The strange behaviours of cats

Cats can be quirky and fascinating animals and will leave their owners wondering where some of their more interesting habits come from. From kneading and head butting to bringing “gifts” and squeezing into tight spaces, here are some of the most bizarre things that cats do and why they happen.


Does your cat like to repeatedly push their paws into you? This seemingly random act is known as ‘kneading’ and is widely believed to be a positive action. Kittens will often do this with their mothers while feeding and some experts believe that it is an instinctive action that may bring comfort for adult cats too.

Kneading can also act a subtle way to mark their ownership of you too. The paw pads contain scent glands and this scent is transferred to you during kneading.

The strange behaviours of cats. A girl holds a black cat

Head butting

Have you ever had your cat head butt you? You might think that this is an aggressive action but it is actually thought to be a sign of affection. Experts believe that cats engage in head butting to transfer their scent onto people or objects and that by doing this to their owner, they are demonstrating a strong sense of trust. As with kneading, it may also bring comfort to cats.

Bringing Gifts

Does your cat like to bring you presents? Experts believe that this goes back to their natural hunting and survival skills, which would have been needed in abundance in the wild. Domestic cats may have no need for this behaviour as a means of feeding themselves but they may be showing affection for their owner by bringing items to them. Their intentions are therefore believed to be well placed, even if they do often cause offence!

Squeezing into small spaces

Ever wondered why your cat shuns comfy sleeping areas such as beds and sofas in favour of tight squeezes such as cardboard boxes? It is thought that this helps them to feel safer and more secure due to the fact that sleeping in open spaces in the wild would make them more vulnerable to predators.

Eating grass

Cats are not herbivores so you may well wonder why they will often look for grass to eat. You will often notice them throwing up afterwards, and this is because it has the effect of cleaning out the digestive tract and getting rid of things that cannot be digested. It is also thought to contain folic acid, which is key for your cat’s general health.

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