Decoding Your Cat's Behavior: 9 Things You Should Know

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Who doesn't love a cute, furry, sweet creature that clings to you now and then? Cats are known to be loyal animals and express care and love for their owners. Cats are popularly kept as pets due to their calm nature. 

Aside from that, they also love to play and sleep. So, if you're a cat parent, you probably see your feline baby playing or sleeping on the sofa or in their hammock most of the time. However, cats can also show different traits and behaviors that sometimes cause you to question what it means. In fact, most cat parents would dream of having a cat decoder so they can understand what their pet is trying to impress. 

If you're thinking of getting a cat pet soon or already has one, here are the ten things you should know to decode your cat's behavior.

When They Bring You Toys Or Dead Animals

Cats love to hunt. That's one of their innate behaviors. Do cats kill cockroaches, rats, and snakes? Yes, because they consider those as prey, alongside lizards, small rodents, and birds. 

When your cat brings you a toy or a dead animal, such behavior indicates:

  • That you're considered as a member of their pack
  • They want to ensure that you are fed well
  • They want to return the favor for feeding them
  • Giving you their prey for storage


Ever wonder why mama cats lick their kittens? Aside from grooming them, this also signifies showing affection and a special bond. When your pet cat licks you, this also means the same thing. Your cat wants to create that special bond with you and express affection. 

Cats are also known for their high-grooming habits. When a cat licks itself, it only means it's cleaning itself. Therefore, you won't have to worry about grooming habits in the same way as with dogs. 


If you're a first-time cat owner, you might find purring to be scary. The sound may sometimes seem like your cat is ready to attack. However, cats purr due to many reasons, such as:

  • When they are relaxed and calm
  • To soothe themselves, especially when wounded or stressed
  • To express that they want something
  • Socializing with other cats
  • To signal vibrations to their kittens and guide them towards their nipple


People who never had a pet cat might not even know that cats can ‘chirp.’ But cat lovers know this too well. Aside from meowing or purring, cats can sometimes chirp. You will notice this when:

  • They're ready to hunt and are already eyeing prey, especially when the chirping is accompanied by a twitching tail and dilated pupils.
  • They're excited to see someone.

Exposing Their Tummy

When your pet cat suddenly lays down and shows its belly to you, it indicates trust and comfort. This is an expression that signifies it feels secure and sheltered. However, do take note that this is not an indication that they want tummy rubs. They might even bite or scratch if you attempt to do so. So, be careful whenever you attempt to pet your cat.

 Wagging Their Tail

Dogs wag their tail due to excitement and happiness. But be careful with cats because when they do, it means they have identified a threat. You'll know when your cat is already annoyed, frustrated, or pissed when they thrash their tails. It means you have to let them go and stop what you're doing, or else they might pounce on you or bite you. 


Generally, cats love to sleep. And they do so to conserve energy and prepare themselves to hunt. Though domestic cats don't hunt out in the field anymore, they still take a lot of naps because it became a part of their natural behavior. Keep note that cats also prefer to nap in warm areas outdoors or on warm surfaces like your body. 

Knocking Stuff Over

Well, this typically happens when you have a cat at home. Because cats are inquisitive creatures, they would love to touch and try to knock things over and observe what happens when they do so. This just means that your cat is being curious. Obviously, this is why we have the saying “curiosity killed the cat." 


Cats love to scratch. This includes scratching your furniture, sofa, and rugs. It could be a huge problem if you don’t know how to pet-proof your home. But such behavior is ingrained in a cat's system and could signify many things, such as:

  • Maintaining their claws
  • Marking their territorial ownership
  • Releasing pent-up energy
  • Wanting to feel good


Indeed, cats are one of the most lovable and sought-after pets due to their calm, loving, and independent nature. However, amidst their good nature, there are some things that your cat does that might irritate you when you don't know what it means. 

Therefore, decoding your cat's behavior and understanding why they do what they do would help build a better and deeper relationship with your furry feline friend. Considering the above mentioned things will allow you to become a better parent for your pet cat.

About the Author:

Grace Sargent is an animal expert known for her enthusiasm for studying animal behavior and temperaments. She has garnered multiple awards for her recent study about cats. She is writing a book about pets and will soon be published nationwide.

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