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Decoding The Mystery: Understanding Your Cat's Behaviour

Published date: 17 June 2024

Cats, the enigmatic creatures that they are, never cease to surprise us with their peculiar antics. Whether it’s the sudden midnight zoomies or the gentle yet persistent kneading, every action seems to hold a secret message.

As fellow cat enthusiasts, we understand the joy and occasional bewilderment that comes with sharing our lives with these captivating creatures. In this blog, we’ll take a playful yet insightful look at the common behaviours of cats that we love the most, decoding their mysterious actions, and shedding light on their unique ways of communicating with us mere humans.

Whether you’re a seasoned cat whisperer or a newcomer to the feline fan club, this guide is here to help navigate the delightful enigma that is your feline friend. So, let’s embark on this whimsical journey together and uncover the charming reasons behind your cat’s intriguing behaviours.


The Language of Food

Understanding your cat’s behaviour especially when it comes to food, can provide important clues about their health and happiness. Cats express their needs and emotions through their eating habits. Deciphering these behaviours can help you ensure they are happy and well-fed. Whether it’s finicky eating or persistent begging, each action reveals something about their well-being.

  • Picky Eating or Sudden Loss of Appetite:
    Cats can be choosy eaters. If your cat suddenly becomes picky or loses their appetite, it might indicate stress, illness, or dissatisfaction with their food. Ensure you’re providing a balanced, high-quality diet to keep your feline friend happy and feeling their best.
  • Constant Begging for Food:
    If your cat is always begging for food, even after a meal, it might not simply be hunger. The behaviour can indicate boredom, a need for attention, or a potential health issue, like hyperthyroidism, diabetes or worms. Providing interactive feeders and regular playtime can help address some of these issues and keep your cat engaged. Consider keeping a mealtime and behaviour diary, so you can show it to your vet if you do need to seek further advice on their health.
  • Overeating and Weight Gain:
    Conversely, if your cat is overeating and gaining weight, it might be due to stress, lack of stimulation, or simply enjoying their food too much. Monitor their portion, keep your diary and ensure to seek plenty of opportunities for physical activity to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Opt for Small, Frequent Meals:
    Cats have a natural inclination towards small, frequent meals throughout the day, which reflects their instinctive hunting behaviour of catching small prey multiple times a day.
  • Maintain a Clean Feeding Area:
    Cats are known for their fastidious nature and prefer a clean and peaceful area for their meals. It’s essential to regularly wash their feeding bowls and place them in a tranquil part of the house.



Purring: The Sound of Contentment

Purring is a multifaceted behaviour that can indicate a range of emotions and physical states in cats. Understanding why cats purr can help you better interpret their needs and provide the appropriate care and affection. By paying attention to your feline friend’s purring, you can gain valuable insights into their emotional and physical well-being. At Canagan, we believe that understanding the nuances of your cat’s purring can help you become a more empathetic and attentive pet parent, ensuring they receive the love, care, and nourishment they deserve.

  • Contentment and Relaxation:
    When your companion settles in your lap, their eyes half-closed and emitting a soft, rhythmic purr, it’s an unmistakable sign of their deep contentment and relaxation. This heartwarming display of comfort signifies that your cat feels safe and cherished in your presence, creating a truly special and heartwarming bond, deepening the sense of connection and well-being between the two of you.
  • Therapeutic Purpose:
    A cat’s purring can serve a therapeutic purpose for them, research suggests that the vibrations produced during purring can promote healing and provide pain relief. The frequency of a cat’s purr, typically between 25 and 150 Hertz, has been shown to aid in the healing of bones and tissues and reduce swelling. Furthermore, cats may purr when they are injured or in pain as a way to soothe themselves and cope with physical discomfort.



Kneading: A Nod to Kittenhood

Kneading, a behaviour where a cat rhythmically pushes their paws against a soft surface, evokes a heartwarming image of a tiny kitten with their mother. This endearing display is a reminder of the strong maternal bond and comfort that cats seek.

  • Contentment:
    It’s fascinating how adult cats knead when they are feeling relaxed and content. This behaviour often occurs when they are preparing a cosy spot to rest, and it’s a lovely way of showing that they are happy and at ease.
  • Territorial: Additionally, cats have scent glands in their paws and kneading can also serve as a way for them to mark their territory with their unique scent.


