I have owned cats for over 60 years. Between them and their vets, I have learned a great deal about how they tick.
What Is My Cat Trying to Say?
Your cat speaks to you in so many different ways that sometimes, it’s hard to know what they are saying. To know where your cat is coming from, the first thing you should know is that your cat considers you to be their human, belonging to them in every respect—and all of their actions are based on that fact. So when your cat does something that angers you, keep in mind that they may be trying to tell you something.
This article will break down a whole bunch of commonly asked questions relating to why cats do what they do, what their body language indicates, and what they might be trying to communicate to you when they speak. Read on to finally figure out what your trusted feline friend might be trying to say to you.
What Is Normal Cat Behavior?
Here are a handful of common questions relating to cats and their often puzzling behaviors, along with some answers that should help shed some light why they do what they do:
Why is my cat peeing or pooping in the house?
Overly full litter boxes can make your cat upset enough to leave smelly presents on your pillow or favorite chair as a hint—meaning it has been too long between cleanings and you need to step up to the plate. Cats like themselves and their environment to be clean. That’s why they are always cleaning themselves. Imagine how you would feel if you were a perfectionist about cleaning and had to walk over your own waste in order to relieve yourself. "Yuck" is putting it mildly.
Why does my cat clean itself right after I've pet it or picked it up?
If your cat cleans itself right after you pet it or pick it up, it could be due to a few reasons. They might be annoyed that you touched them, for whatever reason, and they are cleaning off the scent—in most instances, that is an insult to you.
It is also possible that you have a scent on you that they do not like. The scent could be perfume, lotion, or even another cat you might have petted. Be aware that strong smells of perfumed items can actually anger a cat. If they ingest a lot of it, it could also make them sick. So if you have cats, keep your arsenal of perfumed items for those special nights and be sure to wash them off before cuddling Fluffy.
Why does my cat reach a paw out to me?
Your cat might reach for you with a paw, claws in or out, to indicate a desire for attention. Or, maybe, they might purposely lie down in your way for attention. They might sit on something they know is off-limits to gain your attention. Cats like their attention, but they also like their toys. If you don't give them several, they might use you or your things instead.
Why has my cat's behavior suddenly changed after many years?
As cats get older, sometimes their personalities change. Some cats that start out rambunctious and generally averse to snuggling eventually soften up over the years and turn into super cuddly lap animals that want to be around you all the time. These kinds of gradual changes are totally natural and not all that different from the sorts of changes that humans experience throughout their lives.
If such a shift happens very suddenly and in a fairly unexpected way, however, that might point to a deeper problem with your feline friend. For instance, if they are generally an independent kind of cat but then out of nowhere want to be by your side at all times, that could indicate that they are sick and fearful of being left alone in their weakened state. If you notice a change that seems curiously abrupt and bizarre, it's best to take them into the vet for a check-up to see if anything is wrong.
Why is my cat extending its claws?
A cat will extend its claws for many different things, such as to kneed. (When they are content, they might put their paws out, claws extended, and then pull them in rhythmically, which is how they get their mother’s milk to flow.)
A cat might also extend its claws in anger or fear. Claws are also extended for cleaning purposes or scratching, which can mean several things, such as ownership, sharpening claws for a fight, or dominance. Claws can be removed, but please try to refrain from doing this. Instead, you can set up a weekly routine of trimming their claws, and give them plenty of things to scratch.
Why does my cat rub up against me?
Cats will touch you and your things, pee on you or your things (otherwise known as marking), or rub against you or something you own in order to let other cats in the area know that you are theirs. Yup, when they lovingly rub their face against your face, they are leaving their scent all over you. Cats will generally mark a new home to override the scent of another cat. Fixed cats may also mark if the scent is strong or reeks of a full male. Those cat nostrils are so strong that they can pick up a scent from miles away—just like a hound dog, only with less noise.
You also assume a similar answer to the related question of: "Why does my cat put its paw on me?" That is, it's usually just another way of communicating affection. While it isn't always that simple, when your cat does this, it is more often than not displaying its level of comfortability with you.
Cat Behavior Explained
Pees or poops in your house (despite being litter trained)
Its litter may be full, and it wants you to clean it. Also done to mark its territory and communicate ownership to other cats.
Cleans itself after you pet it
You may have a scent on you (perfumes/other cats) that it wants to remove from its body.
Lies down on your stuff while you're trying to do something
It wants attention and is tired of being ignored.
Extends its claws
It could just be for kneading. It could also be out of fear or anger. Or a more practical reason like for scratching or cleaning.
Rubs up against you
It's rubbing its scent on you and marking you as its own. Also sometimes done to demand attention.
Brings you dead animals
Done as a gift to you, since it sees itself as your owner. Also done to display strength and hunting prowess.
Looks at you before it goes to sleep
Checking to make sure you're looking out for it, as it will soon be vulnerable and seeks your protection while sleeping.
Why does my cat bring me dead animals?
Cats, remember, believe that they own you. And to do a proper job, they must feed you. That is why outside cats will often kill an animal and leave it as a gift on your window or doorstep. As horrid as this may seem to you, it is perfectly natural for your cat.
Another reason for leaving little "gifts" is to show you that they are strong and capable. I have seen cats leave snakes, rats, and even squirrels as gifts. Oh, and just so you know, if you throw the gift away, your cat may be hurt by your actions. If you must—and most of us do—place it in several bags and then bury it in the trash can.
Why does my cat look at me a bunch of times before it goes to sleep?
Your cat is most likely checking to make sure you're still there. It's trying to indicate to you that it's about to sleep and thus will be vulnerable to attack. It wants to make sure you know to protect it and keep an eye out for any predators.
How Do You Tell If a Cat Likes You?
Here's some useful information to help explain what some of your cat's body language might indicate:
What do my cat's tail movements mean?
When a cat walks with their tail straight up, it means that they are relaxed, confident, and want to be noticed. If you don’t notice fast enough, they might get directly underfoot and swirl from one leg to the other. Of course, it is worse if you have something they want, like canned food or milk. They will start to yell if you aren't forthcoming or fast enough for them.
When a cat walks with their tail between their legs, it is a sign that they are afraid of something or might be submitting to a more dominant cat or human. They might also roll over and offer their belly to a dominant cat to show that they are not contesting the dominance. If a cat offers their belly to you, they are telling you that they submit to your dominance. But don’t let that fool you, because they still believe they own you.
If a cat walks with its tail down and dragging, it is trying to be hidden or unnoticed. If that behavior lasts for longer than a day, you might want to take the cat to the vet for a bit of a check-up. A cat might also lay its tail on something showing possession, or flick its tail at something that angers it. They often flick their tail to warn you that you are getting on their nerves, and you probably should stop—or the claws will come out.
A cat that is upset will not only hiss, but their tail will become the biggest bristled bottle brush you have ever seen. Be wary and don't attempt to comfort your cat when they are upset. An upset cat doesn't know the difference and might bite or scratch you in "defense."
Cat Tail Movements Explained
Tail straight up
Relaxed, confident, looking for attention.
Tail between its legs
Afraid, cautious, submissive.
Tail down and dragging
Trying to be hidden and unnoticed. (Could indicate pain or other discomfort. See a vet if this persists.)
Tail bristled and flicking
Upset, aggressive, and potentially about to attack.
What do my cat's ear movements mean?
When a cat lays back its ears, it usually means that it's upset and might attack. When they cock one ear to the side, it’s like someone raising an eyebrow or looking at you like you have three heads. When they bring both ears hard forward, they are trying to hear what is being said to them or perhaps trying to make out a distant sound (or another cat in the area).
But if your cat's ears are forward but relaxed, then it is at ease, potentially aware of its surroundings but not necessarily on alert or scared.
What do my cat's eye movements mean?
You can actually tell a good amount about how your cat is feeling by watching their eyes. If their eyes are barely open or fully closed, they are relaxed and either preparing to sleep or just enjoying your company and a good lounge. In fact, that familiar sight of seeing your cat look at you and slowly blink its eyes is a clear sign of affection and often referred to as "kitty kisses."
If their eyes are narrowed but not in a lazy way, they are most likely alert and focused. They may even be scared or aggressive. So look out for other body language clues to help further indicate how they're feeling.
But if their eyes are fully open and wide, they are almost certainly on high alert and potentially trying to find out if they are in danger. Similarly, wide pupils can also indicate high interest and focus or excitement, potentially pointing to them being fearful or aggressive. Look for other clues to help decipher what they're thinking.
What Is My Cat Trying to Tell Me?
Here are a few explanations for some of the sounds your cat might make for you and what they might be trying to tell you:
Why does my cat meow at me?
Did you know that when your cat meows at you, it is really just calling your attention to something? Perhaps you forgot breakfast or the litter box is full. Or they might just be calling another cat to play. Though since cats rarely meow at other cats, if you hear yours making distinct meows in your general direction, those sounds are probably intended for your ears.
They might meow to go out or to come in. They might meow to tell you that you need a lap cat today, or they might be thinking that you have been working too hard and need a break. (Cats have a way of insinuating themselves in such a way as to coax you into believing that you actually came up with a particular idea.)
Note: If your cat is meowing at you more than usual (and perhaps in a slightly louder or more aggressive tone), it's a good idea to follow them and see if they lead you somewhere. This repeated meowing can help them let you know that they need more food, that the litter is full and needs to be cleaned, or sometimes even more drastic matters, such as the fact that maybe they just had kittens and want you to help protect them.
Cat Verbal Communication Explained
Usually done to communicate it wants you to notice something, such as an empty food bowl, a full litter, or something it wants you to see (in which case, you should try following it).
An involuntary response that indicates comfort and affection. A good sign that it's pleased with whatever you're doing.
Indicates fear or aggression. You should probably take a step back when they do this.
Why does my cat purr at me?
When cats are happy with you, they purr when you pet them or cuddle them. A cat's purr is involuntary. They hear their mother purring when she is feeding and cleaning them and soon add their own voice when they are happy or content.
Oh, and don't get upset if your cat is purring but also simultaneously trying to get away from you. Generally, it means that they like you and want to be petted, but they were busy and you interrupted them.
Note: If you want to communicate back to your cat that you love them, then petting them on the head or on the cheeks is a good way to do so. Similarly, when a cat touches the top of their head to you, they are saying they love and trust you.
