Cats do many interesting things that often make us wonder what’s going on inside that little mind of theirs. We’ve uncovered why cats do some of the interesting things that they do in a previous article, and now we’ll uncover even more interesting cat behaviors for you here!
If you’ve ever wondered why your cat likes some cats and not others, why they arch their backs and puff their tails, why they knock things off counters, why it is that they suddenly attack you, or why it is that they stare at you, well, we will tell you! Just keep reading, cat lover. Understanding the feline mind doesn’t have to be tricky. We’ll help you become a true master of feline ways. Let’s dive in!
Why does my cat like some cats and not others?
We know for sure that cats are very picky and finicky little beings. But this is just one of their many charms, right? There are some cats that are naturally receptive to other cats. Cats are territorial beings by nature, and there are some cats that simply refuse to give peace a chance. For cats, their personality and exposure to other cats—or lack thereof—often predicts how receptive they will be to other cats as they are introduced to them past kittenhood. In addition to this, if your cat has undergone a traumatic experience with another cat, this can leave a lasting impression on them as well.
I’ve seen my usually friendly cat be extremely friendly to some cats, and downright rude to others. And my other ginger cat is pretty much hated by and vice versa with any cat he meets aside from our family circle of cats.
Cat aggression is a very serious matter, and sadly a reason that many cats are given away or surrendered to shelters. Some cats are simply fine with overlapping their territorial space with other cats, while others will not go down without a fight, literally.
According to ASPCA.com, if one cat reaches the age of one to three years old and then trouble brews, social maturation may be a factor. There are ways to keep the peace, but do not force the issue should your feline not be so friendly.
If you’d like to read more on the 5 distinct cat personalities, check out my article on it: Research Claims Cats Have 5 Specific Personality Types
Why does my cat arch their back and puff their tail?
Most of the time when we think of this cat stance, we instantly imagine the quintessential Halloween black cat. Cats do this as a means to make themselves appear larger to whatever is making them feel threatened at the moment, and kittens who are learning the ways of the world are much more likely to do this as opposed to mature cats.
But when your cat puffs up their tail, this isn’t always a bad thing or should be seen as if your cat is scared. Cats can puff up their tails as a sign that they want to play! Pay close attention to your cat’s body language, specifically the direction of their ears. A classic sign that a cat is angry or threatened is when their ears are pointed down and backwards.
And what about when your cat is strictly arching its back, like after they’ve awoken from an extended cat nap? Well, your cat arches its back as a way to get in a good stretch! Your cat’s back is VERY flexible, so although it seems like one heck of a yoga move to you, remember that their flexibility is superb. While humans have nearly 34 vertebrae in their backs, cats have nearly 60 so this allows them to really hit that arch shape.
Why does my cat knock things off counters?
Oh, we definitely know how this one goes don’t we? Your cats do not care how expensive or important that thing is that they’re about to knock clean off your counter. Cats are going to be cats and they simply do as they please, right? Well, as it turns out, your cats do this for a couple of highly hypothetical reasons—aside from driving you mad.
Author and certified animal behavior consultant (CABC) Amy Shojai tells PetMD.com that cats do this because of the way their prey-driven brains are hardwired:
“Cats are hardwired to hunt for their food, so knocking things over may be a manifestation of this instinct…Cats use their paws to test and explore objects, and the movement, sound, and touch or feel of the object helps them understand what might be safe or not.”
Remember, your cats paws are very sensitive regions of their body, and they often use them as a means to explore the world around them: “A moving paw-patted object combines all of the best aspects of stalking and prey chase with the movement and tactile feel of the patted object, and the final escape rush of the falling item,” says Shojai.
Not only this, but as we know, cats are masters of manipulation—especially on the humans that adore them. So your cat might knock things off the counter because A: they want to get a rise out of you and B: they want to captivate your undivided attention. Adi Hovav, senior feline behavior counselor at the ASPCA Adoption Center, says: “Humans make great audiences. Who doesn’t jump up when that glass starts to go over the edge of the table?”
Touché, kitty. 👏🏽