Feline behavior is complex; just ask anyone who owns or has ever owned a house cat. There are dozens if not hundreds of behavioral cues that allow cats to express a wide range of emotions such as curiosity, affection, anger, fear, etc.
But trying to put yourself in your cat’s paws can be, quite frankly, impossible. Cats act weird all the time, which is why today I’m going to do my very best to help you decipher your cat’s social language.
Here are the answers to the most common questions about cats’ oddest behavior.
Why Does Your Cat Smell Your Eyes?
When a cat smells your eyes they are expressing a high degree of affection. A cat’s sense of smell is their primary method to understand the world around them, so when they sniff your eye they are confirming to themselves that you are part of their “family”.
Why Does Your Cat Bump You With Its Head?
When a cat bumps their head into you, they are “bunting” you. Bunting is one of the most common and effective ways to mark in the feline world.
A cat’s sense of affection and ownership are tightly intertwined, so when a cat bumps their head into you they are transmitting its scent to your body, thus marking you as “safe” and as “family”.
Another valid interpretation of the cat-head nuzzle is that your cat is simply looking for attention. With this type of contact, your cat is telling you that you are allowed to pet it, that it trusts you fully, and that it knows you will take care of it because you are family.
Why Does Your Cat Lick You?
Cats lick their owners for a variety of reasons, but the primary purpose is to establish an affective bond. Cat mothers begin to lick their kittens as soon as they are born, so all cats learn this behavior very early on in life.
Cat licking extends beyond humans, and you may see your kitty lick other pets in your household.
Why Does Your Cat Knead You?
Kneading, also known as “making biscuits”, is the action of pushing its front paws into your body, while alternating between its left and right paw. All cats knead, regardless of their breed, size, or age, and they knead because they love you.
Cats find the action of kneading very pleasurable and highly comforting because it reminds them of their kittenhood and kneading on their mother’s body while nursing.
Cats are also known to knead your body when they are getting ready to take one of their many daily naps.
Why Do Cats Scratch Everything?
Cats scratch everything around your house because they can scent-mark their environment by scratching. Cats have scent glands between their toes, so when they scratch objects they leave behind a very clear mark, which they use to delineate their “safe zone”.
Cats also scratch to relieve stress and express frustration. Additionally, the action of scratching helps cats to clear dead cells from their claws.
Why Do Cats Love To Get Inside Boxes?
Cats love to get inside boxes of all kinds because they are natural-born hunters and climbing inside boxes and other tight spaces allows them to live out their hunter fantasies of hiding in wait for their prey.
Why Do Cats Wink At You Sometimes?
Cat winks are one of the oddest and funniest of cat behaviors, but they are also one of the most endearing. If your cat winks at you it is letting you know that it trusts you completely.
This is an instinctual behavior, shared by all cats around the world, that is used to signal to other cats that no threats are nearby.