there are times when a cat chases its tail due to an underlying medical condition like fleas or stud tail.

10. Eating Grass And Plants

“Sometimes cats chew on plants just because they love to chew on things.”

Cats in general are obligate carnivores.

This means that they need a high protein diet from meat to thrive.

However, don’t be too surprised if you catch your cat trying to chew on the plants you have at home.

No, your cat has not decided to turn vegan out of the blue but rather it has been said that eating greens can help alleviate stomach issues in cats.

Sometimes cats chew on plants just because they love to chew on things.

If your cat is chewing on plants or grass out of boredom, try getting a few interactive toys for it to play with as a healthy distraction.

One thing to note is that there are some plants that are toxic to cats and can cause serious harm when eaten.

11. Nipping Your Ankle And Running Away

Cats are natural hunters and love to stalk and hunt prey. This natural instinct doesn’t go away even after years of domestication.

If your cat has the habit of charging out from hiding and nipping you at your ankle when you walk by, it is practicing its pouncing skills on you.

It’s not a good habit for your cat to develop because:

  • It’s no fun getting shocked by your cat
  • It can cause injury if your cat bites hard enough
  • It can cause someone to slip and fall

My cat used to love doing this when he was still a kitten. There was a period of time when my grandma was living with me and I had to thwart a few attempts by my cat at my nana’s feet.

The last thing I wanted was for my poor old grandma to injure herself because of my cat’s weird behavior.

You will have to nip this weird behavior in the bud as soon as it happens before it gets out of hand.

12. The Sneer

cat flehmen response

Cats are naturally curious creatures and love smelling things to investigate. There are times when a cat will be sniffing something, pause, curl back its lip and start to sneer.

You’ll notice this happening when a cat has its mouth open but it isn’t panting.

It is quite a hilarious sight to behold when it happens because it looks like the cat just smelled something that will make our toes curl too.

But that’s not always the case.

This adorable reaction is called the ‘Flehmen Response’.

Cats can collect pheromones or scent particles on their tongue and then flick them onto a sensory structure in the roof of the mouth called the ‘Jacobson’s Organ’.

This Jacobson’s Organ will break down the scent and tell the cat what the smell is about.

It’s an important function for cats as it helps them ‘taste’ and smell chemical stimuli.

13. Tail Twitching

“This tail thumping means that the cat is upset and can strike out at you.”

A cat’s tail is like a barometer for its mood. Nature has enabled cats with a very flexible and versatile tail that can flex and move in the most fluid of manner.

Do you know that 10% of a cat’s bones are in its tail?

If you notice that your cat’s tail is actively twitching from side to side, it could mean that the cat is interested or focused on something.

But if you are doing something to the cat that makes it thump its tail on the floor or surface, it would be best to stop whatever you are doing.

This tail thumping means that the cat is upset and can strike out at you.

When in doubt about your cat’s mood, look at its tail.

14. Showing Its Tummy

I can calmly walk away from chocolate ice cream on a good day but it would take wild horses to drag me away from a cute meowmee that’s showing me its soft tummy.

If you have a cat that is friendly enough, it will be more than happy to flop on its side or back and expose its tummy to you.

Coming from a cat, that means trust and friendliness.

A cat’s stomach is a very sensitive area as that is where all the vital organs are located.

As tempting as it might be, don’t go rubbing the stomach of a cat that you hardly know or you end up getting bitten or scratched.

What Are Signs That Something Is Wrong With Your Cat?

Cats are masters of disguise when it comes to hiding pain and discomfort.

As cat owners, we need to be aware of the signs when something is not right with our cats.

Here are the usual symptoms that cats show when unwell:

  • loss of appetite
  • drinking less or more water than usual
  • vomiting
  • excessive grooming
  • loss of weight
  • loss of fur
  • difficulty breathing
  • change in litterbox habits

If you notice any of these symptoms becoming a common occurrence, please bring your cat to the vet as soon as possible.


Cats are wonderful mysterious creatures and there is so much that we can learn from their body language.

A lot of these so-called ‘weird’ cat behaviors are in fact completely normal for them.

And it is these quirky and weird behaviors that allow us to appreciate them even more.

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