Apr 142012

Cat Body Language – What Is My Cat Saying?

Cat are way more flexible that you or I could probably ever hope to be. Therefore, they can get into positions that mean so many different things. And, with their tail, they have a cat tail language all their own. While cats don’t have speech like we do, they can convey quite a lot simply by what they do and how they use their tails.

There have been whole books written on cat body language, therefore it would be madness to try and cover every aspect in this one article. However, I do believe it is possible to cover the most frequent messages you will get from your cat – the things they do the most often, and they way they use their tails most often.

Why does my cat flick her tail and purr at the same time?

The Cat Behavior Answer Book: Practical Insights & Proven Solutions for Your Feline Questions

Cat tail signs, such as a flicking tail, can mean many things. If a cat is flicking it’s tail and is crouched, it’s usually an indication that they are stalking, or watching prey, ready to pounce.

At other times, the flicking tail will indicate that the cat is annoyed and you should keep away.

A cat will also sometimes flick his tail when he is being petted even though he is purring at the same time.

In my experience, a flicking tail means caution. If you are playing with your cat, it’s a sign that they are really into playing and you shouldn’t get too close. This is a great sign, in that they are really engaged with the play and they should be interested for several minutes. On the other hand, it also means they may overshoot and hit your foot if you aren’t careful.

If you come upon your cat, and want to pet them, or call them and they sit still and flick their tail, this means that they don’t want to be disturbed. In this case of cat body language – tail flicking is a definite warning.

When my cats flick their tail while being petted, and they purr at the same time, I still take this as a warning not to make any sudden moves, or pet them too harshly. Usually, when my cats come up to be petted, they don’t flick their tail and they seem to be pretty “blissed out” with the petting. But, when my cat is flicking her tail, she doesn’t get that “blissed out” look, even though she is purring. She shifts position several times, as if trying to get comfortable, and generally doesn’t stay for a long time. To me, this indicates that she likes the petting, but something is “off.” Who knows if it’s the temperature in the room, the way I’m sitting, or some subtle sign I’m giving her that I’m annoyed. Of course, the longer she takes to try to settle, I’m bound to actually get annoyed, so this isn’t far off.

While my cats don’t flick their tail all the time, other cats do. In this case, it is probably their way of saying they are happy, like a dog’s tail wagging. Only when you watch your cat for awhile and get to know him or her will you be able to determine if the tail flicking is a warning, or a sign of happiness. When it doubt, consider it a warning and tread carefully. At the very least, it will let your cat know that you aren’t threatening them, and they will be more comfortable with you.

Why does my cat come up to get petted, then turn around and present her behind to me with her tail straight up? Does she want me to check out her behind?

Cat Body Language Phrasebook: 100 Ways to Read Their Signals

As a matter of fact, yes she does want to you to check out her backside; it’s a way of greeting.

Cats use scent to recognize other beings the way we use faces. Cats will greet each other by sniffing noses. Then if your cats get along (mine don’t!), they will move on to rubbing their cheeks together and then smell each others’ tails and tushes. Sometimes, you will see them go straight for sniffing each others’ hind ends as a way of greeting and making sure who they are.

So, when it comes to humans, they treat us with the same greeting ritual. They don’t realize we don’t recognize others by sniffing their “tails”, so they think they are just giving us the opportunity to greet them. You won’t break them of the motion; the best you can do is gently turn them and pet their head. As I say to my cat that does this most often, “Could I please have the head end? I’m not that fond of the tail end.”

There is one advantage to this though – as pet owners, we need to check out our cats’ whole bodies, including their tails and behind. When they give us their butt, with tail held high, it’s an opportunity to make a quick visual inspection to make sure everything looks good.

So, see straight up cat tails meaning a greeting, and an opportunity to do a quick health check.

Why does my cat “knead” me?

This is an instinctive motion, also called “making biscuits.” Depending on the cat, they will knead with claws extending out on the “push” and retract them on the “pull.”

Kittens do this as they snuggle against their mothers. It may help them to get the milk started. At one time, it was believed that this motion meant the cat was weaned too early. However, all adult cats do so, regardless of when they were weaned.