Why does my cat hiss at me?
Naturally, hissing indicates fear or aggression. The cat is essentially demanding that you back away and leave it alone. Even cats that deeply love you can do this from time to time, sometimes just because they want some space to themselves for a while. Or perhaps you pet them in a spot where they're sore and they want you to stop doing so.
Unsurprisingly, hissing is such a clear message that it actually works both ways. So if you want your cat to stop doing something—like biting you too hard, for instance—you can hiss at them a little. They'll most likely get the message.
Does Your Cat Feel Insulted?
When a cat turns its back on you and flicks its tail, watch out! It's ticked off and ready to fight if you persist in whatever it is you’re doing. Under most instances, they will walk away feeling their message has been understood. However, they might just decide that this is the last straw and decide to fight back.
What's the best way to end an agitated cat attack? Stop and cry out—loudly. In cat language, an attack between two generally friendly participants ends immediately after one of them cries out in pain. Also, by holding still until they let go, you are saving yourself long deep cuts that could occur through pulling away from them.
It's also worth noting that a cat can feel insulted for many different reasons, including:
- You took their chair.
- You are sitting on their blanket.
- You splashed them while washing your hands.
- You have bought the generic food again.
- You gave them a bath.
- You took them to the vet.
- You left them with a bunch of kids.
- You didn't get the good litter.
- You forgot to greet them when you came in the house.
- You didn't go looking for them if they weren't at the door waiting for you.
- You didn't change the water today.
- You put glassware on their favorite shelf, and it fell off when they tried to lie down.
- You had the nerve to bring in fish and then hide it behind a solid wall.
Note: Cats can also be insulted even if you didn't do anything that you can understand. They are quite fickle that way.
Signs That Your Cat Might Be Sick
In general, your cats' behaviors—as puzzling as they might sometimes be to you—are often just part of who they are and how they express themselves, and thus shouldn't be cause of too much worry on your part. There are, however, a few indicators that might point to your poor feline potentially feeling a bit under the weather and/or in need of some medical attention.
Here are some important signs to watch out for:
- Excessive licking, chewing, or scratching: Of course, these are all part of normal cat behavior and critical parts of their totally healthy self-maintenance. But if you notice that your cat has been doing one or more of these at an alarmingly higher rate than usual, it could mean that they are suffering from ticks, fleas, or parasites. So it would be a good idea to check to see if you can spot any of them in your feline's fur. Additionally, if you notice any significant hair loss or breaking of the skin, have them get checked out by a vet.
- Vomiting or diarrhea: This is another one that does unfortunately happen periodically and isn't always a cause for concern. But if your cat begins doing it a lot in a short amount of time, it could mean that they've ingested something toxic or are experiencing other digestion problems. If it lasts for more than a day—or if abdominal swelling and pain are apparent—take them in to see a vet right away.
- Different, strong odors: If you notice any new, pungent odors coming from your cat, it might be a good idea to take them in to get checked out. Often times, strange new smells indicate infections, ulcers, and other ailments that need to be treated as soon as possible. Even odors that aren't necessarily "bad"—such as a sweet, fruity smell—can occasionally be warning signs of serious illnesses like diabetes. So if you notice any weird new smells coming from your cat that you can't identify, it's probably best to have a veterinary professional take a look.
- Cat flu: Much like humans, cats can occasionally contract a form of that pesky flu virus. This typically results familiar flu symptoms like watery eyes, a runny nose, and profuse sneezing. If you notice these symptoms, you can attempt to help your cat feel better by cleaning the mucus off their eyes and nose with a cotton ball or damp washcloth, making sure they eat enough food, and repeatedly checking to ensure that they are breathing normally. If you find the latter to be strained and/or they don't seem to be getting better, take them in to a vet to be checked out.
My Wonderful Furry Friends
Salty: "Hey, where'd you put my toys?"
Stray cats can be brought inside, but you should always follow general common sense and the following:
- Strays need quiet time before you introduce them to the other cats.
- Litter boxes and sleeping beds should be periodically switched so all of the cats can smell each other.
- Be sure to remain close once you do introduce them in case they aren't quite ready to be friendly.
- Remember to get strays checked by a vet before you take them in and expose them to your other cats to protect your cats from serious illnesses like Feline Leukemia.
- It is best to have a stray dog taken by a professional and checked for behavioral problems (as well as illnesses) before taking them into your home.
Many questions owners often ask about cats, can be answered by taking a common sense approach. Just think of your cat as a permanent guest in your home and a lot will then be explained.
- Guests often do things differently. They might eat at different times, clean differently or stay up all night. This helps you to better understand your cat who has very differently behaviors.
- When behavior changes drastically, look for a cause such as a change in home life like you got a new dog or someone new moved in with you.
- If the cat doesn't use the litter box try to think of why. Is the side too high for my elderly cat; are my two cats fighting each other over the litter box usage or maybe the toddler goes after the cat every time he gets into the box.
- If your cat pees everywhere, try to see the outside and inside of your home as he would. Since scent is how they mark their safe territory, a cat will pee as close to where the outside cat peed as they can, generally on your bed or the rug if that's against the outside wall.
- If your cat meows a lot, try to think about who he might be calling. Sometimes it is just to get your attention, and sometimes it is something he lost outside. Yes, cats do grieve for their close friends and/or mates.
Using Common Sense can make it so much easier to figure out what your cat is trying to tell you.
Pay Attention to the Signals Your Cat Is Sending You
They might be trying to tell you something, and it might be important—or at least it is to them. Learn the unique ways your cat communicates with you. Each cat is different and has its own personality, so their communication might be different. Keep this in mind, and they will eventually let you know.
If you're looking for additional information on what your cat might be trying to tell you, consider checking out these other great PetHelpful articles:
- Feline Body Language: What Is Your Cat Trying to Tell You?
- How to Decode Your Cat's Behavior
- Twelve Signs Your Cat Really Loves You
- Cat Behavior 101: What Is Causing My Cat to Spray and How Can I Fix It?
Questions & Answers
Question: My cat is meowing at me constantly, and then she grabs some part of my hand and drags me to a closet. When I looked, there was nothing in there. This has been going on for almost a week. What is she trying to tell me?
Answer: Your cat may be trying to tell you that she is going to have kittens, and that is her choice spot, so get it fixed up for her. If she is fixed, then that is obviously not the case. Or, she may be trying to tell you that an outside creature has been napping in there - check for feces or urine in the area. She might just be trying to tell you she wants to have access because it is her favorite spot. Try leaving the door open to see if she sleeps in there a lot.
Question: When my cat is lying down to sleep, he always turns his head and looks at me. Then he'll go back to sleep for a few seconds and look at me again. This happens at least four times before he falls asleep. What does this mean?
Answer: Cats like to know they are safe and secure. Your cat may be just trying to ensure you are still near him so he can be safe while sleeping. He might also be checking to see if you have moved and thus changed the 'playing field.' It is nothing to worry about, unless you think his eccentricity is dangerous (I wouldn't).
Question: I'm trying to find the answer for when a kitten is meowing and purring a lot while getting all in my face and rubbing and licking my face. Like she sniffs me and gets super close, I don't know what she wants when she does this. She just walks all over my body meowing at me and rubbing her body all over me and stuff, what could it mean from a kitten? She also grabs my hand and starts licking/nibbling my fingernail/tip.
Answer: First I will tell you that the rubbing is her way of putting her scent all over you. This is something all cats do, even kittens. The meowing could be her way of letting you know she wants to be close to you or it could mean you have not given her enough attention. Cats, especially kittens, need lots of love and a great deal of play time. As for the licking and nibbling, many cats do that. I have one that is ten and still sucks on my little finger. Some say it means the cat was taken from mom too soon, but I disagree. I believe it is just something some cats like to do.
Question: My cat is a full outdoor cat and always has been. She has never liked the indoors, and with winter already here and her usual spot taken up by dogs, I decided to buy her a huge cage and turned it into the cat's house (I have 4 but she's the oldest). At first, she loved it, but now she doesn't want to be there anymore and decides to sleep out in the cold, what does that mean?
Answer: Most likely one of your other cats has marked it for their own. This will make her chose outdoors rather than fight. You might want to buy her a new one and make sure there are enough for all of the cats. Also, make sure you have hay or straw, not cloth, inside the cage because cloth will absorb the moisture from the air and will then freeze to a bed of ice.
Question: What does it mean if a cat faces away from the owner?
Answer: A cat who faces away from an owner on purpose is trying to tell you they are angry (it is considered to be an insult). The faster the tail whips will tell you how angry. However, sometimes cats do it because they just get bummed, or they just want to be left alone.
Question: My kitten is 6 months old and always uses her litter box. Recently, she has started peeing by the door and even pooped in a shopping bag that was out in the living room. I got rid of the bag, so she poops in the litter box again but he still pees outside of it. Any reason for the change? And it's not just spraying, it is full blown peeing.
Answer: Cats can start peeing for several reasons. Here are a few you can address to see if they help: something has changed in the household; there is a new cat outside the house and possibly spraying on the house (the cat needs to be fixed, if she isn't already); the cat is having trouble getting into the box (try getting a smaller one) or does not like the litter (try a different brand perhaps with no scent or finer litter); check to see if she has injured herself perhaps by jumping or racing around the house; take her to the vet to see if she has worms or an infection in her bladder; make sure you shew away outside cats and dogs (don't offer them food or a safe place to sleep for instance); your cat may be bored since kittens have so much energy (try playing with her every day to tire her out).
Question: Why is my cat lying down on her back and giving us soft meows?
Answer: Often, this is a sign that she trusts you, but also might be that she is seeking tummy rubs for pain or uncomfortable feelings. If she is not fixed, she could be showing you that she is pregnant. Sometimes cats will roll over so that you rub their belly and then they scratch you. This is a sign your cat wants to play. Get her things you can use to play with her such as a toy on a string.
Question: My cat raises her back and walks sideways with her tail flattened whenever I enter her room. Why does she do that?
Answer: My first question to you would be: is your cat kept in a separate room? That would mean that she is not exposed to you throughout the day. This will make her frightened of you when you do enter the room. If the cat is slowly introduced into the family, she might stop the practice once she is comfortable. If that is not the case, then she might simply be reacting as she has learned from her mother or siblings.
