How Good Is Your Knowledge of Domestic Cat Behaviour?

A good cat caretaker/guardian should have a reasonable knowledge of cat behaviour. They should also be observant so that they can both learn about cat behaviour when watching their cat and look for signs of changes in behaviour to help diagnose ill health. Owners should also be able to read body language and routines, which communicates something to them. I think it is common sense to say that a knowledge of basic cat behaviour is an essential part of being a competent cat guardian.

On the basis that I’m correct, below are 15 questions to test your cat behaviour knowledge. They were chosen at random, almost, because there are lots more questions that could be asked. Below the questions is a link to the answers which pops up (use it sparingly and leave a comment if you think I am incorrect 😉 ).

I would hope that visitors get at least half of them correct. If you achieve that you’re a pretty good cat caretaker and if you get them all correct you are in the top bracket of cat owners.

  1. Why does my cat rub his face on my shoes?
  2. Your cat approaches another cat with her tail up – erect. What does it mean?
  3. Your cat slowly blinks back at you when you talk to her. What does it mean?
  4. You cat licks himself where you have stroked him. Why?
  5. Your cat has the habit of knocking things of tables and sideboards onto the floor. Why?
  6. Your cat spends a lot of time grooming his fur. Why?
  7. Why does a cat arch his back when he sees a strange dog or threatening animal?
  8. When a cat is on his caretaker’s lap, he might knead the person’s legs. Why?
  9. Why do some cats chatter their teeth when watching a bird through the window?
  10. Why might a cat sway his head from side to side when jumping to a distant spot or when staring at prey?
  11. Why might a cat play with prey before killing it?
  12. Why do cats bring freshly caught prey back home about 20% of the time?
  13. Is it true that a cat’s canine teeth and whiskers can feel objects like the fingers of a hand? What are they particularly designed to feel?
  14. Why does a cat lick his nose when there is no apparent reason for it?
  15. Why does a cat flatten his ears when about to fight?

Answers – [weaver_popup_link href=’https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tYxJyu2MIqizQJKpPwlYWw9Y8FRvSBiYGwibKaVWV_k/pub’ h=’800′ w=’700′]please click here[/weaver_popup_link]

If you copy the question and paste it into the custom search box at the top-right of this page you’ll find a more detailed answer.

Please comment here using either Facebook or WordPress (when available).
Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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  • Wohoo I got 12 right, I thought some of the answers were the same for more than one question, but anyway I think the POC family all know what we need to know instinctively because we're true cat lovers, the written word is interesting but you can't get past plain common sense.

  • Well i got half right,, but its very informative. I thought the 5 one interesting as i didn't really know that. I always thought they knocked it over to get your attention. Learn something every day.

  • I got half of them but I thought I'd do better so I guess I've got a lot of work to do, oh well. I'll respectfully disagree with #5 though....I have a cat that knocks down almost everything she can get her paw on and it's done to get my attention. When she wants me to feed her is the most dangerous time for my decorations. I bought "quake putty" also called "museum putty" which you use to temporarily stick things to the surface they're on. So my cat is a mini-earthquake. Believe it or not.

    • knocks down almost everything she can get her paw on and it’s done to get my attention.

      Could well correct. There is nothing on this type of cat behavior so the answer is my answer and it is up for grabs. Thanks for the input Martha. I'll add you answer to mine. Play safe ;)

  • Thanks a lot for the very informative article on deciphering "Cat Psychology & Behaviour".

  • Very good Michael. I think our PoC family will all be in the top bracket and visitors searching this site for information will learn a lot from it too.
    Definately a page to share :)

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