Is My Cat Trying to Annoy Me? 5 Strange Cat Behaviors Explained

Cats are fascinating — and occasionally somewhat frustrating— creatures. They exhibit all kinds of interesting behaviors that to the untrained eye may seem truly odd. In some instances, it can even seem like our cats are trying their hardest to annoy us.

Generally, however, there's a method to their apparent madness. Below, we're taking a look at five common cat behaviors you probably think are pretty strange and discussing why on earth cats do them.

5 Strange Cat Behaviors Explained

Cat knocking mug off desk


Knocking things off the desk.

Cats seem to love knocking items off your desk, right? While this behavior can range from funny to annoying to dangerous, there are a couple of possible reasons your cat likes to use her paws in this way. It may be linked to play-related behavior — she's simply curious about the object and what happens if she paws at it. It could also be a way to get your attention — she knows you'll come running when you hear the noise made by the object hitting the ground. But don't worry! There are ways for you to redirect the fun.

Cat sticking butt at camera


Sticking her butt in your face.

Communication takes many forms, and for a cat, sticking her behind in your face is one of them. This behavior is generally a form of friendly body language and may also be her way of asking you for affection or reaffirmation of your social bond. Regardless, the "bottom line" is that this is one odd behavior you should definitely take as a compliment.

Playful cat on back


Kicking her back legs.

If your cat has ever wrapped her forelimbs around your hands and kicked at you with her back feet, it might have been a bit startling. And it's tricky, because in some cases, it might mean she's trying to play. However, she might exhibit this same behavior (possibly with more intensity) when she's feeling defensive or wants you to stop petting her. 

Mischevious cat


Stealing things.

There are a few reasons why your cat might move or remove items around the house. First, she might have learned that this is a good way to get your attention (and remember, even negative interaction counts as attention). Second, she could just be playing, and the object that was so fun to bat around is now nowhere to be found. Third, she may know that the object in question is off-limits, so by taking the item and hiding it, she gets to play with it without your interference.

Cat in cardboard box


Curling up in small spaces.

It's no secret that cats tend to love curling up in boxes, bowls and other small places — and it's not just because they look adorable doing it. This is likely an instinctive behavior based on the cat's history as prey to larger predators — curling up in a ball in a small place protects lots of vital organs in the abdomen. This location selection could also help the cat feel like it's easier to keep an eye out for predators, particularly if that location is up high. Although sleeping in a sprawled-out position typically means a cat is comfortable, sleeping curled up in a small space does not mean she isn't comfortable in her home. It might just be her favorite sleeping position and spot.

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