Question: Every so often, my cat will do this weird meowing thing. It is not like an angry meow, or an "I want food" type of meow. It is kind of in the middle. He'll creep up like he wants me to pet him, but instead, he timidly bites me. And, of course, I push him off the bed, but he just comes back up, slowly creeps towards me, and does the same thing. I don't understand. Why does he do this?
Answer: I have a few ideas that might help. Cats will sometimes bite gently (called a love nip) and want to play with you. When you push your cat away, you are confusing him. Try distracting him with play using a stick with something on it instead. Also, check his teeth to see if there is something wrong with one of them. Bad teeth can be a problem for cats because they can't eat and it can poison their system. Another thing you can do is make sure he has scratch pads. I find the ones made out of cardboard are the ones they like best.
Question: My two year old cat has been laying on her side for most of the day. Every time she rolls on her side she meows very loudly in like a crying way and gets up and moves to a new spot. What is the problem?
Answer: There could be several causes. One could be that she is hurting and can't find a comfortable spot. She may have jumped wrong or been caught by another animal. If this hasn't eased or stopped, I would get her to the vet for a check-up.
Question: When I pet my cat, he half bends his legs. Why does he do that?
Answer: I don't really know why. Each cat has their own unique behaviors just like we do; sort of like one person jumps about while playing video games and another will sit still (and perhaps think the first guy is a bit crazy).
Question: My cat has lost 8 to 9 pounds. He is 22 and seems to be licking himself a lot. What does these things mean?
Answer: Older cats may loose weight because they are having trouble with their teeth. You might want to change his diet to canned food which is easier to eat. Another reason could be that he has developed a problem health-wise. For example, diabetes or kidney disease. I would take him to the vet.
Question: I was petting my cat, which she is fine with, but then she digs her claws into my wrist and starts biting my hand pretty hard while growling. As I start walking away, she does a soft meow to get my attention again. Is she just playing rough or could there be something wrong with her?
Answer: There could be many reasons, but I think your cat can smell another cat on your hand. This would make your cat feel like he must protect his area.
Question: Why does my cat show signs of affection and then out of nowhere show negative or aggressive tendencies towards me? It is back and forth every day for the past three months (keep in mind he is only 6 months old).
Answer: Kittens want to play more than anything. They have huge amounts of pent-up energy just aching to get out by pouncing, jumping, biting and scratching their pretend prey. Not many are constant cuddles. Try wearing him out more with play, tunnels and cat condos to occupy him. He will cuddle more and fight less when worn out from play.
Question: Why does a cat put his paw out to hit you when you go by?
Answer: A cat reaches out to you for attention and play. Because they wish to play, and you are moving, you are deemed temporary prey. Also, sometimes cats are hiding and reaching out to 'catch' you in a game of hide-and-seek. Be sure to stop and play for a moment of relaxing.
Question: I just recently noticed he peed on my bedroom carpet. By the feel of the carpet when it dried, I realized he had peed there before like months ago. Today I caught him for the first time, and he saw that I saw him, and knew he was in trouble. I could also tell he was peeing somewhere else because there's not enough kitty waste in the litter box. He is not ill, very healthy, vaccinated, and gets treats almost daily. What is going on with him?
Answer: With your cat being male I wonder if he is fixed. A fixed cat, especially a male, can suffer from crystals in his urine that makes it hard and painful to pee. He would pee in other places because when the dam bursts he has no choice. I would get the cat to the vet to see what might be the problem and/or change his food to something that is for urinary health. Also, check his litter. He might not like the feel of it, and that could be the other reason. I hope this helps, Cherylone.
Question: When I lay down, my cat will meow, straddle my leg and then bite my sock? What is she doing?
Answer: This could be many things. You might have the scent of another cat on your socks from brushing against something another cat has marked. You might just have socks she likes. Sometimes cats will nibble on parts of you because they want to play. Try playing with her and/or giving her toys to keep her busy.
Question: My cat seems to be mad at me. A friend of mine is a groomer and we both groomed him. He seems different since we did so. He has never been groomed so I thought it would be easier if we did it at home. Now he won't even sit with me, and will only let me feed him and clean his box. What can I do to make it right? He also has been very finicky on what he is eating, please help me.
Answer: Your cat probably is angry at you because you turned his home into something he didn't like. Now he fears that it will happen again in the area where he felt safe. If you groom him again, I would not do it in the house if possible. Also, make sure he has plenty of high shelves to climb up on. This will give him a place he can go that you can't reach, theoretically. Also, play with him, which may take awhile, but don't stop trying.
Question: Why does my cat hide under my bed at night time and refuse to come out?
Answer: Your cat is probably suffering from poor night vision even though cats generally have incredible night vision. Try using a small night light to offer the cat a way to see. Be certain the cat does not stay outside at night as well because poor night vision can make him vulnerable to attack by other animals.
Question: Why does my cat cuddle after I feed him?
Answer: Cats have a usual routine they follow. The usual routine is to clean up after eating and then sleep. I would guess you have become part of his routine as a thank you for taking care of him, and because most cats love to be cuddled by their "people."
Question: I have an indoor cat that all a sudden started to stay upstairs and starts meowing. When we finally get him downstairs, he will go in the litter box and cry, and he doesn't even go potty. Then he runs to the back door and wants outside. He has never been outside his whole life. If we try to go outside, he will try to go out. It's been going on for just about a week now. Before that, he was fine and always stayed with us downstairs and hardly cried. Can you tell me why he has started doing this?
Answer: Cats are hard to decode sometimes, but your cat seems to be displaying difficulties using the litter box. Cats, especially male ones, can get crystals in their bladder which can cause infection and death if they are not cleared up. I suggest you take your cat to the vet for a checkup. Also, try to feed your cat food that works for urinary tract health. If your cat is not fixed, you might be looking at a cat that wants to get outside to mate. Getting him fixed will help with that.
Question: My cat is spayed, but every 2-3 weeks she gets extremely vocal, paces the house yowling, and is very friendly. I took her to the vet 2 weeks ago and she got a clean bill of health, but she didn't do any of these things there. She has tons of toys, including towers, balls, feathers, scratching posts, etc. What gives? Because I am at my wits end, and so is my dog!
Answer: I believe the answer is that she wants attention from you. Play with her instead of letting her playing alone. Be sure to give her attention when she comes to you for it, and make sure the dog and the cat are getting along. Windows and high places to hide are also good things to entertain a cat. I also suggest you make play a routine so your cat doesn't keep getting bored. As for the yowling, it could be leftovers from her hormones as her levels drop; or, it could simply be her way of getting you to pay more attention to her. My cats, both males and neutered, will call occasionally to each other by yowling from another room. Then, when the other one comes, they pounce and the wrestling begins. She may also be calling to another cat that she can smell outside. You should check for strays just in case that is the case.
Question: When I touch or lift up my cat's tail, she meows sadly. Why is that?
Answer: Cats do not like to have their tail touched, even when it is gentle. In her case, she might be trying to tell you that in her own way. Just to be safe, you might want to have a vet check to see if she has an injury there.
Question: My female cat usually hates me, and doesn't ever want to be bothered or picked up or even let me pet her. The past two weeks, she has been following me around, sleeping with me, wanting me to pet her and give her all my attention. It's very unlike her. Why is she acting different towards me?
Answer: Cats can turn their attention for several reasons. She may have decided she likes you and is finally trusting you or she may just want attention, period. I am not sure why they change, but I also have one that refused attention and hissed at everyone but me. Then we moved and he was suddenly the most loving cat there was. He now likes everyone. I can't say why, but enjoy it while you can.
Question: When I pick up my kitty he is always digging his front claws into my shoulder and back. I have never dropped him. Why would my cat claw at my shoulder and back?
Answer: It truly depends upon the background of the cat. An abused or stray cat would not feel safe in the arms of a human. If the cat does not have a violent past, it could be that he just likes to hang on tight. A possible solution is to get his claws trimmed regularly to keep the grabbing to a minimum.
Question: My cat was dying in my arms and she held on to me, then bit my finger and wouldn't let me go. What does this mean?
Answer: Cats live by scent and family. You are your cat's family and she took that taste and scent to her grave because it was comforting to her.
Question: Why does my cat walk towards me when I stroke her back?
Answer: Stroking the back of a feline is the usual way to pet them and many love it; in fact, most of them do. Some will show you by lifting their backs, some will walk closer, some will move away and then come back and some will just walk away. If your cat moves away, she is trying to tell you she doesn't want anymore. Walking closer means more, more, more.
Question: Why is my cat not letting me pet him or pick him up?
Answer: I don't know your cat so I don't know his temperament but I would hazard a guess that he used to allow petting and lifting. Once he begins to fight you over those items, it could mean he has injured himself or has a blockage in his intestines. If his behavior is not new, then I would say he is simply a cat who doesn't like to be petted or picked up.
Question: Why does my cat grind her back legs and purr at the same time?
Answer: The purr of a cat is involuntary. When they feel something that comforts them, they purr. There is something about the feeling your cat experiences when she grinds her back legs that causes her to purr.
Question: My cat is pretty distant with us. He's not very vocal about emotions. He bites as a warning and doesn't purr even if he's enjoying affection, but he often likes to be near us and not be petted. He'll lay by us with his back or side to us a lot just because he knows we take it as him not wanting us to pet him. Is our cat's behavior pretty standard or is there a reason he acts that way?
Answer: I can't be certain since I don't know your cat's history. However, many cats do not like to be petted, especially ones that have been previously abused. It may take a bit for him to get comfortable with you, but many do usually melt eventually. I suggest you take your cat to the vet just in case an injury is causing the issue. Then, try treats and playing to get him to come out and spend more time with you.
Question: My cat used to come into my room all the time. She used to lay in bed with me for hours. When I’m not home, she will cry at my door until it is opened. She used to stand outside my door and cry even when I am home. Now she doesn’t ever step into my room. Every time I bring her in she immediately runs out. I’ll call for her, and she will just stand outside my doorway looking at me. What does this mean?
