10 Common Cat Behaviors You May Find Strange

Cats exhibit all sorts of responses – some you may find cute while others may freak you out. For example, one minute they could be kneading on your soft blanket, the next minute you may find them throwing things off a table. If you had a penny for every time your cat’s behavior puzzled you, you’d have thousands of dollars if not tens of thousands. 

This guide will help you decode all the strange and adoring behavior your feline may exhibit. 

  • Purring 

You’ll notice that almost every single cat purrs; however, the reason they purr is unknown to many. If a cat is injured or stressed, it purrs to self-soothe. It also purrs when socializing with other cats, when it wants something from its pet parent, or when it feels relaxed. 

Moreover, when it delivers a baby, the mama cat purrs to guide the newborn to its nipples for nursing.  

  • Tail Wagging 

When a cat wags the tip of its tail, it often means your kitty is about to pounce on something – a toy or even your leg. Unlike a dog, a cat wagging its tail isn’t a joyous animal response. It could be a sign of excitement, frustration, or even a warning before biting you. 

  • Showing the Belly

Tell me if this sounds familiar. Your feline stretches out and shows its belly and you feel an urge to reach out and gently pat its fuzzy belly. However, what you may not know is that this is a symbol of a cat putting its trust in you. 

As you rub its belly, it may react by scratching or biting you. But don’t worry, this is a cat’s way of communicating with you. Quite strange, indeed. However, the more your cat trusts you, the more it will allow you to rub its belly without reprimand. 

  • Scratching Furniture

You could find many reasons as to why cats scratch your furniture. One could argue that it’s an expression of showing excitement, releasing energy, or simply a cat’s way of playing. Another more convincing reason is that they do so to mark their territory. 

You see, there are scent glands on a cat’s paws. When they scratch a surface, it releases the odor, which helps them mark things as “their own.” 

In other words, it’s a cat’s way of saying: “This couch is mine, so are these people. You better keep your distance.” How adorable is that! 

However, the scratches on your furniture may not look nice. Therefore, one way to keep it scratch-free is to buy cat-proof furniture. However, if your budget is a tad tight, you should try the next best thing – giving your feline something else to scratch on. For example, a cat tower or a pad. 

The best way to instill this new behavior in your cat is to give it a treat every time it rubs the pad. This will encourage the kitty to rub whatever you allow them to and will also take their mind off your furniture. 

  • Licking the Pet Parent 

Another strange behavior you’ll notice is a cat will often lick you with its rough tongue. This behavior originated from a mama cat licking its kittens to show motherly affection. Therefore, your pet licking you is the representation of their bonding with you.

  • Not Using their Litter Box 

Right from kittenhood, cats are programmed to cover their poop and pee. So, when you see them going outside the litter box, you should know that something isn’t quite right. If you can stop it from peeing anywhere else, that’s great. However, it will address the surface-level issue and won’t address the root cause.

The reason could be as simple as not liking the type and location of the litter pan or as serious as a medical issue, such as urinary tract infection. In the latter, you should consult a vet for a urine test to address the underlying concern. 

  • Chewing Cords

Cats love playing with objects. They’re naturally drawn towards strings, ribbons, and cords only when these items are accessible. So, to stop your kitty from chewing cords, you should apply bitter apple spray on the cords. However, don’t overdo it, as too much of an essential oil will make your feline sick. 

A safer way around this is to stow away the cords you don’t need and hide the remaining ones in cord covers. 

  • Bringing Objects from Outside 

Tell me how much you can relate to this. You’re sitting in your room – reading a book or using your phone – and there comes your cat carrying something in its mouth. Sometimes, it’s a toy; oftentimes, it’s a dead animal, such as rodents, bugs, or even birds. Sounds familiar, right? 

Why on earth would a cat do this? 

This could be because they’re trying to imitate how the mother used to bring food to feed the kitten. Or they might be trying to signal you to save their catch for later.

  • Kneading

Kneading is a cat’s way of showing affection to their pet parents and favorite objects. Besides, kitties are also known to knead their mothers. This releases a scent from the glands in their claws to claim them as “their own.” So, sit back and soak up their love. 

Kneading could also be an attempt to create a comfy little spot for their nap, such as kneading a blanket. 

  • Chirping

Apart from meowing and purring, cats also make another noise called chirping. A cat mostly chirps under two conditions. First, it’s a sign of enthusiasm upon meeting someone – could be you or a fellow kitty. 

Secondly, when it spots a potential prey, its innate hunting response kicks in. This type of chirping is usually paired with dilated pupils and a flickering tail. 


You can have a ball adopting a cat as a pet because of their quirkiness and adoring behaviors. However, that’s only going to happen if you’re able to read its behaviors and understand why it does what it does. Otherwise, you might stay confused – or even frustrated – not knowing how to get around their strange actions. 

Encountered a strange cat behavior that’s not on this list? Feel free to share that in the comments below. 

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