Why is my cat so weird?
We’ve been writing a lot about dogs on the blog recently so this week it’s time to redress the balance and talk about cats – and how downright weird they can be! A new study has revealed that almost half of cat owners don’t understand why their cat does acts the way they do – but they don’t really mind!
2,000 cat owners were surveyed by Pet DNA specialists Wisdom Panel in partnership with cat rescue charity The Scratching Post, based in Waltham Abbey. The study looked at cat behaviour and some of the puzzling things our cats like to do which have us completely scratching our heads, revealing that many cat owners are completely baffled by their pet’s activities. 47% said that they simply ‘don’t get’ their kitty and 87% are stumped by their peculiar behaviour.
Cat in the sink Photo by Piotr Musioł on Unsplash
Here are the top 30 most baffling things about cats, according to the study:
- How they can tell the difference between the treat packet opening and something that is of no interest to them like a bag of salad.
- Why they ignore their scratching posts and go for the furniture instead.
- Why they get ‘zoomies’ at random times and seem to go absolutely mad for five minutes.
- Why they meow at you when you’re eating, seemingly asking for some of your food, and when you give it to them, they just ignore it.
- Why they constantly seem to try and get in places you don’t want them to, like cupboards or under the bed.
- How they get comfortable sitting in really uncomfortbale looking places.
- Where they go when they’re out of the house.
- Why they always seem to lie down on clothes you’ve laid out to wear.
- Their obsession with empty boxes.
- Why they suddenly go from purring and cuddling to ‘attack mode’.
- Why they’ll eat one brand of food and not another.
- Why they seem to lie on their back and ask for a tickle, then attack the tickler.
- What they get out of staring aimlessly out of the window for hours.
- Why they choose 3am as the optimum time to sprint around the house at top speed.
- Why they insist on bringing in dead animals.
- Why they stare at you for long periods of time.
- Why they try to fit themselves into a box of any size.
- Why they seem to adore certain houseguests and hate others.
- How they can nap in such weird places.
- Why they seem to get on with some cats, and not others.
- Why they always knock things off the side.
- Why they rub their head against you when you’re working.
- How they can squeeze themselves through the tiniest gaps.
- The weird noises they make if they end up in a cat fight.
- Why they drag treats like chicken bones off to eat them in private.
- Why they run away at the sight of a person.
- Why they need such ridiculously sharp claws.
- Why they attack your feet for no reason.
- Why they play with hair bands etc. and ignore their actual toys.
- Why they can’t resist string.
Of course, some things can be explained by animal behaviourists – such as scratching your furniture instead of their scratching post in order to mark their territory, but the motivation for crazy random ‘zoomies’ or ‘singing the song of their people’ at 3am are somewhat less clear!
Hose cat Photo by Rodrigo Pereira on Unsplash
Wouldn’t change a thing
Despite all the weirdness however, 65% of at owners said that they wouldn’t change anything about their crazy kitty and 53% find most of the quirky things they do hilarious.
This is somewhat heartening news as following lockdown and the current cost of living crisis, cat abandonment is at an all-time high. Susan Delaney, founder of The Scratching Post, told Metro that the past few months have been incredibly challenging for rescue charities:
“Shelters have always struggled with abandonment, however the cost-of-living crisis has definitely contributed to more people having to part ways with their pets.
“Adoptions have also been impacted, reducing by 40% since pre-pandemic levels, which unfortunately is causing rehoming centres to hit crisis point.”
The fact that most of us love our cats just the way that they are is good to hear. But what can be done about the adoption crisis? It’s very important to be responsible with your cat. As many of our kitties are allowed outside to roam as they please they are more likely to meet other cats and breed and although the idea of a litter of kittens sounds exciting it is irresponsible to keep breeding when there are so many lovely cats waiting in shelters for someone to give them a loving home.
If it fits, I sits Photo by Andrew Cornell on Unsplash
Man’s best friend?
The study revealed that the average cat owner will have four felines in their lifetime and 39% said that their current cat is their ‘best friend’.
More than half (55%) believe each cat has many different personalities, and 52% said that they wished they could communicate with their pet by being able to hold a proper conversation with them (not just a one-sided chat or meowing at each other!)
What weird things does your cat like to do? My cat Missy likes to wake me up by frantically scratching on my wardrobe door with both paws – perhaps trying to get to Narnia? She also sometimes forgets how the cat flap works and meows to be let in and out – just like Judith Kerr’s much loved story character ‘Mog’. If it was raining at my Mum’s house her cats used to ask to go out of the front door in case it wasn’t raining on that side of the house. They then used to rattle the letterbox to come back in. My friend Maria has six cats and one of the likes to lie in the bathroom sink when she’s trying to brush her teeth! And my friend Avril had a cat that tried to prise her eyelids open when she was asleep so that she would get up and feed it! As always, we’d love to hear about your pets and their peculiarities, tell us all about them in the comments section below.
Main photo by Natália Campos on Unsplash