Answer: There are many possibilities, but my best guess is that you have touched or brushed against another cat or something the cat marked. Your cat smells this on your clothes and is now confused. She doesn't know why that cat smell is in the room that used to be hers. Try washing recently worn garments and wiping down sneakers. Try loving her outside of the bedroom to let her know you still love her. Offer her something from your room that you know she likes, but put it outside the room. Also, check to see if an outside cat is coming to your window and perhaps marking it with his/her scent. Be sure to close your window when you leave to prevent the smell from coming inside.
Question: What does it mean when my cat kneads me?
Answer: Cats knead when they are happy and/or content. As babies, when their mother fed them, they would knead to get the milk flowing.
Question: Every morning I come out of my room about 6 am. My cat (who is 1 in Oct), meows really loud at me and follows me everywhere I go, even to the point where he goes between my legs nearly tripping me. I feed him (and his older sister), but if I take too long or ignore his meowing, he takes a swipe at my legs. I try to pat him (he is very to himself after being in a shelter for so long) and he isn't always happy about the pats. How do I get him to stop meowing and tripping me in the morning?
Answer: Your cat is trying to communicate to you about something. Perhaps his litter box is too dirty or he doesn't like the toys you have. He might want to sit in a window to watch the outside, but you don't have a shelf where he can do that. Or he might want you to move faster with the feeding, which is probably the problem in this case. Try getting a timed feeder that will dispense the food automatically. This will cause the cats to be eating when you are waking up.
Question: My cat follows me everywhere and then sits down right next to me. Is that because he loves me?
Answer: Partly, but your cat is most likely feeling unsafe in your home for some reason and is using you as protection. Check to see if there is anything such as strays marking the outside of the house, new children in the area or even if you have gotten a new pet or roommate. Try to do things like putting water sprayers outside that will surprise the strays and send them away. Also, keep your entire surroundings in mind when playing with your cat. Make the house more cat-like by putting up shelves, especially near windows, that allow him to watch the outside.
Question: Sometimes my cat's back paws step up and down while she’s standing in place. Most of the time her tail is violently twitching, almost like it’s vibrating. I don’t understand what this means, and I can’t find an explanation anywhere. What could it possibly mean?
Answer: This could be a medical issue such as muscle twitches in the back leg. The cat doesn't know what is actually happening so she gets angry and her tail shows the anger. Check for an injury on the back paw such as a split or cut of some type. Also, check the tail, especially the area near the rump. If she isn't fixed, her hormones could be causing the problem. Or it could be a chemical problem. I would suggest you record the action and then take your cat and the video to your vet for more information.
Question: Why do cats play the door game after I have fed them? They want in then back out. This goes on and on, why?
Answer: Cats like to control situations and will often slow down their movements and requests for that to work. If you don't want to 'play', just ignore him a few times and he will settle down. Be patient though, because cats are stubborn.
Question: My mom had a guy friend come over for a dinner and my cat, who is also male, was freaking out. Every time he got close to him my cat would just run off and hide. He only does this with my sister's male dog when she brings him over or this guy. My cat has no problem with me (also a guy) or my friends who are also guys, so this begs the question as to what’s going on?
Answer: The first question I will ask is 'do you have him fixed?' If no, he might be reacting to the male hormones being given off by the two. The cat's normal instinct is to hide or fight. Next, he might just not like their smell. People give off smells just like animals do and many animals do not like the scent of some people. For the dog, well, you can try to get them to make friends, some cats do over time. For the guy, try having him play with the cat using a toy with a long handle and/or treats.
Question: My cat acts erratic at nighttime and runs up and down the stairs. If doors are shut, he opens them and runs into the room meowing. If my mum falls asleep, he jumps on the bed and paws her eyes until she’s awake! How do you help an anxious cat?
Answer: Get a sprayer or small sound blaster that will only operated when on and sensing movement. Put the item next to a door you do not want opened at night. You might wake up to a loud noise a few times, but your cat will quickly get the message. Also, if you keep your cat active during the day, he will be too tired at night to be active. Play time, laser chasing, window watching, and climbing shelves are all good ways to keep your cat active during the day. Just remember, the change won't happen over night since cats are normally nocturnal.
Question: A cat that I don’t know the owner of cuddled me, but I accidentally put my hand on the edge of her fur and she scratched. When I tried to pet her, she hissed. What is going on? What did I do?
Answer: Cats cuddle for several reasons-food, protection and love are the biggest, but I suggest that you never pet them unless you know them. Cats live via a hierarchy and will fight to the death to defend their territory. If you had the smell of another animal (not just a cat) on your hand, the cat might have been acting out against the smell. If you want to pet the cat, you might try giving it a little food in a bowl that you put down and walk away from. Over time the cat will get used to your smell on the bowl and might approach you. If she hisses or growls though, move away slowly while talking calmly to her. Also, be aware that outdoor animals can have many diseases that can cause illness in other animals and can be transmitted to humans. If you still want to touch the cat, always wash your hands after touching any cat you don't know.
Question: My cat laid in his cat litter and almost fell asleep. Is this a bad thing or do all cats do that?
Answer: Usually, cats will only lay in their litter box if they are afraid of something in their environment, like a mean cat. This keeps them where their scent is and often prevents another cat from using the litter box. If you have more than one cat, make sure you have at least one litter box for each cat (2 cats-2 litter boxes). Also, check your area for new arrivals or loud noises and try to comfort your cat when he appears to be nervous or lays in the litter box. Also, check for stray cats, which are usually unfixed and cause a great deal of stress to an inside cat.
Question: I'm on the laptop working and my cat sits behind the screen and attacks my hands while I'm typing. Why is this?
Answer: Your cat wants your attention. Since you are working on the laptop, he is attacking your hands to get you to pay attention to him. If you don't stop, be prepared for him to do more, like sitting on the keyboard or shoving the cover closed.
Question: My kitten has been eating canned food for a couple of days now, and she stopped drinking water from her bowl, but still seems interested in water elsewhere. She has also started licking my clothes, and blankets for no apparent reason. Why won't she drink her water?
Answer: Cats don't like water and many will not drink it unless they absolutely have to get fluids into themselves. Canned cat food contains liquid that gives the cat fluids. Many don't really need anything else. For your cat, however, I would check to ensure the water you give her is clear and in a clean bowl. After a small amount of time, a cat's saliva can soil the side of the bowl but is not easily seen. As for the clothes and blankets, she may like how it feels on her tongue, or she can smell something on them.
Question: My 3-year-old orange striped tabby cat has been kneading excessively and arching his back while doing so. He gets angry if you touch him while he's doing it. Is this a sign he's sick?
Answer: I can't be sure what is causing this behavior. If he is fixed, this could be a sign something is wrong. If he is not fixed, it could be a sign he wishes to go out and find a mate. If he is neither, you might want to take him to the vet for a check-up.
Question: Every time I eat an orange, my cat digs her face into my hands. She even rubs her teeth on the palms of my hands. I don’t know why but I do know oranges aren’t good for them. Aren’t cats supposed to hate the smell of citrus fruits?
Answer: Yes, and most do. I would wash my hands right after eating oranges to remove as much of the scent as possible. As far as her liking the smell of oranges, every cat, like us, is different and she is just a unique girl.
Question: My cat was fine a couple of hours ago, but now he is crawling around like he is scared. He is 4 years old. Why would he be doing this?
Answer: Something like this could mean the cat heard something outside that frightened him. It could be a loud sound or another cat hanging around the house. It could also mean he jumped and hurt himself. If you are still seeing this trait in him, you might want to take him to the vet.
Question: My female cat is running around meowing she found a way into my ceiling and looks down at me meowing like crazy. I tried letting her on the porch ( her favorite place), but she just wants to go up there and meow at me! What could be wrong? Is she trying to tell me something?
Answer: There could be many reasons why she is doing this. One could be she is in heat. If she is fixed then that is not the case. She might also want to show you something up there (perhaps a baby of hers). Other reasons could be that she has gone up there and hurt herself so she doesn't want to come down. Try looking into the spot to see if there is something there. If she is fixed and there is nothing there, you might want to speak with a vet to see if they have any ideas.
Question: My cat always licks my fingers or hand, pretty much anything you put near him. Is this good or bad?
Answer: It is fine for him to do this, he is probably trying to identify things that way. Some cats have nasal issues which could also cause them to try everything that comes near them for identification since their sense of smell is compromised. There are many cats that just like to lick everything.
Question: My cat loves attention and loves being petted. But, even so, he usually licks himself after I pet him. Why is this?
Answer: I joke with family and friends that when I touch my cat he needs to clean himself all over again. The truth is, they have a chemical in their saliva that deodorizes and protects their skin. It also is a way to get the blood flowing in the skin. Most likely he is cleaning to get the blood flowing again.
Question: Is it possible for a cat to 'own' more than one person? A neighbor's cat keeps fussing around me at every opportunity. Apparently, it had been a rescued street cat and I wondered whether he just 'does the rounds' or something. Can you help?
Answer: It is definitely possible for a cat to own, love or care about more than one person. In this case, I believe it to be true because the cat was an outside cat for a long time. He will appreciate your attentions more because he didn't have them before. Is this him making rounds as you asked? Maybe, but I think he just knows a friend when he sees one.
Question: Is it normal for cats to lay down and breathe in a weird way? He is like in a weird position with his eyes open and he is breathing very fast. And, when I pick him up, he lays down very quickly. What's happening to my cat that would cause him to breathe quickly? I'm really worried and there aren't any vets open.
Answer: Because their spine is much more flexible than ours, cats can easily twist and turn themselves into pretzel-like positions without discomfort. Like us, cats can also sleep with their eyes open to some degree. The breathing fast and immediately laying back down does concern me a little, but it could be nothing at all. Don't panic, just wait till a vet is open, ask for an evaluation, and be sure to keep him warm and comfortable until then. I am, however, fairly certain he is just dreaming in his sleep. I have a cat with a large protein lump beneath his neck that causes him to wheeze in his sleep. The vet said not to worry because it wasn't malignant. I am hopeful this is the case for your cat as well.
© 2011 Cheryl Simonds
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on September 09, 2020:
There are several possibilities; she is unfixed and wants to mate; she is playing; she is smelling another cat outside and is trying to protect her territory; something has changed in the household. There are many more, but these are the most common. I hope this helps, Cheryl.
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on September 09, 2020:
Possibly because the cat does not like the danger your son is in when outside and wants him to go back inside where it is safe. Another possibility is the cat simply wants his company. I hope this helps, Cheryl.