The Slow Blink: Feline Affection

If your cat looks at you and slowly blinks, take it as a compliment. The slow blink is a cat’s way of showing affection and trust. In cat language, closing their eyes in your presence means they feel safe with you.

  • Reciprocate the Blink:
    You can build a stronger bond with your cat by slowly blinking back at them. This mimics their friendly gesture and can make them feel more connected to you. This simple act of reciprocation can help reinforce the bond of trust and affection between you and your feline friend, ultimately strengthening your relationship.


Tail Language: The Feline Mood Barometer

Understanding your cat’s behaviour is an essential part of being a responsible and caring pet owner. One of the key indicators of a cat’s mood is their tail. By learning to read tail positions, you can better understand how your cat is feeling and respond to their needs more effectively. Here are some important tail positions to look out for:

  • Upright Tail:
    A straight-up tail, especially with a little curve at the top, usually signifies a happy and confident cat. When you see your cat with an upright tail, it’s a good sign that they are content and feeling positive.
  • Puffed-Tail:
    If your cat’s tail is fluffed up and standing straight or arched, they are likely scare or feeling threatened. This is a clear indication that your cat is feeling anxious, and it’s important to provide them with a safe and secure environment.
  • Twitching Tail:
    A tail that twitches or swishes can indicate irritation or excitement. Pay attention to the context to determine which it is. If your cat’s tail is twitching, it’s a sign that they may be agitated or overstimulated, and they may need some space or quiet time.


Observing your cat’s tail can provide valuable clues about their emotions and help you respond appropriately to their needs. By paying attention to these subtle signals, you can strengthen the bond with your feline friend and ensure their well-being and happiness.



Rubbing and Head-Butting: Marking You as Their Own

Have you ever wondered why your cat rubs against you or head-butts you? It turns out, these behaviours are more than just random actions. When a cat rubs against you, they are marking you with their scent glands located around their face. This is their way of showing affection and bonding with you. By marking you with their scent, your cat is indicating that they consider you part of their territory and family. It’s a sign of love and trust!

In addition to affection and bonding, cats also rub and head-butt to mark their territory and establish boundaries. This behaviour is their way of communicating with other cats and claiming their space.

So, the next time your feline friend rubs against you or head-butts you, remember that it’s their way of showing love and marking you as part of their family. Return the affection by giving them gentle pets and spending quality time together. It’s a beautiful way to reciprocate their love and strengthen your bond with your furry companion.


Hiding: Seeking Safety or Solitude

Cats often seek out hiding spots, which can be confusing and concerning for their owners. As cat lovers, we want to provide the best care for our feline friends, so understanding their behaviour is crucial

Hiding can indicate different things depending on the situation:

  1. Stress or Fear:
    New environments, loud noises, or unfamiliar visitors can cause a cat to seek refuge in a hiding spot.
  2. Need for Solitude:
    But mostly, cats just simply need some alone time to rest and recharge.


As caring cat owners, it’s important to provide safe hiding spots and understand the reasons for cats need to retreat. By doing so, we can create a more secure and comfortable environment for our family members.


Scratching: Exercise and Territory Marking

As cat lovers, it’s important to understand that scratching is not just a random behaviour for our companions. It’s a natural and necessary part of their instincts. When cats scratch, they are doing more than just sharpening their claws – they are also marking their territory and expressing themselves.

First and foremost, scratching helps cats keep their claws sharp and healthy. By removing the outer layer of the claws, they are able to maintain their natural weaponry, which is essential for their well-being. Just like we humans need to trim our nails, cats need to scratch to keep their claws in top condition.

Additionally, scratching is a way for cats to mark their territory. Cats have scent glands in their paws, and when they scratch, they leave behind both a visual and scent mark. This is their way of communicating with other cats and establishing their presence in their environment.

To support your cat’s natural scratching behaviour, it’s important to provide them with appropriate outlets for this instinctual behaviour. By placing various scratching posts and pads around your home, you can prevent damage to your furniture and give your cat a designated space to satisfy their scratching needs. Remember, by providing these outlets, you’re not only protecting your belongings but also enriching your cat’s environment and promoting their overall well-being.



Happy Cat-Watching!

We may have only just scratched the surface with this blog on cat behaviour but we hope that the insights we’ve shared will help you better understand your feline companions. Remember, there’s always more to learn and explore when it comes to our beloved cats.

Stay curious, keep observing and continue to deepen your bond with your feline friends. Happy cat-watching!


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