Do you ever wonder why your cat behaves the way she does?
I know I do. We have four cats with all sorts of quirky habits and behaviors.
While they all get along with each other, for a while you would have thought the rest of us (meaning the humans in the house) barely existed. Up until the last year, year and a half, none of our cats were very forthcoming with affection.
But then that changed, and we began to receive “presents.” Rather than deposit these gifts lovingly on the doorstep, our cats bring their prizes into the house right through the cat door. We’ve received live animals, dead animals and decapitated animals. My son will jokingly tell you this is a cat’s way of warning you to beware.
But I decided that I would dive into learning about their behavior a little further. Cats show their love in a variety of ways…and the reasons behind them are actually quite interesting!
Why do cats decapitate their prey?
Apparently this is a “thing” for many cats. But not all cats do it, and I couldn’t find anything on Google as to why some of them do it and some do not.
But this week we have received “gifts” of decapitated mice not once, but twice, each from a different cat. The cat that delivered the mouse yesterday meowed very loudly from downstairs in the wee hours of the morning and when no one came down, he bounded up the stairs to wake the house and beckon one of “his people” downstairs. When my husband finally got up and followed him down, the cat very happily presented his “gift.”
This “gift” is actually notable (although not so much appreciated) because this particular cat has never given us one before. He was quite proud of himself, according to my husband. I’m just glad my husband got to clean up the mess, rather than me!
As to the mystery about the head, it was solved when my running partner and I found the top half the poor unfortunate mouse in the road right by our driveway! I thought they might be eating the heads, but maybe not. The only good thing about this whole mess was that I figured if the head was outside, the mouse was probably caught outside and brought in. That’s what I’m hoping anyway.
Why do cats bring in live animals?
One of our cats has a thing for bringing in live animals. Usually it’s birds, but we did have a chipmunk a while back. And then we had a stretch without any live animals until yesterday.
Apparently Luna was not to be outdone by Gunner’s decapitated mouse (even though she already gave us one of her own at the beginning of the week). After I came in from finding the head of the mouse, I sat down quickly at my computer to check email before starting my workday, and noticed our dog Murphy was going crazy sniffing, scratching and biting at the rug. His best buddy, Luna the cat, was sitting there watching quite interestedly, with one of those pleased looks on her face. I knew right then and there that I had a live animal under our rug.
I thought it was a mouse. I was wrong.
I was trying to decide what to do while Murphy was going crazy trying to rip a hole in the rug to get at the thing. But then he managed to somehow pull the rug up and get himself underneath it. He came out with a chipmunk in his mouth that he was trying to swallow whole. Seriously, rodents in our house twice in one day?! I of course yelled at him to drop it, which maybe wasn’t the best plan, because I then had to dispose of it.
In doing a little research as to why this particular cat feels compelled to bring us live animals, I read a post from Friendly Haven Rise Farm that made a lot of sense. Cats are simply trying to train us (or in this case, train the dog, who is her best pal after all) by bringing us something to catch, teaching us survival skills in the process. When kittens see mice, they get excited and pounce. We run around like crazy trying to catch the mouse, which is probably similar in the cat’s mind. It’s nice to know that my cat is so concerned about my welfare…NOT.
Why do cats groom their humans (and dogs)?
Luna and Oreo both like to groom us. With me, they usually do it at night at bedtime. I don’t mind my arms being groomed, but I draw the line at my face.
We had a kitten many years ago who we believe was taken from her mother too soon who sucked on everything from people to blankets, so I was curious to find as to why our cats were doing it, especially since they didn’t do it when we first got them.
According to Mother Nature Network, cats often groom their people in a show of affection, in essence “claiming” you as theirs. Oreo also likes to run her claws through my hair, and Luna spends a lot of time grooming her dog friend, Murphy. She mainly targets his head and ears, which are hard to reach places for him.
But if your cat doesn’t groom you, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you. Other affectionate gestures include purring, kneading and head-butting, according to About.com. All of our cats do those.
Guess there’s a lot of love going around!
Thursday 3rd of September 2020
Head bumping is one of the most distinctive ways for cats to express themselves. If cats bump you with their head, it often just means they are trying to tell you that they love you.
Saturday 6th of May 2017
I always thought it's so cute when cats groom their people. Just the sweetest - how anyone could ever think that isn't what love looks like I'll never know.
Wednesday 1st of February 2017
My indoor cat, Simon, has lately been bringing my husband and I our daughters stuffed animals. He literally carries them down a full flight of stairs. He's brought so far a pair of her pajama pants, her sweater, a 2 foot long dog stuffed animal, her teddy bear and a stuffed bunny (also about 2 feey long)! He meows very loudly while carrying them to us down the steps and then just sets them down and stares at us. I wasn't sure what exactly to do at first, if I was supposed to say "good boy" or ignore it. LOL!
Thursday 2nd of February 2017
That is hilarious! I think that is his version of a "gift." Personally, I'd rather have those! LOL
Thursday 13th of March 2014
O my god! And I wanted a cat? Hahaha.. I'm not sure I am ready for that. It's quite sweet though that they are showing their affection. This is seriously interesting story.
Thursday 13th of March 2014
Cats are really funny...and this isn't even the half of it. Of course our dogs have their quirks too...never a dull moment around here! Thanks for stopping by!
Monday 7th of October 2013
Cats are certainly interesting creatures, and this makes me very glad mine is an indoor cat! (Though he did once, years ago, gift my husband and his roommate at the time a decapitated mouse.) He's a huge fan of head-butting, especially in the morning when he thinks we should be awake petting him.