Makayla on September 05, 2020:
My cat Molly just recently started running around with her nails out. Her ears moving, tail twitching, and acting kind of like she's scared. But other times she's her normal self. Shes never really done this before. And she does a howl type meow sometimes. Why would she suddenly start acting scared like this?
Clare Sanchez on August 26, 2020:
If my son leaves the house to ride his scooter up and down the street the cat follows him out and sits at the bottom of the street and meows very loudly and constantly until he returns .. why is this
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on August 23, 2020:
Your cat is probably just being himself.. They all have their unique behaviors. I hope this helps, Cheryl.
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on August 23, 2020:
Sounds like the cat was running from something or someone; also, cats really can't drink milk because they can't digest it. Try meat or canned cat food. Then you can use it to get the cat off of your balcony. I hope this helps, Cheryl.
Vineeth on August 21, 2020:
One stray cat has entered my flat and is staying in my balcony and is not leaving the house. We tried to feed it milk also but it is still not coming up to drink. What is wrong with the cat?
Jake on August 16, 2020:
My cat has continually jumped on to my bed rested got of and then did it again Could their be any pointers to this behaviour
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on August 12, 2020:
Your cat could be demonstrating labor, but with cats it is hard to tell until they get close to delivering. If her nipples are large, she is probably getting ready to deliver. Get a box, line it with a blanket you don't care if it gets bloody and put it in a hidden quiet place. Show her where it is and she will, hopefully, use that to deliver. It is best to let her do her thing. She knows the routine even if she has never given birth. Good Luck.
TheCrawfishMommy83 on August 11, 2020:
I think my cat is pregnant (this will be her first litter if so) she is showing other symptoms, but isn't super big. It has been approximatley long enough for gestation...today she is purring A LOT, meowing (different than when in heat) and is mostly lovey, but bit me twice. Could this mean she is in early labor?? I have only been around one other cat when she delivered, but missed early signs of labor. Any advice welcome
Amber on July 21, 2020:
Me (14) and my cat (13) always used to snuggle up together. He used to follow me to the bathroom, go straight into my room and on my bed when he'd come upstairs, sleep on my pillow and more but now he's only ever in my room for biscuits or when I have to have him in my room because the dog (2) does not get along well with cats and then he will scratch and meow at my door until I let him out. He is always on the landing or in my brothers room. I've game him space, made his own section for him, made sure the room is cool enough, put his biscuits and water out. He will still follow me downstairs but only because he thinks its his dinner. Why is he not close with me? Is it because I give his sisters attention too? Have I annoyed him? Is it still too hot? He was recently ill and because he is old it gave me a fright and I want to spend time with him. My brother doesn't even give him attention? He tells his friends he's 'fat'. Have I done something? This has happened since beginning of uk lockdown in march. His name is Jack by the way. Thank you.
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on July 14, 2020:
This can be due to the dressing situation as stated above. There isn't much you can do except encourage her and let her know she isn't in trouble. I hope this helps, Cheryl.
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on July 14, 2020:
Cats can be very unique in their behaviors so I can't be sure; however, I think she might be wanting to sit at the areas where you work most because your scent is there. The waiting across the hall could be that she is not sure if she is welcome in that particular room when you are dressing. The playing can be due to the weather outside and her growing older. Most cats at that age are learning to hunt and protect themselves against predators. Your cat doesn't need that training so she is bored. Try different types of toys with different feels and scents. Also, try giving her plenty of window space to watch birds and such. Another thing you can do is make sure she has plenty of places to climb. This will give her exercise as well as a birds eye view of the house. I hope this helps, Cheryl.
Aki on July 10, 2020:
Forgot mention that once I have finished changing, my cat will either join me in the bedroom or follow me when I leave it.
Aki on July 10, 2020:
I live alone and adopted a female kitty about three months ago. She's 15-months-old and has more or less begun to settle in her new home. She's been fixed and is the only pet in my household.
There're a couple of habits she does that I'm to decipher. Firstly, I regularly use my laptop at the coffee table and do model making at my folding table, but she frequently sits under them whenever I'm not using them. The second is whenever I go to my room to change clothes she always sits outside the bedroom door opposite my room. (Both doors are always open.)
Also, she's not big on toys but she used to love playing with the laser pointer and wand with a mouse attachment, to the point she will roll side-to-side on her back. Weather has been chilly for the past month and during this time she seems semi-interested in playing and after a few minutes will either walk away or lie down.
Not sure what to make of these behaviours.
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on July 05, 2020:
Hi Cheyenne, your cat could be acting out of loneliness or fear, or a combination of both. Cats tend to demand attention on their own terms and will leave when they are ready. But, if they have been alone a lot lately, and have little to do while you are gone, they can get demanding. Try making sure she has a cat TV (like an aquarium or window to look out of) and plenty of places where she can get high up (shelves on walls work well). Interactive feeding bowls and toys also work to wear your cat out so that she sleeps with you more. I hope this helps, Cheryl.
Cheyenne Ruiz on July 02, 2020:
Hello! I was wondering if you knew what it meant when my 3 yr old will meow at me constantly until i get on the floor w her, most times to pet her for a little but then after she’ll sit near me and doesn’t want to be close to me but i can still pet her if i went over to her. and then she’ll be all over me again. But if i get up she will start meowing again until i get on the floor. she will get on the bed/couches w me occasionally.maybe once a week ish give or take. she’ll get on the bed w me more often if i’m working less and home more. (she used to sleep with me every night until she was like 1 1/2 and then she just stopped) sometimes lll put her on there with me when she’s meowing so i don’t have to get down but she’ll jump off immediately and keep meowing. do you happen to have a theory why? thank you !!!
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on June 24, 2020:
Unfortunately, many feral cats will display unusual behaviors until they feel comfortable in the environment. It sounds like he is moving forward, he just needs time. I always suggest that you allow him to come to you. Once he knows you are not going to chase him and that the treats are not being thrown at him, he should begin to calm down. In fact, it sounds like he has already started. I hope this helps, Cheryl.
HeatherJA on June 22, 2020:
Hi, I have a semi-feral that I took in a while ago. He is very very talkative - he murrs, purrs, chatters, yowls, and everything in between. However, he will *not* let me come close to him. Even after 8 months, the closest I can get is about 3 feet; but he's fine with my other two cats. They play and he plays with all the toys. I can toss him treats, and he'll usually hiss at me (but without ears flat or anything, just hiss), and then eat them.
However, the odd part is - at night, if I sleep in my bedroom, I'll find that he will come into the bedroom and get up on the dresser, and go to sleep on there; or if I'm on the couch, he'll fall asleep on the couch next to me.
I can't figure this out, because if I just walk by the room he's in, like 10 seconds later, he'll come scrambling out of there to run behind the couch again (even if I didn't know he was in the other room). So it's one of those,... I've had cats all my life, how do I even interpret his behavior half the time?
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on June 22, 2020:
Kittens require a lot of attention, and most of them have some type of quirky behavior. The kitten wants to play, which they like to do all the time. I suggest a few things for you. One, beds for each cat and beds in the crates for the dogs. This will put specific scents on each one giving them a home with their scent. Next, I would give them something to watch during the day or night. A clear window showing the world go by or an enclosed aquarium. Also, give them treat puzzles to keep them busy. High places for them to escape each other is also a good idea. I hope this advice helps, Cheryl.
Mimi-Cat-Love214 on June 19, 2020:
My 3 month old kitten has been waking me up for the past 2 weeks by prying my mouth open! I move my head around but she doesn’t stop. This relentless behavior happens around 5am, lasts about 10-15 minutes. I’ve had to raise my voice to tell her to stop. Then she eventually stops. I don’t feed them in the morning until 7:30am to 8am when I let my dogs out of their crates. So she knows our schedule/routine. I use to play w/ her and my other 2 cats at night about 9pm-10pm depending on where they are in my house. Lately I can’t find where they’re hiding or I can’t stop them from chasing each other!! So I end up falling asleep. Any and all advice is much appreciated!!
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on June 17, 2020:
It sounds like you are doing very well on your own. She may be suffering from a type of PTSD from previous owners and the best way to deal with that is to give her space and let her come to you. She will eventually relax and learn that you are not going to hurt her. Try making sure she has a high area where she can go and observe you from a distance, this often calms them down to see how you are without her at your feet. A window seat can show her the outside without fear (keep those windows closed or screened for safety). Good Luck, I hope this helps, Cheryl.
Mikki on June 16, 2020:
Hello! I recently (about a week ago) adopted an indoor 2 year old cat who had previously been adopted and returned to the shelter a number of times. I know that this has most likely caused her a lot of stress which is resulting in a lot of weird behaviors. I would really like some advice on what to do to make her feel more at ease. Sometimes she'll be extremely affectionate, she'll rub up against me then lay on chest and purr. She even decides to sleep with me each night. Other times she'll suddenly act like she's never seen me before and become extremely terrified, her tail becomes fluffed and she arches her back while looking at me and then bolts around the room. I've never hit her (and never will), and I've never accidentally stepped on her tail. Sometimes if she attacks me aggressively I'll tell her no and clap my hands once, but otherwise I never show any aggression towards her. Most times her fear/anxiety seems unprompted. I went to my kitchen to get some iced tea and when i walked back to my office she was looking at me like I was a ghost. Tail all fluffed and back arched, I'm not sure what I did to prompt this from her. I make sure to give her as much play as she wants, I don't force her to do anything she doesn't want to. I think she may have some bad memories with some of the toys the shelter had given her because she will go after my hands instead of the toy in my hand, but this reaction isn't with all of them. I'm working to replace her toys bit by bit, I don't want to shock her with a bunch of new things immediately. I try to lay with her on the floor with my eyes closed for about 20 mins a day to show her that she can trust me. This is her forever home and I want to make her feel as safe and as comfortable as possible, but I'm not sure what to do to help with the mood changes. I'm hoping that over time she'll become more and more comfortable and no longer be nervous or afraid. Do you have any advice?
