Unusual Cat Behavior: What Is Your Cat Trying to Tell You?

Most cat owners know that cats purr when they’re happy and tend to meow when they are uncomfortable. However, other cat behaviors, such as kneading, are bizarre. While you may not comprehend why your cat displays unusual behavior, she is likely expressing some emotion or need. As a result, understanding why your cat sometimes behaves mysteriously can help you improve his or her life.


Cat praying Sometimes, cats spend a lot of time hiding in boxes, under couches, or in dark closets. Although your cat may be naturally skittish, she may also be trying to tell you that she is uncomfortable, afraid, or unsure of something in her environment.

Generally, when your cat starts acting more anti-social than usual, he or she is responding to some environmental change. Bringing a new pet or person into your house can upset your cat just as much as a change in furniture or the placement of his or her food or litter box. Like some humans, cats tend to be cautious and aware of even the slightest changes in their daily lives.

As a result, identifying the source of your cat’s anxiety is important. Give your cat about a week to see if she adjusts to the environmental change. If an impermanent or fixable change (such as moving the food bowl) continues to upset your cat, reset the environment to the way that made your cat comfortable.

However, if a permanent change (such as moving or a new baby) is making your cat anxious, try creating a special area only for your cat. For example, set up a cat bed, some toys, and a cozy blanket in a low traffic area of your home. As your cat slowly gets used to his or her new space, he or she will start to explore more around your home, slowly acting more social.

Keep in mind that adjusting to environmental changes and learning to cope with anxiety is a slow process that you can’t force. Like humans, cats will need time to re-acclimate.

The Unusual Behavior of Eating Greens

For the most part, cats enjoy eating fish, meat, and other hearty proteins. However, occasionally, cats may start eating your plants or any green leafy vegetables they find. Because eating greens generally makes cats vomit, many owners are confused when their cats keep going back to eat the very thing that causes them to throw up.

While this may seem like unusual behavior, cats naturally eat grass in the wild to aid digestion. Munching on your houseplants is your cat’s way of finding a substitute for grass. By eating grass and throwing up, cats are able to expel hairballs that develop as they clean themselves and eventually upset their stomachs.

As a result, avoid keeping plants that are toxic to cats in your home. Along with “kitty grass” from your local pet store, you can also keep lavender, parsley, or sage around for your cats to chew on.

Sucking and kneading

Kneading, the repetition of pushing and pulling the paws in a particular area, is a common behavior that tends to mystify cat owners. Generally, cats will knead on soft surfaces (like couches or blankets) before sitting down or resting. Sometimes, cats purr while kneading.

One reason for kneading is to make the spot in which they are about to sit more comfortable. However, the kneading action itself is a behavior that cats learn when they are kittens, softening their mothers’ teats before feeding.

While grown cats who kneed a blanket are clearly not getting ready to suckle, they are preparing themselves for a sense of contentment, much in the same way a kneading kitten would. As a result, a kneading cat is generally happy and comfortable.

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