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Animal Skin and Allergy Clinic Blog

Cat’s Got Your Tongue, and Hair, and Furniture: Understanding Cat Behavior

Cat behavior.

Although each cat has a unique personality, there are plenty of shared behaviors that make cat owners scratch their heads. Whether you are an experienced cat parent or are new to the world of feline ownership, here’s the truth behind some of the most interesting cat behaviors:

It’s All in the Ears

The way a cat holds its ears can tell you a lot about how he or she is feeling. If the ears are forward, your cat is probably interested in something happening around him. If your cat starts to move her ears to the side or to the back, chances are she is either feeling excited or distressed. If the ears are pointed to the back, however, there is a good chance that your cat is feeling uncomfortable and threatened. 

A Tell “Tail” Element of Cat Behavior

Your cat’s tail is a window into his personality. If she is holding her tail high, she is welcoming attention and affection. If the tail is thumping, however, he is not in the mood to interact physically. A tail that swishes back and forth means your cat is frustrated or concentrating on catching that bird she sees outside the window. The longer you have your cat, the more you’ll understand these unique ways to communicate.

Grooming Behavior

Cats famously groom themselves, which usually is a sign that your cat is healthy and feeling well emotionally, his fur will rest neatly against his body. If your cat isn’t feeling well or is depressed, her grooming habits might change. If you notice a big change in your cat’s fur or he seems to be scratching or grooming a lot more than normal, you should schedule a wellness exam to make sure everything is going well. Overgrooming or lack of grooming can be signs of underlying dermatologic disease.

Making the Biscuits

One of the most questioned cat behaviors is why cats knead. Although there are a variety of reasons why your cat might knead a blanket, her favorite spot on the couch, or even your lap, here are some of the most common:

  • To show pleasure: when cats feel content and comfortable, they often knead to express their positive feelings.
  • To mark territory: cats also knead to leave their scent on a blanket or a piece of furniture to let other animals know they should back off.
  • To get comfortable: sometimes cats knead simply to make a space cozier.

We love cats at Animal Skin and Allergy Clinic, and we want to help them find relief from allergies or other skin concerns. To learn more about how allergies can impact your cat, please call (425) 742-0342.