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on June 10, 2020:
Your cat is suffering from PTSD. You left her without you for two weeks, then moved and took her to a new environment inside and out. Then you left her outside where she has to fight to survive. You have also betrayed your cat by trying to kick her out while under attack. To help with this situation, you might want to set up a cat outdoor yard which will protect her while outside. Also, try interacting with her in fun ways like treats for tricks and stick toys. Be sure she has lots of places to climb and rest above everyone. This might actually keep her inside more. The aggression should slow as you spend more time with her. Lastly, be patient with her, she needs your love now more than ever. I hope this helps, Cheryl.
Faridah Ismail on June 09, 2020:
My cat has been behaving strangely, she might just see you sitting or doing something and then comes at you and bite you in an aggressive way, I think she's possessed, coz we left her for about 2wks, then came back and moved to our family house, and behaviour has bn really disturbing, she became harsher, making really weird meows and noises than normal, so we leave her to stay out, then she leaves d house and comes back at night, this has been going on for 2 days now, this midnight we saw her by the window trying to come in through the ner window, we tried to push her back out, suddenly we saw another car sitting outside, looking straight at us in a pretty strange way, not moving and then suddenly our cat seemed scared of the other car..... I'm really scared, i don't know what to do, is she really possessed or what, pls help me
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on May 21, 2020:
Most likely your cat seeks attention from you. She is wanting play or pets. Cats need to be active. If there isn't enough to stimulate her, she will use you and anything she can reach in your house, just like a toddler would do. When offering pets, be sure to touch belly and tail slowly, even if she offers them. If she pulls from you or tries to slap you with her paw, she is saying hands off. I hope this helps, Cheryl.
Sophia Thompson on May 18, 2020:
Every time I walk toward my cat, she just lays her self on the floor and meows. Please help me, I’d ont know if it mean that she wants to play or something?
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on May 17, 2020:
As cats get older, they do tend to cling to the one who cares for them. It could be that they feel they are now getting too old to care for themselves, or simply because they have always counted on your for their care. The accidents are most likely because of their age. Many can no longer climb into the larger boxes because of arthritis, and many have bladder issues because of crystals in their urethra. You might want to get them checked out and maybe cut down the side of their litter box to make it easier for them to climb into the box. Also, try feeding them food for the older generation to help with their digestion. I hope this helps, Cheryl.
Bridget KieasFecyk on May 17, 2020:
My cats, both of them are getting very clingy. No matter where I go, they both have to be with me, laying on me or pawing at me for attention. They don't do this to my husband so much. I clean their boxes every single day, but I still find occasional messes on the floor, but NEVER in my office. And if I'm sitting with him in the living room, both are right there, but the moment I go to my office, both will ditch him and follow me to my office. I normally wouldn't mind, but it can be quite annoying when they're clinging and demanding attention when I'm working. And the occasional messes on the floor, especially since I do the boxes every day, sometimes twice a day, is getting really annoying. Their ages are 14 and 11.
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on May 06, 2020:
Your cat is most likely going through the hormonal changes of growing up. She was feeling you were mommy. Now you are not really what she wants as she learns to be grown-up. My advice is to play with her and offer her comfort, but don't push it. She will come back when she is ready. I hope this helps, Cheryl.
Marise on May 05, 2020:
My cat has been very affectionate since I got her at 3 months. She always slept with me til a few weeks ago. She is 16 months old now and wants nothing to do with me. It's breaking my heart. I don't know why or what to do. Any ideas??
Crying myself to sleep..
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on April 30, 2020:
If this is not her usual behavior, I would get her checked out. She may have something wrong with her eyes or neurological issues developing. It may be life threatening depending upon what it is; however, it could just be that she is getting bored and wants something else to do. Check with the vet first. If she is still doing this, try new toys or routines. I hope this helps, Cheryl.
Sophiapuspus on April 29, 2020:
My cat is about four years old. Last couple of days, she has been “batting” a couple of things. I have a cover over a chair and she batts at it. A blanket on another chair, and she is batting that too. Today, I had a shirt hanging over a chair and she did the same thing. Does this mean anything?
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on April 29, 2020:
Nova, for your first question about spraying. Males get crystals in their urinary tract when they have been fixed. It is painful for them to pee, and sometimes they pee where they smell you because they are trying to get you to pay attention. For this, I would take him to a vet. The crystals will eventually block him completely and he will die. Also, check your routes outdoors. He may be smelling another cat and is marking his territory so they know to stay away. Second: the tail issue can be directly related to the crystals. Third: you are most likely correct, but I think it might be the sound rather than the feel. Plus, your bed doesn't smell of you like it did, which could also explain this behavior. I hope this helps, Cheryl.
Nova Rose on April 28, 2020:
So, I have a couple questions that hopefully you can answer. 1. I have a male cat (who is fixed) and he sprays my clothes all the time. Hanging, in the laundry basket, doesn't matter where, if he can reach it, he pees on in. I used to have other cats but sadly had to get rid of all except him, so there are no other cats present for him to be territorial right? (I've had him for well over 10 years now. 2. He always used to love the top of his back right by his tail getting scratched but now he doesn't, is that just him being finicky or is it something I need to worry about and 3. He almost always was on my bed day and night, almost 24/7 unless he wanted to adventure outside (he's an indoor-outdoor cat), or wants to eat, but now, ever since I put a mattress pad on my bed, he never comes and chills out on my bed anymore and it's kind of sad because that would always be our chill/hang out time... Is it because he doesn't like the texture/feeling of the mattress pad or..? Thanks for the help!
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on April 27, 2020:
I believe you are describing an infection in the mammary glands of your cat. This can be deadly for the kittens who cannot feed, or might ingest the infected milk. Also, the mother can die of the infection. Though I can't guarantee that this is the problem, I would get your cat to the vet as soon as possible, just in case. I hope this helps, Cheryl.
Nicole Mckenzie on April 26, 2020:
My cat had a kittens a week ago, she leaves them for longer periods now maybe too long but we try to encourage her to go back to them, she has also started being more affectionate towards me by lying on her back wanting tummy rubs and waiting by the door for me when I’m out. Is this ok behaviour?? Thanks xx
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on April 18, 2020:
Awww, that sounds so sweet. I love kittens.
Someone on April 15, 2020:
My cat just had babies, it was so cute
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on April 15, 2020:
Thank you for your compliment. I am glad my article has helped so many find out what their cat is saying.
Stella Stivachtari from Thessaloniki, Greece on April 15, 2020:
Very helpful, thank you!
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on April 10, 2020:
A pregnant female cat will have a very swollen tummy and her mammary glands will be swollen and, in some cases, they will drip milk. Be sure to have a warm dry place out of the way for her to keep her kittens safe once they are born.
lilly sanders on April 09, 2020:
How can I tell if my cats is going to have kittens?
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on March 28, 2020:
Cats live by scent and you may have picked up something he was trying to mask when you walked away. If the scent was of an unfixed cat, he would react in such a way. Also, remember that cats smell things that we cannot. I hope this helps, Cheryl.
Coco on March 26, 2020:
I was walking to my friends hoise and there was a girnger cat looking and me and rubbing his fur on me and meowing. When i tried to walk away he followed me and was hissing!! But why......
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on February 20, 2020:
Cats are patient animals and you have to be patient with them, especially if they have not been in an environment like yours before. Let him come to you. He will let you know when he is feeling more comfortable and will welcome attention. But don't let his behavior throw you off, because he is simply not used to you yet. I hope this helps, Cheryl.
kat on February 18, 2020:
I sometimes lay near my cat (5 years old, lived on a farm for five years as a stray and we have now adopted him) when i lay near him, not too close, he sometimes just ups and leaves.. I'm trying to bond with him, he eats, drinks, plays but mostly hides and isnt keen on any sort of touch. What more can i do if anything?
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on January 11, 2020:
Yes, but it also means she doesn't have enough to keep her occupied. Try putting up shelves that she can climb to get above the doors and move around the room using the shelves. This will give her a chance to work off a lot of energy without scratching walls or your daughter. Also, try playing with your kitten on a regular schedule. Play until you have worn her out. This will slow down unwanted activity and keep your cat from getting bored. I hope this helps, Cheryl.
Stacy on January 07, 2020:
I'd love to know why my 5month old kitten bolts through the house from room to room, back and forth and literally tries to climb the walls, mostly around door ways or edges of two walls for up to an hour at a time, and up to three times a day, everyday.
She also follows my 3yo daughter around, when in this mood, and basically attacks her, seemingly to play, but always ends up scratching her.
Is all this simply because she's a healthy energetic kitten??
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on December 28, 2019:
Cats suffer in silence but their behaviors can tell us when something is wrong. Have them both checked out to see if something is wrong. If they are well, ask for the plug in that helps calm the cats. And if they are not fixed, get them fixed to reduce their hormonal reactions to each other. I hope this helps, Cheryl.
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on December 28, 2019:
Aimee, like us, cats have likes and dislikes. If you know she doesn't like to be petted in a certain area, then avoid it. Also there are a lot of cats that do not want to sit on the lap of anyone. This can change as they get older because your lap is warm and helps with any joint aches they may have, but don't push it. Letting the cat come to you is the best way to do it. I hope this helps, Cheryl.
Daniela on December 27, 2019:
My female cat always would like to be touched and she would always play with my other cat they were like bestfriends but ever since yesterday she started to be mean to him and she doesn't want anyone to touch her or she doesn't want any cat near her why is she acting this way now?
Aimee on December 21, 2019:
Hiya, My cat has been skittish since the day she was born however has gotten better over the years, she still doesn’t like being picked up. Whenever I stroke her she puts her bum down as if she doesn’t like it or runs away. It makes me really sad. Sometimes when she is on my bed she will let me stroke her, purr and show me her belly but has never sat on my lap or got too close to my face. I know she is probably just unique but I feel like it’s more than that :( I feel as though she doesn’t like anyone only her food.
Gamer-Chick on December 07, 2019:
When my cat starts to bite and scratch me, just then to start licking my finger.What does this mean?
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on December 02, 2019:
When you try to pick up your cat, you are actually frightening him/her. Cats judge their safety level by scents and if you don't live with the cat he/she might not feel comfortable in your presence. Try playing with the cat from a distance; offering treats; speaking softly to them so they get used to your voice; and wash your hands often to avoid the scents of other cats. Even if you don't touch another cat, you can often brush against something that another cat has touched. I hope this helps, Cheryl.