No matter whether it relates directly to kitten-hood or not, when cats do it, they are happy. Often, they will purr at the same time.

Since it is instinctive, you won’t be able to break them of it, nor is it a good idea to punish them in any way for it. They will do it on many soft surfaces, be that a blanket, pillow, pile of clean clothes, or your lap.

The best way to handle it, if the claws coming out hurts when they are in your lap, is one, or both, of two ways:

  1. Trim your cat’s claws so that they don’t hurt during kneading.
  2. Place something between you and the cat’s paws. Perhaps a blanket, or what I like to do, is see if I can get my cat to settle on a pillow in my lap. It gives her something to knead instead of my leg. It also gives her a stable place to lie, so she doesn’t keep shifting, trying to get comfortable on my legs.

Why do cats rub against you, or rub their face against things?

What Is My Cat Thinking?: The Essential Guide to Understanding Pet Behavior

Cat have scent glands on their heads and cheeks. By rubbing against things, like furniture, door frames, and even you, they are distributing their scent and marking you as theirs.

If a cat is rubbing against your face, or as my cat does, sniffing around my lips, this is part of a greeting. Just like when they offer you their behind to “sniff”, they are checking out your scent, making sure you are you and checking out any changes they can find in your scent.

Cats may also do this if you return from somewhere you have been petting or interacting with another cat. They will sniff you and smell the other cat. Then sometimes will rub all over you, in order to erase the smell of the other cat and mark you as theirs again.

Why does my cat roll over on her back and show me her tummy when she doesn’t want it petted?

The belly is a very vulnerable area. In a fight, if another cat was able to turn over his rival, slashing at the belly could cause severe harm. Therefore, a cat rolling over on his or her back and exposing their belly indicates that they trust you not to hurt them.

However, most cats don’t actually like to have their belly rubbed. My cats will usually let me stoke their tummies 2 or 3 times before wrapping themselves around my hand and lightly scratching/bite me. They trust me not to hurt them, but they want to send a clear message that they want me to stop.

So, with respects to this cat body language – it’s a good thing, just be aware that your cat many not actually want their belly rubbed.

Why does my cat lick me?

One way cats show affection and mark you as part of their family is by grooming you. I have 3 cats and only one of them likes to try to groom me. I find it feels weird and tickles when she licks me, so I don’t mind that she doesn’t do it very often. However, since my husband doesn’t seem to mind, she will climb up on the back of the chair and lick his head all over, clearly grooming him. Since he has short hair, like hers, she won’t stop until she’s pretty much gone over his whole head. While she likes me, as my husband says, she’s clearly “Daddy’s little girl.”

Why does my cat nip me?

The Body Language and Emotion of Cats

Unlike when a cat full on bites you, sometimes cats will seem to nip you. They may hold on for a few seconds. This is a way of telling you that they like you and they are being affectionate.

This could also be a sign of playing, and that they enjoy playing with you.

Through other clues in the cat’s behavior, you can usually tell if this is aggressive. If they are tense and their tail is flicking, it’s probably a sign to back off. Although in these instances, they are more likely to break the skin. If it’s just a little nip out of nowhere, especially when you are petting them, then it’s a sign of affection.

If you don’t like it, it is possible to stop your cat from doing this. May cat used to do this a lot more, but it hurts when she does. I simply stop petting and say “ouch”. She usually looks up and me and I say something like “That hurts, don’t do that,” then begin petting her again. She has gotten to the point where she rarely does it, although she still comes up to me for petting, so this reaction has trained her not to do it.

Why does my cat head butt me?

In the same way that cats rub against things to spread their scent, head butting can do the same thing. It’s also a big sign that the cat wants petting. Only one of my cats does this, and it is clear that she wants petting when she does it. She will even butt her head against me and hold it there. It’s as if she’s saying, “Here’s my head, pet it. I’ll just hold it still so you can’t miss it, Ok?”

