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5 Weird Cat Behaviors Explained

Let’s face it:  Our feline friends can be real weirdos at times. But most cat parents adore their odd yet endearing behavior. Plus, it keeps things entertaining around the house! Check out our list of five mystifying cat behaviors and why they do them.

1. Kneading

A lot of cat parents call this behavior “making biscuits” because it looks like a baker kneading dough. According to PetMD.com, when cats knead by rhythmically pressing down with one paw and then the other, it usually signals happiness. Not all cats do it, but those that do usually knead soft blankets, pillows, other animals or (of course) their owner’s lap! A lot of felines also soothingly purr at the same time.

Kittens instinctively knead their mother to get milk flowing, but why do adult cats do it? According to Vetstreet.com, pet experts think it’s a way to show contentment, display affection and mark a person, object or another animal with the scent glands in their paws. While it’s usually a sign of love, some cats also knead to calm themselves if they’re feeling a little stressed or anxious. Whatever the reason, though, one thing’s for sure: Cat parents usually enjoy their kitty massages!

2. Going Bums Up

When you stroke your cat’s back or brush them, do they suddenly go into elevator-butt position (yep, that’s really what it’s called!) by lowering their front end, raising their hindquarters high and pointing their tail straight up? If so, this is your cat’s way of saying, “That’s the spot!” It’s how your cat lets you know you’re scratching them in juuuust the right place — usually at the base of their tail — and that they want you to keep doing what you’re doing!

Sometimes your cat might stick their elevator-up backside in your face. And while it might seem a little rude, it’s actually a friendly gesture that tells other cats your kitty feels secure and is kindly offering up the chance for a butt sniff. (Which, like with dogs, is 100% normal.) The good news? You don’t have to take them up on the offer; you can just keep scratching instead.

3. Squeezing into Small Spaces

 

“If I fits, I sits” isn’t just an online phenomenon; it’s a way of life in the cat world. That’s because felines love to squeeze themselves into and sleep in tight spaces like bathroom sinks, baskets, bags, bookshelves or, of course, B-O-X-E-S! They may even choose a cardboard container over an expensive, comfy cat bed. Why? Because they like the security and warmth these places provide. According to Vetstreet.com, some pet experts consider cats’ love of tiny spaces to be a nod to their wildcat ancestors that hid and slept in small, enclosed places as a way to avoid predators and stalk prey.

4. Chattering

 

When your cat sees a bird outside the window, they might chatter at it. Chattering is a distinctive, repetitive clicking sound made from a combination of lip smacking and your cat rapidly vibrating their lower jaw. This odd behavior looks like teeth chattering, and a lot of cats also sprinkle in soft, birdlike “chirp” sounds.

This strange cat trait is thought to be a mix of predatory excitement and frustration at not being able to get to the bird that’s making them cuckoo. Moderncat.com also reports that some animal behaviorists even think the chattering sound mimics a “killer bite” used to break the bones of prey. (Wow! Who knew Fluffy was so ferocious?!)

Regardless of the exact reason cats chatter at birds, most feline parents find it hilarious and worthy of a social share.

5. Being Terrified of Cucumbers

 

Who knew such an unassuming fruit (yes, fruit!) could strike so much fear into most cats? The internet is packed with videos of unsuspecting cats shooting straight in the air and fleeing from a cucumber secretly placed behind them.

But have you ever wondered why most cats react this way? Animal behaviorists have a couple of leading theories for the “cucumber cat phenomenon.” Most agree that cucumbers look like snakes, which cats are instinctively scared of. Another theory is that they’re reacting to an unexpected object suddenly showing up behind them.

Whatever the reason cucumbers make a cat’s blood run cold, we don’t recommend pulling this prank on your poor cat — your little furball could get hurt! (Plus, you can already find plenty of videos to get your “scaredy cat vs. cucumber” fix.)

  • kitten licking its lips because it wants kitten treats

    Kitten Treating 101: Everything to Know about Treats for Kittens

    Congratulations on your new lil’ kitten! This is a time of adorable meows and razor-sharp claws. So wonderful.  

    You want to bond with your new kitten however you can, but how? It’s no secret that cats love treats. Every cat owner knows how irresistible TEMPTATIONS™ Treats are. But what about kittens? When can they get in on the fun? This is the definitive guide to kitten treats.

    orange and white kitten walking outside

    Can Kittens Eat Treats?

    Yes, they can! You can start feeding kitten treats to your kitty when they are about 8 weeks old or after they’ve fully transitioned to wet kitten food or dry kitten food from milk or formula. You should switch your kitty to adult treats around their first birthday.   

    Temptations kitten treats salmon and dairy and chicken and dairy flavor bags

    Do They Even Make Treats for Kittens?

    Yes, we do! From the makers of your favorite healthy cat treats (that’s us) comes TEMPTATIONS™ Kitten Treats! We’ve made two irresistible flavors: TEMPTATIONS™ Chicken and Dairy Flavor Kitten Treats and TEMPTATIONS™ Salmon and Dairy Flavor Kitten Treats.

    Do They Make Healthy Kitten Treats?

    Yes again! TEMPTATIONS™ Kitten Treats are under two calories each and 100% nutritionally complete and balanced for kittens. These healthy kitten treats are specially formulated with DHA to support healthy brain development, which makes them especially good treats for kittens. 

    kitten eating kitten treats out of owner's hand

    What's the Best Way to Feed My Kitten Treats?

    Another excellent question. You can use kitten treats for training purposes, as a whole meal, as a special meal topper or just as a fun way to bond with your tiny new ball of fur.

    How Many Treats Should I Feed My Kitten?

    For kittens ages 8 to 16 weeks (2-4 pounds of body weight), feed 7-9 TEMPTATIONS™ Kitten Treats daily. If fed as a main meal, feed 1/3-1/2 cup daily in 3-4 meals per day. 
     
    For kittens ages 16 to 52 weeks (4-10 pounds of body weight), feed 10-12 treats daily. If fed as a main meal, feed 1/2-2/3 cup daily divided into 2-3 meals per day.  

    And always make sure your growing kitten has plenty of fresh drinking water! 

    Can Kitten Treats Affect Their Diet?

    Your kitten's health is the top priority. Everything in moderation, right? So make sure you’re paying attention to serving sizes and water availability as you’re treating your cat. A healthy kitten is a happy kitten, especially when they’re treated to TEMPTATIONS™. 

     

    kitten playing in the cat tree

    Any Fun Ideas on How to Use These Tasty Kitten Treats?

    Oh yeah — we’re so glad you asked. We’ve got a whole article on using cat treats for training, but here are some of our kitten-specific favorite ways to use our crunchy treats.  

     

    Kittenhood is when behaviors get solidified, so treats are a great way to encourage good habits. Try incentivizing your kitten’s use of the scratching post by holding a treat for them above it, keeping it just out of reach. This might save the sides of your couch later!  

     

    Place treats on all levels of your cat tree to watch them parkour around or play a little cat fetch by tossing treats across the floor. Don’t be surprised when they don’t actually return the treats, though. They’re just too … tempting. Get it? Because we’re … never mind. 

     

    OK, this one might not be as fun, but it’s practical: Get your kitten used to their crate by placing treats toward the back of it. Over time, you can work toward having the door shut and spending a few seconds/minutes at a time in their crate, which can make going to the V-E-T way easier. Trust us. 

     

    That’s it! That’s the full download on kitten treats. We’d love to see how you’re using TEMPTATIONS™ Kitten Treats, so why not show us a pic or cute video over on Instagram? Use the hashtag #TEMPTATIONSShare and your pretty kitten may just end up on our account.