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on December 02, 2019:
It could be that your cat is reacting to your mother as in intrusion to his home base. She could have brushed against a bush or an item that has been sprayed by another male, or a female in heat. This is especially true if your mother has an unfixed male or female in heat in her home. If your cat is not fixed, that is the first step. Then, have your mother wash her hands when she enters the home. Also, you mother could spray her clothing with something that will add a scent to them. This might cover the odor enough to stop the behavior. I hope this helps, Cheryl.
Marmar on November 29, 2019:
When i tryy to pick up ky cat which i dont live with it lays down almost about swat at me
Beth on November 28, 2019:
My male cat does not like my mother when she comes over my cat will hiss and swat at
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on November 04, 2019:
It is hard to say. Cats can be afraid of things they don't understand, so that is possible. I hope this helps, Cheryl.
Keira on October 30, 2019:
My cat is 6 years old and she as been very adventurous and inderpendant her whole life but we were watching tv last night and she was suddenly all over us, hiding under the blanket and sitting on our laps is she scared because of some early fireworks ?
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on October 23, 2019:
Just like toddlers with a pacifier, cats have a need for comfort. The blanket may be his answer to that. Just keep it for him either on the bed or in his bed. Try not to use it for anything else. I hope this helps, Cheryl.
Sara on October 17, 2019:
My kitten moews none stop until I get him a fluffy blanket and place it on the bed for his to kneed and suck on once his done with the blanket he finds somewhere on my bed to sleep frist time he ever done this
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on September 25, 2019:
Long haired cats will appreciate a cut in the summer or when it is very hot. They also like it when they can see what is in front of them instead of their fur. Part of the answer lies there, heat and seeing better. Don't try to understand it, however, just enjoy the sweetness. I hope this helps, Cheryl.
Michelle I St.Marie on September 19, 2019:
I got my cat a hair cut
And now she’s different,she won’t let you love her but she will come to you when she wants love ,I can’t pet or hold her until she wants it ,after the cut she’s super sweet and loving ,I can now hold her and touch her all I want ,as sweet as it is I wonder what happened and is she sad???
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on September 18, 2019:
Most likely it is habit. Or it could also be a comfortable position for her. I really wish our cats could tell us what they want or how they feel sometimes. I hope this helps, Cheryl.
katy on September 17, 2019:
my cat will sit like she is going to wash her bum but then just sit there with her legs to the side off the floor, it looks like she is posing for a photo. she was overweight and started doing it i think as she couldnt groom her bottom but now she can reach she still does it. could it be a habbit?
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on August 12, 2019:
This could be a sign that something is wrong. Diabetes could be a cause, but I would be more concerned that the cat has crystals in his bladder that is causing this issue. I would get him to a vet as soon as possible because this issue can cause death if not treated. I hope this helps, Cheryl.
Harry N Magnani on August 09, 2019:
I have 2 cats and one or both produces very sticky urine in their litter box.It has become more frequent in the last year. They are brothers (neutered) and 14 years old but apparently very healthy. Is this a sign of diabetes, or dehydration or what?
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on July 27, 2019:
You might want to observe the interactions between your dog and your cat to see if the puppy is 'playing' too roughly and has injured the cat. Also, the older the cat is, the harder it is for their system to digest their fur when they clean. Plus, they can't always reach to properly clean themselves when they get older. I would take the cat to the vet before anything else, just to be sure everything is okay, then watch that puppy. You will have to start grooming your cat as well. Make sure your cat has plenty of places to get away from the dog (the higher the better) so she can have peace. I hope this helps, Cheryl.
Carmen814 on July 26, 2019:
My cat is 7 years old n has always taken care of her everyday maitenance she is long haired my husband and i just adopted a puppy weve had our puppy for 6 months now all of a sudden my cats fur is all mattered and shes shedding she usually sheds with the weather change but shes never been natted now her sides are looking like dreads n when i try to pet her on her sides she tries to scratch me what is causing this is she sick is she jealous i love her n my new puppy so much i want her to be happy still i feel like ive hurt her feelings by bringing in a new animal is this possible ? Should i bring her to the vet ?
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on July 19, 2019:
Your cat is most likely trying to play. You can use toys on sticks to distract him and show him a different way to play. I hope this helps, Cheryl.
A on July 17, 2019:
my cat lays down next to me hugs my hands and licks them then rests its head on my hand but then starts kicking me with its feet all while hugging and licking me?
Kritta on July 14, 2019:
My family and I were recently away for an entire month. I left my grandkitty (my young son's cat) in care of a combination of extended family staying at our place for the first part and neighbours feeding her for another part with another animal loving friend coming as well, a few times, to give her affection. When we did get home, my grandkitty did this "jitter bug" kind of thing that really surprised me, before she let herself be picked up and full of purrs. I was actually expecting her to have a bad attitude twards us being away for so long. I've grown up with cats (I'm now 48), but I'd never seen such a "jitterbug" reaction before. Insight please and thank you in advance. Truly intrigued.
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on July 12, 2019:
More than likely your cat has a bit of arthritis in his spine and the stretch puts pressure on that area. Most cats will continue to do so even if it hurts because they have an instinct to keep fit in case they have to flee. I hope this helps, Cheryl.
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on July 12, 2019:
Sadly, kittens born to an older cat can have development issues and may die shortly after birth. The mother cat wants them, but they die, so she adopts others who need help. On the other hand, some cats do not understand what has happened when they give birth and they might leave the kittens to die. Some will even kill their kittens right after birth. I cannot tell you which it is, but you might want to get her fixed to prevent further kittens. If you want her to continue to have kittens, a warm out-of-the-way area is best so the mother and the babies are comfortable for at least the first few days. Sadly, most kittens that are taken from their mother at birth will die. I hope this helps, Cheryl.
Melissa on July 11, 2019:
My cat periodically arches his back and yelps, then he will act normal. He is 10 years old.
Priscilla on July 09, 2019:
My outdoor senior cat recently gave birth about a day ago in our garage, to 6 healthy kittens, but today when I found her she was in a new spot with only one kitten. To me, the other kittens look perfectly normal and healthy, and in her last pregnancy she also kept just one(which later died, but she took in 5 orphaned kittens later). And I have no idea if she's stressed or should she be left alone (because we use the garage for laundry and going to the backyard)or how to know if the other five babies are healthy and if they are, how can I get her to be with them.
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on June 27, 2019:
There could be several reasons why your cat is doing this. First: she could have an injury of some sort that is bothering her. She would bite and run if your petting touched that area and hurt her. Second: she might have a chemical in-balance that is causing her to behave that way. Third: she may be suffering from PTSD from her previous life. Four: she could have hormonal issues, especially if she is not fixed. A trip to the vet can fix all of these issues, or at least get you an answer. The only other thing I can think of is she might need to have climbing shelves to get up high for a bit where she can see everything and be left alone. I hope this helps you, Cheryl.
Marie Both on June 27, 2019:
Hi, I got my cat when she was about 3 weeks old. Her tail got broke by a truck running over it. I saved her, brought her home and kept her. She was lovable and always cuddled. As she got older she would let you pet her but then she would bite you and run off. I thought she would out grow this but it is only getting worse. One min she is nice and purring on you, the next min she is biting and clawing you. Then she runs off. Can you plz tell me what is wrong. I have tried everything, I bought her a bunch of toys, I got her treats she gets every day, I got her cat nip, her own bed. Nothing seems to work. I know it can’t be my other cat causing her to act like this. She was raised with her from the day I got her at 3 weeks. She will even attack her sometimes, or chases her out of the room. But then they will play together, and my oldest one kit will clean Winnie and she allows it. But then like I said Winnie will just turn mean for no reason.
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on June 20, 2019:
Some cats like to get close to people who are afraid of them or don't like them. I can't be certain why except that many cats will get close to show their dominance (if you are afraid) or to get you to like them. Rather than running away from the cat, try just letting him do what he wants. You may have to put up with a rub or two, but by ignoring him, he will eventually move on and leave you alone. I hope that this helps, Cheryl.
Kailah on June 20, 2019:
Hi there, I was visiting my friends house and she has a deaf cat. I usually avoid this cat because I simply don’t like cats. One day I was sitting on the couch on my phone and the cat usually doesn’t really bother me, but today the cat started following me where ever I went. I started to slowly run away from it but that’s when I noticed it was coming for me. I got really nervous and locked myself in the bathroom until she put her cat up. So I’m really confused as to why all of the sudden the cat is suddenly coming at me.
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on June 04, 2019:
Joz, the first thing you learn about cats is that they are independent, and each one has their own unique qualities. In your case, your cat may be asking you to play. A young cat, especially a Siamese, needs the play to stay fit and health as well as keeping them occupied. They also need their own furniture to keep them content. Try getting her a few beds, some scratching posts and/or cat trees. Be sure she has toys to play with as well. You will discover which toys she prefers very quickly. Siamese like to look outside a lot, so make sure she has a window seat. Also, Siamese like to climb. Make sure she has a lot of shelves and pathways to climb on and be sure some of them get her high up because they love looking down on the world in which they live. I hope this helps, Cheryl.
Joz on May 31, 2019:
hi, my cat is an indoor siamese and she would just lay around and meow at me until I look at her (sometimes she still meows while I watch her) and if I approach to her she just runs off (or nimble on my hand soflty) then go back to spot and start over. Shes 1yo and spayed.
Shes my very first cat so I pretty much know nothing. Is this normal or Im doing something wrong?
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on May 18, 2019:
It seems he is trying to tell you something like there might be a cat outside the house. Try keeping your door open for a bit. This might help him to relax. Also, look for a new cat outside. Hope this helps, Cheryl.
T on May 17, 2019:
My cat will sit outside of my bedroom door and meow or scratch so I open the door for him and he races into the room, but then like 2 minutes later he wants to leave again. He’s been doing this for a few days now
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on May 09, 2019:
Cats that have been abused or received great trauma can suffer from PTSD. This means he will be happy one minute and then angry or fearful the next. Many cats that suffer this dilemma will often have stress related licking. Like humans, animal PTSD is hard to overcome. I hope your cat is the exception. I hope this helps, Cheryl.