Sometimes it can be difficult to interpret cat behaviors and what they mean. Cats have so many different body language displays that can mean so many things. And, the same action can mean one thing if they are playing, and something else if they are happy. As you get to know your cat, you’ll learn what their different signals mean. Or, if in doubt, presume it’s a warning and move cautiously and slowly. Your cat will then move or make some sound that helps indicate what they really want or are trying to convey. If all else fails get creative with interpreting cat body language – meaning you’ll sometimes have to just guess!

  74 Responses to “Cat Behaviors And What They Mean – Tail Flicking, Nipping, Kneading, And More”

Comments (74)
  1. My cat does most of these it nice to know what hes doing my cat constantly licks me and headbuts me to wake me up thanks for all the information 🙂

  2. Very useful piece of information. My cat is always headbutting me n licking my hair. She has been kneeding her blanket since she was a baby but has recently started kneeding my leg…I just put her blanket inbtween. The tail thing is really tricky. My cat is always running about with her tail up…or semi up ..I’ve just gotten another wee kitten and they are always flicking their tails at each other.

  3. When my cat kneads me, she does it when she snuggles up into my armpit in bed. She also sucks on one of her hind paw toes when she does it. She does this until we both fall asleep. I always kinda took this to mean she felt like I was a maternal figure to her (even though I am male). She has done this since she was a kitten.

  4. hi i had two beautiful cats 12 years old 2 weeks ago maggie got really sick and we had to put her to sleep iam so upset but molly her sister is crying all the time i i donot know what to do she is soo losesome i try to pet her and she keeps turning her back to me what does that mean

    • I’m sorry I’m catching this reply so late, I hope you get it.

      First, I’m very sorry for your loss. Cats are part of our family and it hurts to lose them as much (or perhaps even more) than it hurts to loose a human member of the family. Allow yourself to grieve, even if others think it’s not appropriate. *hugs*

      Second, I’m not a cat behaviorist, so I don’t know for sure why she is doing this. However, based on my experience with cats, I would have to agree with you that she is lonesome and sad. She is probably also protesting because she doesn’t like the changes around the house.

      Therefore, I think the following may help:
      ~Try not to change too many things. Let her have the same toys and beds/sleeping spots (if you they aren’t somehow contaminated due to your other cat’s illness.)
      ~Pay extra attention to her – if she lets you. She may want to be left alone. If she seems to be irritated when you pick her up, then let her come to you.
      ~Unless she has become destructive or has other behavior problems (litter box avoidance, attacking), I would let her do what she needs to do to grieve in her own way.

      The closest I’ve come to having cats protest to change is when I’ve moved. This isn’t the same thing, but I imagine similar reactions on our part are appropriate. In my experience it took a week to two weeks before they accepted the changes and were back to “normal.”

      Good luck and I hope that you both feel better soon!

      • I when one of my cats die I try to show the other cats that they’re friend is dead . I had one cat who was euthanized as he had cancer and his best buddy went into ‘mourning’ and we nearly lost him as he stopped eating which causes fatty liver disease . I had to hand feed him for weeks. We did pull him out and he lived another 6 or so years. So now I try to show the other catsctge body so that they know he is dead and not just disappeared. Have not had a problem since .
        And maybe it was something else that stopped him eating but not taking chances anymore. I have four cats currently. They are all rescues.

    • This means your cat wants to spend more time with her sister; she is in terrible grief.

      • I am very sorry for your loss. Though I only have had one cat. I have had dogs in the past and it upset my dog Maggie. We moved to another neighborhood and behind us and she has gotten much happier. I might recommend a playmate if it is okay with her.

  5. I have two kittens, they came from the same litter. Only one of them kneads me. She almost goes into a trance when she does this and does not retract her claws when she pulls. If I try to pull away she starts to cry. As you can imagine it’s a somewhat painful experience so I hope there is some advice you could give on how to make her stop using claws when kneading.

    • Since kneading is an instinctual action (as far as I know), there isn’t a way you’re going to get your kitten to stop kneading *you* without making her afraid of you, which I presume you don’t want to do. 🙂 (She’ll still knead other places, however.) And, as putting out her claws is an integral part of kneading, there isn’t going to be a way you can get her to stop using them. My cats all put out their claws at least on the “down stroke” of the knead, so I do get clawed and understand how it can hurt. In order to stop it from hurting, you’ll have to take other measures.

