Our cats display a number of quirky cat behaviors that entertain us, but also serve to keep them mentally stimulated. Cats are resilient, purposeful beings that carry out these actions as a means to an end. They are, after all, predatory animals. And because of this, many of these eccentric cat behaviors have a rhyme and reason to them and are actually more calculated than we realize.
More so, many believe that some of these cat behaviors are naughty and should be discouraged. But seeing as our cat’s actions often fulfill a purpose and stimulate/enrich their minds, we should offer our cats plenty of opportunities to satisfy these captivating cat behaviors.
Here’s our list of “naughty” cat behaviors that are A-OK in our book, and should be in yours, too!
Cat Behaviors: Perching
Have you ever walked in your home to find your cat sprawled across your counter? What about a cat that travels outdoors, have you ever found them perched like a king on top of your vehicle? I’m pretty sure you were able to answer a resounding “yes” to at least one of these questions, because as we know, cats love to perch! My kitty will often rest himself on my shoulder as I work, (well, try to work!), and this ordinary cat behavior is something that they’ve been doing for centuries!
Instinct plays a large role in determining this feline habit. Cats are tree-climbing mammals that descended from Proailurus, the first true cat. Early cats were hunters and many of them lived in the rain forests. Their claws enabled them to climb skillfully, escaping into trees for safety or climbing up high to lie in wait for prey. In other words, climbing had survival value and became hard-wired as a way of life for cats.
In the wild, cats choose to perch to limit their attack by another animal–usually of the big cat kind. Your cat might not have any wild DNA in their direct bloodline, but that doesn’t mean their mentality and thought process is too far off from their much larger cousins.
If you want to keep your cat purrfectly happy when it comes to their love of perching, offer them their own designated place to do so! There are a wide variety of cat perches available on the market today, and some window perches make a great choice as well so your cat can observe the world outdoors high from their own little throne.
Most Common: Scratching
Obviously we do not want our cats ripping our fancy furniture to shreds, but your cat must satisfy her urges to sharpen her claws and work her muscles. The truth is, your cat likes to scratch for a number of reasons, but the trick is to teach your cat what they can scratch—and what is off limits.
We promise, your cat isn’t out to get you when they are scratching some of your beloved things around your home. Here’s a list of reasons why your cat likes to scratch, so that you can get a better sense of their desire to do so:
- To remove the dead outer layer of their claws. Claw sheaths, anyone?
- To mark their territory–both with a visual marker as well as with the scent from the glands on their paws.
- To stretch their bodies post nap, flexing those little toes and claws as they work the wiggles out.
Rather than scold or discipline your cat for scratching, find ways to help her designate her scratching to specific areas in your home. I’ve purrsonally never met a cat that doesn’t like a good scratching post, so purchase a few for your home and encourage her to scratch their instead of on your leather couches. Cats are quick learners. You’ll be amazed just how quickly she’ll take to her new gift(s) rather than the sofa for her scratching needs.
Attacking You (Playfully)
Your cat is a predator animal. They are happiest when their minds are being stimulated and their instinctual behaviors are being exercised. If you find that your cat is suddenly restless and attacking you–especially when you are ignoring her/trying to get something “done”–she’s displaying this “naughty” behavior simply because she is bored! Cats need mental as well as physical stimulation to keep them happy and healthy. It’s an absolute must and highly necessary for their general well-being.
A cat that is taking a liking to attacking you on a routine basis is bored and looking to play. Make it a habit to engage them in play and offer them enrichment toys to keep them stimulated. If they’re an only kitty in the home and you can make room for one more cat, this is something to consider to help keep your cat engaged and stimulated so they can wrestle with one another--rather than “attacking” you as you’re trying to get stuff done around the home.
Your cat isn’t able to call you or text you–although if they could, they probably wouldn’t–so they rely on their meows to tell you, their human, that they want/need something. Past kittenhood cats no longer use their meows to communicate with one another, those are something they reserve for you! If your cat keeps meowing at you excessively, she can be doing this for a number of reasons. Some of which are a cause for concern to you as their devoted owner once you know how to decode them properly.
If your cat’s meows are erratic and causing you to worry, then this can be a sign of an illness or behavioral issue, or even stress.
Cats can also meow excessively when they are in pain, especially if you try to pick them up and it increases their discomfort. But if your cat seems to be meowing at you to get your attention, that’s because they are! Remember, a tired cat is a quiet cat. If you engage in play with your kitty throughout the daytime than you’re a lot less likely to hear them meowing at you–especially at night when you’re trying to catch some sleep.