The Glenville Veterinary Clinic

Why does my cat do that?

Ever wondered why cats do the quirky things they do?
Here we unravel some of the mysteries of the feline world.

Siggy funnyHospital cat Siggy being a goofball, while an unamused Juno looks on


Why do cats sleep so much?

Cats sleep over 16 hours a day, or about two thirds of their lives. Cats are not actually nocturnal, but crepuscular, meaning they are most active around sunrise and sunset. In the wild, these are the best times for hunting when there is just enough light for them to see, and this is why kitty wants to play when you’re ready to sleep. Cats are also light sleepers, so they must sleep longer to compensate. This is where the term “cat nap” comes from.

Why do cats purr?

Typically, a purring cat is a happy cat. Kittens are able to purr shortly after birth and use purring to show contentment. Cats purr to communicate to others that they are friendly or want to play. Cats also purr when they are scared or sick as a way to soothe themselves, much the way a human would sing or hum to relieve stress.

Why do cats “make biscuits”?

Nursing kittens knead their paws on their mother cat to stimulate milk flow. Adult cats knead on people as a way to comfort themselves and to show affection. It reminds them of when they were kittens, safe and happy with their mother cat, and that is quite a compliment to a kitty’s human companion.

Why so much grooming?

Cats spend up to three hours grooming daily. A cat’s saliva is thought to contain a detergent-like substance that keeps the coat soft and clean. Their rough tongue removes dead hair and also acts as a “self massage” that can relieve stress. Cats groom each other as a way of enriching social bonds between fellow felines.

Why do cats claw furniture?

Contrary to popular belief, cats are not “sharpening” their claws. They are actually encouraging the dead outer layers of their claws to shed. Cats are one of the few animals who walk directly on their toes, and scratching helps file off the ragged edges. It helps the kitty stretch and exercise the muscles in their legs and back. This action also allows the cat to mark its territory with the scent glands on their paw pads. Keeping claws trimmed and having a few well-placed scratching posts will discourage clawing on your furniture (a spray bottle filled with plain water also works wonders).

Why do cats rub their faces on things?

Cats have scent glands on their face, chin, and in their mouth. Rubbing on objects or people deposits their scent through chemicals called pheromones, marking their territory. It’s a way of telling their owner “you’re mine.”

Why is my cat squinting at me?

Another way cats communicate is with their eyes. Much like with dogs (and humans), a direct stare is usually perceived as a threat. A slow blink, on the other hand, is a way to show that they mean no harm, and that they approve of the other cat’s presence. So next time you’re hanging out with your feline friend, give them a slow blink. Chances are, they will return the gesture.


cat squint

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