      This isn’t as difficult as it seems, though. As I mentioned in the article, trimming her claws or having something between you and her (blanket, pillow, etc.) can help. Another thing that has really helped me is to put plastic tips on their claws.

      I believe that declawing is cruel so none of my cats are declawed. I have one cat that scratches where she isn’t supposed to, despite the fact that she has plenty of places she is allowed to scratch. I put the tips on her claws to stop the damage when she scratches, since I can’t stop the scratching. A happy side effect is that it doesn’t hurt when she kneads, or grabs my shoulder when I pick her up.

      The tips come in lots of colors and several sizes, including extra small for kittens. If you get the right size (you may have to try more than one – I had to try two), as well as enough glue (it will take practice to figure out how much) the tips will stay on for several weeks.

      Cats don’t particularly like it when you fuss with their paws, but even with verbal protests, all of my cats let me do it. Sometimes it takes a few sessions over the course of the day or a couple of days before they allow me to get all 10 claws, but it does get done. You may have more luck since you have kittens.

      I’ve also heard that starting them as kittens really gives them a chance to accept claw trimming as a regular routine before they are completely set in their ways. I presume this would extend to putting the tips on as well.

      Good luck!

    • Hi,
      My cat does this all the time i just put a pillow or a blanket on your lap, it helps.

    • Wear a heavy sweat shirt or pull a blanket were your cat is going my cat does it on my stomach so I pull two snuggles over my stomach but she use to claw me up bad all I can say is layers will help

  6. My cat will come sit next to me and will start purring if you pet him or scratch around his ears. However he almost immediately moves out of the way like he doesn’t like being petted, even though he is purring. It’s very strange.

    I don’t think it has anything to do with being scared. He follows us around the house like a puppy and cries if we go into a different room than where he is. He also sleeps on someone’s bed every night. He even does the same thing after rubbing his face against us which we take to mean he wants to be petted… But he starts purring and leaves your reach when you pet him… Even if we are extremely gentle and just on top of the head or around the ears.

    Any idea what is going on?

    • Sometimes cats have just had enough like at does the same exact thing but it’s all about what they want when they want it they’re kind of like that

  7. Thanks for the info now I have a better understanding of my little baby Coco 7months old. I must say she is one understanding little light of my life and I adore her, and you have help me a lot understanding her more, this is a very good book.

    Thanks again

  8. My cat sleeps on the bed with us, When I make a fuss of my cat she lays on top of we tail and begins to suck and bite it while pawing the bed, she is 6 months old and has done it since I’ve had her, why does she do this I’ve had cats before and none of them sucked and nibbled their tails?

  9. When ever I per my cat on the back his back legs stand up but not his front. Why…

    • That’s a good question – I guess it’s just that cats are weird sometimes. Mine do the same sometimes. I think it’s when I hit a certain spot, like when you scratch a dog’s back and they wiggle.

    • All my cats do this especially the boys, I think it is an erotic thing for them

  10. Our 2 year old male neutered cat just started peeing in our bed. What’s up?

    • Not sure, you will probably want to take him to the vet.

      I have a coworker who was ready to give away her cat because he had started peeing on her new baby’s things. Fortunately, when she took him to the vet, they discovered the problem. She said that a combination of medication (she didn’t say but my guess is anti-anxiety meds) and a new kidney health boosting formula cat food made the problem stop.

      Good luck!

    • Your cat may just be in discomfort.

    • Hi,
      My cat used to do this and we figured it was because we suddenly didnt let him in my room because of my gran coming(more complecated), and he started peeing but he will do it sometimes but we regularly let him in and he has stopped. We didn’t let him in for a long time after the first pee

    • Peeing or spraying? Have you got other cats? If so he may be claiming the bet as his territory or he may be trying to cover up another smell he doesnt like………..

  11. My cat, a very happy one yr old, growls even when she seems happy. Shell b sitting on my lap getting petted and shell purr and then growel. The whole time happily sitting on my lap. She does this ALL the time. Its kinda a purrgrowl. Is this normal? She’s kinda silly.