Lap on May 07, 2019:
My cat is 14 and he's started acting weird for the last month or so. He hasn't had the easiest life. He got attacked by my neighbors dogs when he was about 2 or 3. He had serious injuries and surgeries. He also lost one of his top fang teeth a few years ago. He has been an inside cat for about 3 years. But lately he's been super affectionate but didn't think much of it as we are heading into winter. When I'm laying in bed he'll come up really close to my face purring like a v8 and I pat him for a bit then he moves backwards a little and I let him snooze then I look at him and he attacks my face and runs to his corner of the bed. The first time he did it he was super close to clawing my eye, he literally got my his claw about my bottom eyelashes. I had blood everwhere! I know he suffers anxiety, he will continuously lick parts of his front paws till there is no hair left and that's what our vet said. But this new behavior is scaring me. He also doesn't really groom himself anymore and sits on the window basically howling. If he can here us and can't get to us he stands there constantly meowing. Anyone have any ideas on why this is all happening? It's been suggested that it could be cat dementia but I have no clue.
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on May 02, 2019:
Venus, I do sometimes believe that, but it is our tone of voice and body language that they interpret. Whether they listen or not is a totally different thing.
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on May 02, 2019:
Alyssa, I would check her for injuries of some sort. Also, I would try to see if there are other cats living in your area, or humans that don't like cats, that are making her feel threatened. Also, try luring her out with treats and keeping her out with play. Another thing that might help is lots of places to climb on and watch the world so she can be social yet out of reach. I hope this helps.
Alyssa Warren on April 29, 2019:
Ive had my cat for 4-5 ish years. I took her in as a stray. She is usually pretty social, but lately she has been just hiding under my bed. She comes out when i look under and call her, but after a minute, she goes back in. I dont k kw whats wrong or what to do
VenusPsychic from wales on April 29, 2019:
cats always do what ever they want and pretend do not understand what we are saying hahahah
trixxane on April 26, 2019:
My cat is suddenly being all nice he looks at me and when im doing homework he sleeps on my books he is usually distant and sleeps on the chair but now he sleeps on the hard table he comes closer to my face if anything i was wondering is he okay
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on April 09, 2019:
BB, Siamese are very intelligent and sometimes eccentric. Your thought about demented could be correct. If her behavior becomes dangerous for her or you, you might want to check with your vet; otherwise, I would not be worried.
BB Haddock on April 08, 2019:
My small Siamese is not very lovable, but, she will lay on my upper extended arm, for about three to five minutes, then make a meow sound and run away. She will return later and does the same thing. Her sister is the total opposite. I sometimes think the cat is demented. Any others have the same problem?
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on March 29, 2019:
Your cat may just not like the smell of your husband and children. Perhaps if the children and your husband got her active in play it would be different. I hope this helps, Cheryl.
Tracy on March 28, 2019:
Hi my cat is 5 now she only lets me touch her i have a family of five and when my husband trys to touch her she moves just out of his reach why dose she do this ?
And she sometimes sleeps on my tummy all night usually when I'm having a bad night why? I like it just want to understand
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on March 03, 2019:
:Laura, if your cat has begun to act differently, chances are something is wrong. I would take your cat to the vet as soon as possible.
Laura on March 03, 2019:
Wy does my cat sad. Lays down all the time she dont whant me to grab her any more she would sleep on top of me i whant to help her
Cheryl Simonds (author) from Connecticut on March 01, 2019:
I think you cat is looking for you to play and interact with him. Try playing for a bit before you do your chores. Make sure he has plenty of window space so he can watch outside and be sure he has something to climb up high.
Christy on March 01, 2019:
When i try to do the dishes or do the laundry or even clean my house my cat acts strange and obsessively meows at me or tries to get under my feet at times he wont let me finish my chores so what do i do what he he tring to tell me?
So that you can perceive their signals perfectly, we list below 10 affectionate behaviors of cats, an undoubted proof of their love.
1. The purr
The purring of your cat can express much. If you are stroking him and he purrs, making a sound between deep and soft, it is a sign of love. He’s comfortable with you and this is his way of showing you.
2. Lift the tail
It is perhaps the most difficult sign to perceive, since cats raise their tails showing alertness and nervousness. But in case they rub against you and lift it up at the same time, slightly twisting its tip, it is a symbol of affection for you.
3. Knead you
Cats have the instinct, from birth, to knead their mother’s belly to promote milk production, before being breastfed. So if your cat kneads you, it means that she shows great affection towards you, as if you were her mother.
4. He rubs with you
When he does it with his head or his face it is a sign of affection and reinforcement of the bond between you. In this way, your cat usually marks what produces affinity, since it produces pheromones in that part of its body, with which it signals as an act of possession.
5. Looks at you and blinks
Staring at you and blinking slowly is a sign of confidence towards you, a way of expressing your affection and the security that you produce.
6. Licks you
The click of a cat is a gesture of wanting to take care of you, so there is no doubt that, before its lick, it is telling you that it loves you and is going to protect you.
7. It nibbles you
If you feel his tender nibbles, without exerting any pressure, it is because he is playing with you and, therefore, he loves you, giving you all the confidence. However, if those bites are forceful, it may be for other reasons such as that he feels intimidated, has discomfort or simply wants to play or does not want more caresses at that time.
8. Brings you a gift
You may be surprised to find that your feline friend brings you dead or even live prey, such as a mouse. But, undoubtedly, he considers you family and is sharing a delicious snack with you, from his cat perspective.
9. Sleep close to you
The cat’s dream is synonymous with vulnerability, so when they sleep with you they show you their trust and, therefore, their affection.
10. It is placed belly up
This is an undoubted gesture. Standing on your belly is a huge display of affection. He exposes himself to you, at the same time he asks you for a caress. Will you resist such tenderness?
What’s Your Cat Telling You?
Cats are smart and independent pets, but no matter how well you think you know your cat, it can sometimes be challenging to understand what they are trying to tell us. They use a complex system that comprises sound, touch, scent and body language to communicate how they feel.
By careful observation and with a little practice, it’ll be a breeze to decode your cat’s true feelings. Here are some of the more common ways cats communicate their feelings to us.
What does a relaxed cat look like? Unprovoked, a calm cat displays relaxed muscles of the body, breathing slowly and evenly. If they arch their back, this can mean she’s in the mood for some petting or interaction with you. Conversely, a cat who is angry, fearful or stressed will have its fur standing on end, also with an arched back.
Tip: You may assume that like dogs, if your cat lies on her back with belly to the sky – she’s asking for a belly rub, right? You may be surprised. This can be defensive stance for cats. If this happens, you might want to observe her for a little while longer before you go in for a full on, happy belly rub.
The tail-o-meter is a superb indicator of your cat’s mood. The tail of a relaxed cat follows loosely behind her. If she’s in a good mood, she may hold her tail up. Again, you want to be on the lookout for standing fur! A raised tail with fur standing on ends could indicate that your cat is stressed or fearful too.
As it is with dogs, a tail held low between their legs indicate that they are feeling anxious or uncomfortable. Give your cat some physical space and not overwhelm them with your presence, if this is the case.
Another good tail observation – your cat might be curious about something if she is moving her tail slowly. But if she is flicking her tail quickly from side to side, there’s a high chance she’s feeling provoked.
The eyes are windows to everyone’s souls, even cats. A happy cat will display normal-sized pupils that are neither dilated nor constricted. Cats also blink slowly or have their eyes slightly closed if they are feeling secure and comfortable.
If there is something your cat is unsure or afraid of, her pupils may dilate or constrict. If her eyes are firmly fixed on one thing, she could be prepping for an attack! If you’re a cat owner, you’ll be familiar with that feral stare your cat gives when she’s in a hunting mood!
Who knew ears can communicate? Humans don’t do much with our ears. They just… sit there. It’s a different matter for cats. Ears that are held in a forward-facing position indicates a friendly and content cat. If they’re pointing straight up, she’s definitely interested or excited (in a good way). Ears that swivel left and right are trying to pick up sounds that are putting them on high alert (like when you’re opening up a pack of food).
One thing to note in particular is when your cat’s ears are pinned far back, or down by the sides – she’s communicating fear, defensiveness or anger. This is a good time to give them some space to regulate their feelings and calm down.
Most of us have heard cats meowing, yowling or purring. This is them vocalizing their feelings. A cat’s growl, snarl or hisses are easy to interpret (fear or anger), but the regular meows can have a whole gamut of meanings and emotions behind them.
A short meow and your cat’s greeting you.
A mid-pitched meow is can be a plea for something they need – like if they need to access their litter box or very likely, hungry and need some food. (If the meow is held for a longer duration, this plea has now become a demand.)
A low-pitched meow is usually a complaint to let you know something is wrong – is the water bowl empty?
Finally, a high-pitched screech-like meow is a knee-jerk sound of pain or anger – this is the sound you’ll hear if you step on your cat’s tail by accident! (Don’t try it.)
Some cats are incredibly protective of their bellies and consider them a restricted area that no one is allowed to touch. Those who attempt to stroke it are at risk of getting scratched or bitten by their beloved feline. Sometimes, cats send us mixed signals by rolling over and exposing this area. Those who hate belly stroking will responds in an aggressive manner. However, not all cats hate having their bellies rubbed. Felines who feel safe around their owners will have no problem exposing their bellies and owners are encouraged to give their cat a gentle head rub in response.
Defensive cats who find themselves trapped in a corner will also expose their bellies and hiss at their enemy to show them that they are more than ready to fight back.
Ears: For Hearing and for Showing
Ear position is another place to look for clues about a cat’s mood. Normal, forward ears indicate a cat that’s feeling confident, relaxed, or engaged. As always, however, context is essential for understanding. When a cat’s ears stand straight up, the cat is increasing their exposure, and you may be fooled into thinking it’s at ease instead, sometimes the high, erect ear position indicates alertness or a desire to play. A cat with ears turned back is usually a good sign that a cat is feeling angry or fearful
When a cat protects their ears by flattening them to the side, you can almost always be sure that they’re feeling afraid. (Some people will refer to ears in this position as “airplane ears.”)
Dharma is a cat that likes to hang out in her owner’s closet. A former feral cat, Dharma is now more comfortable and confident. She still needs a place in which she can rest and hide from the world, though, and she chooses the closet. When new people come looking for her in the closet, she can feel threatened. When a person enters the closet, Dharma makes herself as small as possible, and that includes her ears. Dharma’s ears get so flat on her head, they look like they’ve been plastered there.