In this article I explain why cats are not being weird in this video compilation. This is a video on YouTube called “Cats Being Weird-Compilation”. It’s always intrigued me how people regard natural, instinctive cat behaviour as weird because there is always a reason behind it and it is a good reason from the cat’s perspective. To people it looks strange and therefore is described as ‘weird’ but it’s not if looked at objectively. So in this article I’m going to run through each section of the video which shows a range of weird cat behaviours and explain why it happened.
In the opening section we see a ginger tabby cat with their mouth partially open, their tongue wagging and making a funny sound! I would suggest that this cat is being petted in a certain way by the owner who is filming his or her cat at the same time. The petting is stimulating this reaction which includes licking. If you pet a cat they sometimes lick themselves at the spot where you petted them. This is because when we pet our cat, to them it feels as if they are being licked by another cat. This is called allogrooming. It provokes this licking behaviour which is what this cat is doing. The sound is the sound of feline pleasure in my opinion.
The second section shows a Ragdoll Cat being dried with a hairdryer. Most cats don’t like it because of the sound of the hairdryer but some like it indicating that they have variable characters. The cat is treating the hairdryer as a plaything, a toy, which is why she is patting it with her paws. The cat thinks it’s a game with a toy.
The next section shows a cat shredding a small cat toy. This is completely normal hunting, attacking and killing behaviour. Cats grab their prey in their four legs and claws and then rake the animal with their hind claws. Perfectly normal and nothing weird about it!
THERE ARE MORE PAGES ON STRANGE CAT BEHAVIOR AT THE BASE OF THE PAGE
In the next section we see a grey tabby cat standing high up on his hind legs like a meerkat. We see this quite a lot. All domestic cat do this but not to this extreme, normally. The reason is obvious, namely that they want to look as far as possible to see what’s coming down the hallway because they can hear the sounds. If they are taller they can see further. In the wild you will see, for example, cheetahs sitting on mounds looking over a flat landscape. They want to get high up to see further. This cat then retreats to a safe place because he is uncertain about what is coming and then raises himself up again to check again. It is a defensive survival instinct.
In the next segment we see a large tabby and white cat sitting in a small glass bowl. It looks peculiar I admit. But cats like the feeling of security that these confined spaces give them. It’s a variation on the cat sitting in a box behaviour that we see a lot on the Internet. Cats like the feeling of the pressure from the sides of boxes and bowls like this one. It makes them feel more secure. It indicates that there may be a higher level of anxiety among domestic cats than people think.
In the next segment we see a tortoiseshell Scottish Fold cat looking out the window at a bird. We don’t see the bird but I know that it is there because the cat starts to chatter. This is a classic response because she can’t get to the bird so all she can do is practice her killing bit to the nape of the neck, which severs the spine. It is an instinctive practice session. It’s a bit like air guitar for humans.
In the next section we see a cat on a bed looking at nothing, apparently. What must have happened here is that the person was using a laser pointer on the bed and then turned the device off. The cat is still looking at the spot where the laser pointer was. The cat then paws at that spot. He is continuing what he was doing the moment before the laser pointer was turned off. He was enjoying himself and he wants to continue. In pawing at that spot he is in effect hunting and chasing a prey animal.
In the next section we see a ginger tabby cat sleeping and dreaming. When cats dream they sometimes make noises and, their eyes twitch and their ears move. It’s all normal staff just like humans.
We then see a young cat on her haunches patting with her four legs. It looks strange. She must have been playing with the fish on the iPad. I think she was simply playing out a hunting process in a vestigial way. Her movements are linked to hunting and she’s been provoked to do this by the cat app on the iPad.
In the section with the cat on the automatic Hoover, this cat is there rather oddly because the Hoover emits heat. We know that cats love heat. He would have sat on the Hoover when it was static and then the owner turned the Hoover on and it started to move around. The cat didn’t mind and stayed on the Hoover. I expect that he eventually jumped off fairly soon after the filming stopped.
The next section shows a young grey/brown tabby cat playing with her owner’s long hair. The hair smells of the owner so the cat is intrigued by it. The cat likes it. It has provoked a play response in the young cat. It’s as if the cat is playing with another cat. The excitement, in my opinion, is because of the smell of the hair. And its texture as well. Domestic cats become very attuned to the smell of their owner. Because their owner reassures them and makes their life better they associate the smell of their owner with pleasure. It is this pleasure which has excited this young cat. It’s normal play behaviour basically but in this instance it’s not another cat but a person that she’s playing with.
The next section shows a balloon on the back of the cat. This is because of static electricity. The person who made the video knows this. All you have to do is to blow up a balloon and rub it against the cat whereupon it sticks there. The cat is disturbed by this which results in the behaviour we see. The cat crouches low down and looks around bemused at the strange object stuck to her back. It’s all completely normal because any strange object like this will disturb a cat.