  12. Why does my cat suck on my blanket?

    • I had a cat that did this once and it was due to being removed from her mother too young. She would pad and suck the fur on a cushion.

  13. I have a cat that kneads when I sing? Why is this? Also can you tell me why she brings her feet to her face to hide it when she sleeps?

  14. My 1 year old cat will jump in my lap to be petted. When I do, (usually Im at the computer) she presses her nose into my arm pit, on the left side. Never the otherside. What does this mean, is it dangerous to me?


  15. To my concern, why does my cat seem to go into to a trance ( nipping & licking of forehead ) when I scratch the base of her tail, this has happened to some of my family members with her to. She also does puff up like it upsets her should I stop or can I continue but with concern.

    In hope of a response: Issac

    • I can answer that one. It’s been found out that cats at the base of their tails have a nerve cluster, it also riles them up to play and can be very sensitive to kitties. Some hate when it’s done to them, so I would suggest not to scratch her there unless you use the pads and not nails of your fingers

    • Continue you are sending your cat into a sexual stupor

  16. Thank you very much, info was very. Very helpful : )

  17. Why is my one-year-old cat starting to knead blankets and cat beds and other stuff all of a sudden when he never did this before? He was found on the street when he was about four weeks old and we took him in.

    • Now that your cat is content he probably has time now to think about his beginnings and remember his other. A cat does this when it is happy just when they were doing the same to bring on the mothers milk as a baby

  18. My cat Padema loves belly rubs, though she only accepts them from me. I’ll be sitting down and she’ll roll over and paw at my feet until I reach down and rub her belly and when I do she rolls all over the ground purring like a goof. I raised her from a feral kitten that my dog caught and I was the only human she knew growing up so maybe that’s why. IDK

  19. LOL! Wow and to think all these years I thought my cat hated me lol. He would nip me thenn chase me around the house. It would never hurt. Or I would pet him and, he would do the same thing. At times when I would call him over he would come and, show me his backside I thought he was ignoring me in some form so I would just sigh and, ignore him x__x lol. He doesn’t treat my other family members that way so” I figured that much lol.

  20. I have a 9 year old bengal cat that grabs my kitten by the neck and then uses his hind feet to do a scratching motion on the kittens hind end. He did the same thing to an elderly cat we had and put to sleep.

    He has been fixed, but acts like he has not, he even does this on my leg, the scratching and then rocking of the hips, I suspect it is sexual but I would like to try and stop this behaviour, especially to the young male kitten we recently got, he is 14 weeks old.

    Hope someone can help.

    • He’s an alpha cat, just letting the other kitties know whos the boss of your house it’s not sexual though it seems like it. If he does it to your leg just gently tell him no and move him away. That can be trained out of your cat easily enough.

    • Bengals are I think are only four times removed from a preditory wild animal, buy a water gun and teach this cat NO

  21. I have 2 cats and one has been very aggressive with my other cat,my sisters dog, and even my brothers and sisters lately oh another thing about her is that she just had kittens a couple weeks ago and this stuff ahs started happening this week. do you prob. think this has something to do with her aggressiveness cause we have been bringing out the kittens cause were trying to wean them off her.

    • Absolutely I think that the aggressiveness is because you are messing with the kittens. And I do believe that you are messing with them by trying to wean them at 2 weeks old. Why are *you* trying to wean them, especially at so young?

      According to the ASPCA article on weaning, mother cats will wean their kittens themselves on their own. If for some reason you think that your cat isn’t being a good mother, then you may need to wean them yourself. However, that process should not be started until at least 4 weeks.

      So, please, just leave your momma cat to do her thing. She is acting out because you are sending the message, even though that isn’t what you are trying to do, that you are going to hurt her babies. She is defending them in the only way she knows how.

      And, honestly, you may be unintentionally hurting them by taking them away. Very young kittens have special needs that adult cats don’t. So, if your momma cat isn’t hurting the kittens or ignoring them then let her be the mom that nature will lead her to be.

      I urge you to read the article I linked to above. Lots of good information there.

