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5 Weird Cat Behaviors Explained

Updated: Jul 2, 2022

You just got off work for the weekend and are settling in for a Friday night movie on the couch. You grab your blanket, turn on the TV, and a few minutes later your cat jumps up to join you. But instead of lying down, she starts kneading your lap. What’s going through her mind?

Cats do plenty of weird things, and while scientists and behavior experts don’t know exactly why cats do everything they do, there are a lot of educated guesses and theories that make sense. Here are five answers to questions you have always wanted to ask your cat.

Why do cats knead with their paws?

You may have noticed your cat “making bread” out of your blanket or pillow or even your leg. The American Animal Hospital Association has a few theories for why cats knead with their paws. The first is that it’s a behavior carried over from being a kitten and kneading while they nursed. Another thought is that similar to dogs circling before they sleep, your cat’s ancient wild ancestors would pat down grass or dirt to create a better resting place. Or maybe they are just communicating. Cats can spread pheromones through the pads in their feet to mark their territory!

Why do cats purr?

If you search the internet for why cats purr, you’ll find all kinds of websites discussing this seemingly weird thing that is so common. It is popular to believe that cats purr because they are happy. While that may be true, you may have noticed that your cat also purrs in other situations, including when he is stressed or uncomfortable. The full answer to this question can be complicated, but one of the surprising and interesting answers given by Scientific American is that purring helps cats self-heal by stimulating their muscles and bones in a low-energy way. So purring might just be your cat’s superpower!

Why do cats lick their paws?

Your cat could be licking her paws for a variety of reasons. It’s common for cats to lick their paws as a way to groom themselves or cool down when it’s hot. (Fun fact: Dr. Pamela Perry from Cornell says cats can spend 30 to 50 percent of their day grooming themselves.) But even so, licking can become excessive, and then it’s something that should be addressed. Cats might lick their paws excessively if they are stressed or if they have allergies. If that’s the case with your cat, there are plenty of great pawTree products to help alleviate her anxiety or allergies.

Why do cats lick me?

Just as cats lick themselves, they lick humans or other animals for many of the same reasons. One of those reasons is to show affection. Licking your arm and grooming you is a way your cat can show he cares about you. Cats may also lick you for attention. Just like dogs learn what behaviors elicit certain responses from you, cats also learn from reinforcement of their actions. If you pet them when they lick you, they learn that licking leads to scratches!

Why do cats chase their tails?

Kittens might be more prone to chasing their tails as an instinct to go after anything that moves, but adult cats may still find playful enjoyment out of spinning in circles after their tails. This behavior is normal and sometimes funny to watch, but if you notice your cat chasing her tail in a way that doesn’t seem playful, you may want to check for allergies or irritation. If you do notice swelling or redness, pawTree’s allergy supplements for cats can help alleviate your feline friend’s irritation.


Dr. Diaz’s nurturing nature led her into medicine where she became a Board Certified Anesthesiologist. While she loved her career and her patients, she also wanted to be a stay-at-home mother. After retiring from her practice and achieving her goal of being a home-based parent, Kristi began looking for ways to give back to her community. At the same time, she and her husband were looking for home-based business opportunities.

Kristi knew she found the perfect opportunity when she discovered pawTree. The value Kristi placed on diet and nutrition for health and wellness, coupled with her family’s love of animals, aligned seamlessly with pawTree’s company values.

Dr. Diaz’s philosophy is that diet, genetics, and luck all work together to create the quality of a pet's life. While owners can’t control their pets’ genetics or luck, they can control their diet. Pets have no choice but to count on their owners their entire lives for great nutrition. Feeding dogs and cats high-quality food and supplements will give them the best chance to live healthy, vibrant lives.

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