8 Strange cat behaviours and their meaning

If you have ever had a cat or been around a cat for a long-ish period of time, you’ll know that there are plenty of strange cat behaviours out there! From knocking things over to trying to bury their food, we’re explaining why cats do these odd things.

It goes without saying that our furry friends do some really strange things. And the fact that they can’t speak and explain themselves makes understanding these behaviours quite tough. Some amazing researchers have spent countless hours trying to understand the ins and outs of cats’ many behaviours and this is their explanation for some of the things they do.

Strange cat behaviours and their meanings

Showing you their belly

Have you ever come home and your cat comes towards you and rolls around by your feet, showing you their belly? Cats very often do this when they’ve had catnip, but they often do this normally too. When your kitty does this, they’re communicating that they feel safe and comfortable around you.

They may want some love and attention too but be careful when trying to rub their belly. They may be showing you that they’re comfortable around you but that doesn’t always mean you should pet their stomach. Your cat could also be rubbing their scent in the area around you claiming your space as their own.

Presenting you with their butt

This isn’t a crowd favourite cat behaviour, and we can understand why. Why do cats tend to lengthen their back and pop their behinds in your face? Well, this is quite a big compliment from your cat. Cats do this to one another to indicate that they’re secure and would welcome the other cat to sniff their bum and say hi.

When your kitty does this to you, they’re basically greeting you with a hug or a kiss. The great news is that your cat won’t be offended when you don’t sniff them, all you have to do is pet them and give them a little bit of love.

Covering their poop

Most cats do this, but it also depends on what they’re trying to communicate. Cats are rather clean and will often cover their excrement but most of their potty etiquette is based on what they learnt from their mother or siblings.

But often, cats will leave their excrement uncovered (either outside in the garden or in their litter box) to claim territory and showcase authority to other animals in their vicinity.

Trying to cover their food

Have you ever watched your cat eat and then witnessed them trying to bury their food with some invisible substance? This sounds crazy but cats do this quite often.

This is often an instinctive type of behaviour. Wild cats often hide and cover their food to keep is safe from other animals. Your kitty may simply be trying to cover their food up to make sure no other animals will steal their delicious meals.

The cat-kiss

This doesn’t involve your cat licking you but it’s actually when your cat winks at you or blinks really slowly while looking at you.

A slow cat blink is a fabulous compliment. It is a non-threatening signal that cats do to one another and to humans. This is their way of saying “I’m comfortable and I’m content.” Interestingly, you can do the same slow blink to your cat to showcase your love and they’ll most likely do it back to you.

Head butts

This is one of our favourite cat behaviours. There’s just something about laying on your bed and being joined by a kitty who immediately head butts you. This is known as bunting and it refers to how cats press and rub their head against people, other cats and objects. This often indicates their affection or they’re doing it to mark their scent on you and these objects.

Knocking things about

This can be a truly frustrating behaviour, especially when you’re trying to sleep. It can be startling when your kitty knocks off your phone laying on your bedside table. Or when they’re making full eye contact with you as they slowly try to push a glass off a table.

As frustrating as this behaviour may be, it’s completely normal. Cats just enjoy the feeling of swatting things about, including their prey. This is their way of seeing the reaction they may get from the item they’re “playing” with.

Your cat may also be knocking things off surfaces to get your attention. Try to ignore this behaviour though. If you acknowledge them knocking things about, you may reinforce the behaviour. Make sure you put valuable or breakable objects out of paw’s reach.

Eating grass

Do your cats eat green stuff like grass, leaves and other plants? Cats are carnivores but they also often enjoy getting some nutrients from grass and other greenery. Out in the wild and in their “natural habitat” they would get these nutrients when they eat the intestinal contents of their prey – something they don’t really have the opportunity to do as domesticated animals (and selfishly, we’re grateful for this).

This may also be a sign that your cat is trying to induce vomiting, meaning they may be sick or have eaten something that has upset their stomach. If your cat is eating grass and doesn’t seem themselves, it may be a good idea to take them to the vet to make sure it’s nothing serious.

While we’re on the topic of vet visits, the best way to make sure your weird and wonderful cat is covered in the event of an unexpected accident or illness is to get pet insurance.

We’ve partnered with Oneplan Pet Insurance because they make vet visits super quick and simple by preloading day-to-day claims on your Onecard in as little as a minute! They also let you keep your favourite vet with no networks and pay up to R5000 deposit on pre-authorised hospital admissions for your pet!

You can find out more about Oneplan’s range of pet insurance plans here, or get a free online quote here.

Yours in Not-So-Average Pet Advice,

The Petinsurance.co.za Team