      Good luck!

  22. My little girl does these a lot. My mom and I laugh at her when she comes rubbing up on us and then nips us. She doesn’t hurt us, but it’s nice to know that the nip means “I love you” lol

  23. Hi i dont know if this site is still active but i would like to know why my cats swipe at the rump off each other from behind not serious no fights it is funny to watch they just glare at each after it happens and walk of,
    thanks Alan

  24. I adopted two female kittens that are 8 mos. old now. A few months ago I had to give the medium hair cat, Lilly a bath because she had poop stuck to her rear end. Right after the bath the short hair cat, Sophie hissed at her. I then gave her a bath too. Sophie hissed and chased Lilly for days. I had to put them in separate rooms when I went to work. It for days for them to recognize each other. Should I not give Lilly a bath even if she gets poop on herself?

    Also after this incident Lilly seems to be more aggressive during play and I have to split them up when Lilly has Sophie by the throat or near the face. Sophie will let a small cry. By the way, Lilly outweighs Sophie by a pound.

    They are great sisters and get along but do I need to worry when Lilly gets aggressive? Do I need to interfere?

    Thank you. Love your site and the format compared to others.

    • Usually what I do is trim the fur around the bum of the longer hair cats so they dont have this problem to start with. You ma want to look at what the cat is eating also as cat poo should not be of a messy consistancy

  25. Enjoyed this column, even laughed a few times. I have 4 and loved the explanations of my furballs little quirks. I’ve had cats all my life and have never had any that have acted the same. I love how they each have such unique personalities. I wait to name them until i match them with a name that fits. (Can’t do that with kids.) I actually have one (Bella) that is so mean the others steer clear. I’m the only one brave enough to pet her because she gets easily agitated, and attacks. I talk with my hands which has gotten me in trouble several times. My dog (Milo), will not pass Bella in the hallway, he just sits there and whines for me to come to his rescue. Another is Kiki, she’s the head bunting belly shower. Forgive me for saying, but she’s as dumb as a box of rocks and my daughter’s favorite. Next is Moochie, such a sweetie, her original family decided to move and not give her the address. Mooched for food and love, and came to the right place. Then there’s my baby, Gracie. Not many have seen her, much less pet her, but she sure loves to snuggle with me. She’s skiddish until she feels comfortable with others. Those few feel honored. Thank you for the good read and allowing me to brag on my furbabies with people who might actually care.

  26. Hello! Please bare with my lengthy description and question.

    SERIOUS TYPE of Kneading with all claws , nails out simultaneously!

    Thank you for the helpful info. My adult neutered male cat we have had since a five- week old kitty we adopted from the shelter in 2009. He kneads in my lap ,side, back however, I am laying on my bed. He does this for a long time. Lately, when he kneads, he demands that I not touch him or move.

    Today, he moved to face me and did not want me to touch him. Before getting off my back, I have noticed that he begins to shake and tremor while kneading and does not want me to move or get up. To further observe these behavior, I purposely allowed him knead as long as he wanted. He became quite possessive, not wanting me to move, touch him or move away from him. When I attempted to pat his head, he snarled in a frowning manner that appeared to say , KEEP STILL!

    Do you think this was any type of sexual behavior from my cat? Facing me, he stuck out his paw to keep contact with me while he continued to tap me with his upper paw. Not sure of what he was doing, I spoke to him with kind words once again trying to pat his head, again, he snarled while continuing his kneading with his front paws. He made shivering moves with his rear and did not want me to move. Raising up from my bed he started whining. I said , let’s get your little boy )( his stuffed baby toy he likes to drag around the house, especially when I’m out of our home.)

    Do you understand any of the described behaviors, this was not the first time he has done this?. He was so stern,I was not sure if he would scratch my face. SOS! Happenng often! thanks a million for your response.

    I appreciate your time and the site!

    • I have a 1 1/2 year old pure-bred Maine Coon that has started doing the same thing. He is neutered and started doing this a couple weeks ago. If he is sitting on me I can feel his butt pulsing and I put him down on the floor. He makes a growly whining noise and jumps back up. I’ve been dealing with aggressive behaviors from him (especially biting) since I got him. How can I redirect this behavior to a toy. I want to be his mom, not his wife!