In the next section we see a young Scottish Fold eating what appears to be a lettuce leaf. Once again it looks strange but individual cats have individual tastes. Sometimes cats eat grass as we know. Grass is a plant and is plant material. Lettuce is plant material. There is not much difference.
The next section is easy to explain. The cat is simply playing with a toy and when a cat plays they are hunting and killing. This cat is trying to kill this toy. The best cat toys are the ones that can be killed by a cat.
The next segment shows a cat lying on his back feet in the air. We see this a lot. If a cat is very secure in their environment they sleep like this, on the floor with their belly up. It is a sign that the owner has made a very nice home for their cat. It obviously feels comfortable as it is the reverse position to their normal one which is feet down. No doubt it relaxes the back. In the segment after this one we see the same thing happening in an adult cat.
In the following section we see cats waiting to be fed. It appears that one cat is praying for her food. It is very cute. I think this is a variation on cats reaching out with their four legs to get the food. We see cats reaching up to the counter to grab the food in anticipation. This is a variation or a vestigial version of that. Essentially she is asking for the food as soon as possible.
The “non-conventional battle skills” section is amazing. I’ve never seen this before. The cat is presenting his bottom to the other cat as a way to “defeat” him. This is a distortion of normal sumo-style pre-fighting tactics. You can see the cat then push the other cat away with his hind legs. I think what has happened here is that this cat has development a way to avoid facing the other cat. He doesn’t like to face the other cat because perhaps he was scratched in the past and he’s developed this system to avoid the possibility of a facial scratch. It shows intelligence in domestic cats.
The cat on a treadmill with her owner is not untypical in my opinion. For example, my cat likes to walk with me outside. It’s like a dog but sometimes cats behave a bit like dogs. They like the company of their owner and if their owner is on a treadmill they might join them. This cat might be a full-time indoor cat and therefore she is also able to enjoy some activity when doing this. Once again it is explainable and normal behaviour under the circumstances.
The cat pushing a trolley is an example of training cats. Cats can be trained with patience.
The next section shows another Scottish Fold cat licking an iPhone screen. I think this video like many others comes from Asia because they love their Scottish Fold cats. There must be something in the screen which tastes pleasant to domestic cats. No doubt it is the manufacture of the screen which incorporates some chemical which domestic cat sometimes find pleasant. It is a simple as that in my opinion. There is a further segment later on showing a cat licking an iPad screen for the same reason.
In the next section we see a ginger tabby cat sitting on the chair of an exercise bike. Nothing unusual about that as cats like high perches and secondly the seat of this machine will smell like the owner of the machine and cats like to be next to their owner and like to rub the scent of their owner onto their bodies. It makes them feel more secure. It is called scent exchange.
The next section shows a Siamese cat peeing into a human toilet. This is another example of cat training. Quite a few people train their cats to do this because it is convenient. It takes some patience to achieve it. I can remember a bobcat doing this instinctively without training! One problem with this toilet habit is that cat faeces containing toxoplasmosis can be flushed down the toilet whereupon it may end up in the sea at which point it can harm marine wildlife. That is the theory. It must be rare but it can happen because sea otters have been affected by it.
The next section shows another tabby cat hanging onto a cat toy which is a prey animal to the cat. He loves it so much that he refuses to let go and is prepared to be dragged along a hard floor. Once again pretty normal behaviour. It is the hunting, predation instinct in cats which drives this. It is in their DNA and a very strong motivator.
The next section shows a young cat playing by practising their defensive sideways, crab walk. They love to do this. It is exploring their behaviour for these young cats and they do it instinctively. In this case he’s doing it in front of an adult cat who looks a bit bemused because there is no need for this behaviour. This young cat then goes on to his side revealing his belly. This is an invitation to play.
In the following section we see a ginger tabby cat drinking water from a faucet. Cats love to do this because it is free flowing water and it’s fresh and cool. They sometimes get their head in the way but they don’t mind. It looks careless but they simply don’t mind the water flowing down the face. It’s an indication that domestic cats don’t hate water as a lot of people think.
The next section shows what I think are siblings playing. No doubt sometimes the play sessions become a little bit too aggressive. In this instance the cat on his back is defending himself by pushing against the other cat with his hind legs. In context this would look perfectly normal as a play session.
In the following section we see once again a cat that has just played with a later point. The pointer has been turned off and the cat continues to play because they enjoyed the session so much.
Cats like to sit in bathroom sinks because they have the reassurance of the sink around their bodies and it is off the floor. And when they are scratched in the right spot they respond excitedly by licking because as mentioned before when you pet a cat it stimulates the licking response. Sometimes they make a strange sound the same time as an indication of their sense of pleasure.
Hope that helps!