Decoding the Mysterious Habits of Cats

Lisa Selvaggio
by Lisa Selvaggio
What’s going through your cat’s head when she does crazy kitty stuff? Let’s take a closer look at the weird things your cat does and why she does it.

Felines can be pretty mysterious, even for experienced cat owners. The fact that they can’t quite be figured out 100% means they always keep you guessing, and that’s part of what makes them so fun to be around.

But let’s face it, as much as we adore our feline companions and their quirks, being able to better understand their sometimes peculiar behavior would definitely be a welcome change. That’s why we’ve gathered some information that will help with decoding some of your cat’s odd habits.

Related: Why Do Cats Meow at Night?

Why Do Cats Suddenly Decide to Run Across the House?

You have to admit, when your cat suddenly decides to run across the house and act a little nutty, it’s actually really funny—except when it happens in the middle of the night and you get startled awake. So what’s up with this weird behavior?

Some experts think it has to do with your cat’s energy level. He basically just needs to get a quick cardio session in to release any pent-up energy that he’s dealing with. After all, compared to kitties who live in the great outdoors and hunt multiple times a day, your indoor kitty is a lot more sedentary, so he’ll feel the need to burn off excess energy.

Related: What Does It Mean When A Cat Wags Its Tail?

Playing with your cat using toys that simulate hunting can help, but you can never really predict when your cat will decide to run around the house and jump onto and off of your furniture just for kicks.

Why Do Cats Make That Weird Vampire Face?

Have you ever seen your cat sniff something and then make a face that shows off his fangs? This is called the flehmen response, and felines aren’t the only animals that do this. Put simply, your cat is using the Jacobson’s organ, AKA vomeronasal organ, which is found in the roof of his mouth. The smell he just inhaled is certainly interesting, so your kitty is drawing the fragrance up into this organ in order to analyze it more closely.

Why Do Cats Stare at Nothing?

Some cat owners will get a little uneasy when they notice that their kitty is suddenly staring off at what appears to be absolutely nothing, and they may even start to assume that their cat is looking at something supernatural. Much more likely, however, is that your cat is simply using his keen senses to take in his surroundings. He can probably see and hear something that your human eyes and ears aren’t able to pick up on.

Why Do Cats Stick Their Butts in the Air When You Pet Them?

Kitties have a habit of sticking their butts in the air as you pet them from head to tail. What are they trying to tell you? Well, there’s a sweet spot right at the base of the tail that your cat is asking you to scratch. Not all cats will like being scratched there, but if your kitty is one of the many that does like it, he’ll let you know by lifting his butt and directing your hand to the area that he’d like massaged.

So there you have it. While this isn’t a complete list for all of the weird feline behaviors that pet owners encounter daily, we hope this information has helped to decode at least some of your cat’s unusual habits.

Lisa Selvaggio
Lisa Selvaggio

Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.

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