  27. My cat has an area near her tail, that if you scratch it she will either start biting something near her or she will start licking something near her. I read on another website that doing this can put my cat in danger of seizures. Is that true, if not why does she do that?

    • No, is your cat a female that could possibly be on heat. This is a cats happy spot and I have never met one that doesnt lie it.

  28. hi iv just lost a cat 4yrs old millie to a car hitting her and she died in my arms any way we have her sister whos molly and shes ok so we got a new kitten 8wks old missy the thing is she will play and when she is tired she will come and sit with me but attack my arm like shes killing something then looks up at and cries a few times, i say to her close eyes and sleep and in a few mins shes sleeping but why attack my arm first can any one help with a reason 😒😒

    • I think your cat is mourning her loss and this is her way of trying to tell you how she is feeling, that she loves you and knows you are probably feeling the same. Your cat is old enough and has been around you long enough to gage how you are feeling by the tones in your voice and your body language. They are very perceptive and notice even small changes you may not

  29. I really don’t like cats because of the way their fur gets pulled of easily and makes me to start coughing.

    I was reading an article about women and how they are closely related to cats by way of their body language and frankly your article has been very helpful.

    Hope u do share more on cats behavior.

  30. I’ve had a rescue cat from a month old, bottle fed her and now she is 6yrs. She is spayed. Never got along with any other cats. She loves me but is not overly affectionate. I rescued another cat. Brought his scent home for a week before entering him to the house. Kept them separate for another week. Then slowly introduced them to each other. They seemed to be tolerating each other and they just hissed as they crossed paths. No problem with the food or litter box. Both are separate and in different locations. Today I noticed some aggression resulting in contact. Was surprised because I thought things were going well. Why did they regress?
    Help. I love them both.

  31. My cat loves me to brush her, starting at her head and brushing to the tip of her tail. She loves it. She also likes me to grab her tail and pull my hand along to the Tip. She chases me around, lies down on a chair near me and pats me until I pull along her tail. I haven’t read about any behavior similar to this.

  32. I am totally blind from birth and a cat lover. Cats are so tactile. I’m always touching mine, and have observed with my hands the things you folks see–tail flicking, etc. But there’s something no one seems to talk about. My cat flaps his lovely thin ear flaps on my hands whenever I put my hands near his ears. When his thin ear flaps flap on my hand, they make all sorts of sounds: thapp! snap!, etc. I’ve read lots of articles about the purpose of the pinna or ear flap, but nothing about why they actually flap their ears. I love the sounds his ears make when they come into contact with my hands. I love the thin, fringed pinna, and wonder how such thin little things can make such loud percussive sounds. My cat’s ears are so sensitive, he flaps them if I’m anywhere near his head. He has large flaps. They are rather hard to avoid. Still, I don’t suppose they were placed there for my acoustic and tactile amusement. LOL I just wonder why he flaps his ears.

  33. Thank you for this info, I was really confused when my kitten would purr and flick his tail . When I pet him . I knew from experience that tail flicking is not a happy thing . And purring the total opposite . Nice to know it isn’t a total bad thing .

  34. Thanks for this website. It really helped. I have one question though. My cat does need me. ALOT. When I sleep she comes up and layer on my chest, neads my neck and sucks on my earlobes. She also purrs when she does it. I read another website that says sucking the earlobe brings back memory of their mother. Is this true? Is it ok that she sucks my earlobes? If this helps, she, her sister and her four brothers where abandoned under a house porch. Please tell me that she just wants love and doesn’t want to attack me or something. Thanks again.

  35. We have a momma cat (6 yo) & her son (5 yo). Momma has gotten very aggressive towards son recently. She chases him ears straight back,snarling, hissing & growling. We gave jr a reprieve he went to a boarding place for 2 days thinking that would shake her back into normalcy. It didn’t, the minute I walked in the door it started again. We are keeping them separated, but my husband has had enough nod is taking momma to a shelter. Does anybody have ANY ideas? I don’t want to lose my momma kitty. I feel like such a failure.

