The Star-Herald

Interesting cat behavior

It is time for the Crazy Dog Lady to change her thinking and give you some interesting tidbits on the feline species.  

I have had a few cats over the years, always outside cats, though not all the time. I always tried to get them in at night because country life at night brings out the predators.  

To me, cats have such different personalities than dogs. They do weird things to the point you sometimes have to wonder, “What the heck? What are they doing?”

Cats wouldn’t be cats if they didn’t do all sorts of weird things. Have you ever had a cat stick its butt in your face? It doesn’t belong there, but they still do it regardless of personal boundaries.  Butt-in-the-face behavior might seem off to us humans, but much like head-butting and rubbing against you, your cat is communicating with you through these behaviors.  

Where things go wrong is when we misinterpret a behavior like this as wrong, bad or gross.  You might even find yourself saying, “Aww,” instead of “Eww.” This is just an example of your cat showing you just how much they love you.

Have you ever wondered if your cat says hello to other cats?  A friendly hello wouldn’t be complete without a good sniff of the bum.  In a cat’s world, presentation of the hindquarters is considered proper etiquette.  Cats who are friendly with each other will approach with raised tails.  They’ll do some nose-to-nose sniffing and then one cat will turn to present their back end for a sniff.  This explains to the kitty companion the details of who they are and where they’ve been.  

For some cats, shoving their butt in your face means they want to be petted.  While a gentle pat from the paw would do, a bum in the face is a surefire way to get into your line of sight and snag a little attention. This is also a sign of trust from your feline pal. When cats are in a safe place with those they trust they tend to close their eyes and even turn their back to you — the ultimate sign of trust.

Building a bond and trusting relationship with your feline requires a commitment to understanding their body language.  If your cat is trying to communicate in a way that is not so pleasing to you — like the butt to the face — pushing your kitty away from this behavior might frighten or confuse him.  Try repositioning him and giving him the love he very much deserves.

If you are looking for a feline friend, stop by the Central Aroostook Humane Society at 24 Cross St., Presque Isle.  You can also find us on Facebook. We have some wonderful cats looking for their forever homes.  

Always be responsible: spay and neuter your pets.

Gail Wieder is a member of the Central Aroostook Humane Society board of directors.

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