What Do My Cat’s Strange Behaviours Mean?

Cats demonstrate some odd behaviours that leave their humans puzzled and amused. Here are four common cat quirks and what they mean.

Cats are great companions but, if you own one of these furry friends, you will know they can act unusually sometimes. From pushing things off counters, to sleeping in any box they can find, cats provide us with plenty of entertainment and amusement.

Why do cats engage in these strange behaviours and what do they mean?

Head bumping

Have you ever experienced a cat pushing its head up against you, or rubbing its cheeks on your legs? This is normal cat behaviour but one that cat newbies may find puzzling. When a cat rubs itself on you, it is actually telling you it loves you. One way cats show love and ownership is by marking you with pheromones they secrete from their cheek areas, to mark you as theirs. Next time your cat bumps you with its head, take the compliment!


This distinctive movement, often referred to by cat lovers and owners as ‘making bread’, looks like the motion bakers use to knead dough. When cats push their paws into you gently and massage, they are demonstrating they are content and happy. This behaviour stems from kittenhood, when your cat would knead its mother’s tummy to encourage milk production. This sweet gesture means your cat finds comfort in the place it is kneading and is reminded of being a happy kitten.

Pick a box, any box

The phrase ‘if I fits, I sits’ has been coined from the behaviour that cats display of squeezing themselves into any box or receptacle available – no matter the size. Many cats fit into tight spaces and go to sleep while seemingly in comfort and at ease – it appears the smaller the better. This is because small spaces, like a tiny box or basket, make your cat feel protected and safe. It is your cat’s natural instinct to hide; firstly to be protected from bigger predators but secondly because they can observe their surroundings from a safe spot.

Pushing things

Cats are naturally playful and curious creature and this behaviour is a projection of this characteristic. Depending on the circumstances, this can either be aggravating or amusing! Often cats will bat an object off a surface like a counter, table, or bookshelf and then calmly observe it falling to the floor. Although it may seem like your cat is trying to annoy you, they’re just bored, or curious. A way to stop this is by stimulating your cat by offering some new toys to appease their curiosity.