  36. Hi have a new cat. She adopted us. A calico. She came at dusk for weeks. We did not feed her. She left and came daily. I feed her. She stays in house and leaves in the am and returns at dusk. We have been doing this for six weeks. Took her to the vet to spay. After putting her to sleep they found she dhad the operation. We gave her shots and s chip. All with vets approval. She is a loner. At night she does all the things you listed with me. Stays on the bed and comes and goes. She will sleep with me one my head stomach chest. Leaves and comes back to get petted. I don’t know what to think as she is so independent.
    Now we are moving to a tower apartment and she will become an indoor cat. Will this work? What am I to expect?
    Please advise. Thank you

    • Two of my cats were outdoor cats that became indoor cats. One I know was wandering around for several weeks/months before we took her in. She too had previously been spayed. Given my experience, and based on what you are saying, your cat should be fine becoming an indoor cat. She sounds like she wants to spend time with you, and was probably someone’s pet previously, so she likes being inside. I would say that as long as you give her lots of places to explore and sleep, lots of toys to play with, and access to look out a window she should be fine.

      Depending on how much space you will have in your new apartment, you may want to consider getting her a cat tree – either an “official” cat tree, or look into shelving units that can be altered/hacked to create cat areas. For example, my husband and I set up the ALGOT line of shelves from IKEA. We staggered them and put a basket on top. The cats loved jumping from shelf to shelf and sleeping in the baskets way up high. Here’s a picture of what we did:

      Licorice enjoying the ALGOT.

      We had 2 sets in two different corners that we set up as mirror images of each other. I hope that helps!

  37. So my cat used to knead on me she would start kicking me with her back Paws aandshe would start biting me almost like a male having sex with a female I don’t know why she doesn’t do it anymore and if anyone has any ideas let me know thanks

  38. Thanks I realize that my cat is WEIRD lol

  39. My cat actually LOVES to have her stomach rubbed. Is ther something wrong with her?

    • Every single time I come home my cat greets me on his back on the kitchen floor waiting for his belly to be rubbed. He generally likes it for an extended period of time but lets me know when he’s done by grabbing my hand with all four feet so your cat is not alone! He also loves having his tail pulled when he is being petted. He will walk away from me so that my hand runs all the way down his butt into the end of his tail. He has done this since I adopted him at about 6 months old!

  40. My cat brings me live mice, birds and baby rabbits. Why does she do this and how can I stop it?

  41. I have a older female cat that has suddenly decided that urinating in the floor is better than using her litter box (less than 3 ft. away) this happened after we came back from a vacation. What should we do?

    • I have 3 thoughts on this matter. I have a kitten who stopped using his litter box when I inadvertently changed the brand of litter he was used to using. Changed back, problem solved. Also, cats will pee somewhere they know you’ll find it to either express their displeasure with something “new”, (leaving them behind while on vacation) or to let you know there is something wrong with them. Perhaps a visit to the vet is in order if the other 2 ideas do not seem possible.

  42. I haven’t read every post so excuse me if I’m duplicating. The behavior that I would like explained is when Mini presents herself sideways with an arched back and scuttles across the floor in front of me. Usually she will run away as if she wants me to chase her. But when I do try to be scary back to her she doesn’t react. What is she saying?

    Thanks, David H

    PS, when she does this all hair is puffed out.

  43. My cat will frequently sit above my head on the couch or chair and repeatedly flick her tail against my head as if she is playing with my hair or gently massaging my scalp. I love it – it feels as though she is showing affection. She frequently kneads me while
    I’m sleeping and brings me rats and rat heads semi regularly. I know I sound like a crazy cat lady, but is it my imagination that she knows I like to feel her tail flicking against my head? It’s like she’s petting me. I tolerate the kneading because I know it’s instinctual and I’m like to believe it’s affectionate even though she wakes me
    Frequently during the night. The rats/rat heads/grasshoppers? Ugh. Again I tolerate. Any insight on the tail flicking against me/my head? Usually she’ll do it for like 5 minutes and then just quit abruptly.

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