12 Purr-fectly Normal Cat Behaviors Explained

Cats, our furry companions, often display behaviors that may leave us intrigued, amused, or even perplexed. As devoted cat owners, understanding these behaviors is essential for fostering a harmonious relationship with our feline friends. Here are 12 purr-fectly normal cat behaviors, shedding light on what goes on in those enigmatic minds.

Pawing at Water

a cat drinking from a bowl.
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Some cats exhibit the curious behavior of pawing at their water bowl before drinking. This playful act mimics the motion of pawing at streams or rivers in the wild to ensure the water is safe to drink. While it might seem odd, it’s a harmless quirk that adds a whimsy to their daily routine.


Cute ginger cat sleeps on a pile of knitted clothes orange tabby cat asleep on clothes
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Kneading, that rhythmic pressing of paws against a soft surface, is common in cats. This endearing action stems from kittenhood, which served a functional purpose – stimulating milk flow while nursing. As adult cats, they retain this instinctual behavior as a sign of comfort and contentment. When your cat kneads you, it’s essentially saying, “I feel safe and happy with you.”


Tired maine coon kitten sleeping in arms of pet owner
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Purring is one of the most enigmatic cat behaviors. Beyond the common belief that it signifies contentment, purring can convey various emotions. While a purring cat can be relaxed and content, it can also purr when in pain, discomfort, or distress. Therefore, observing your cat’s overall body language and context is crucial to understanding the message behind the purr.

Cat Napping

orange tabby cat asleep on a pile of clothes in a closet
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Cats are undisputed champions of catnaps, often seen dozing off throughout the day. These brief, frequent naps serve a vital purpose in their lives. Cats are crepuscular, meaning they are most active during dawn and dusk. Their catnaps help them conserve energy for those bursts of activity and hunting during these times. So, when your cat curls up for a quick snooze, it’s merely preparing for its next adventure.


Fat black and white cat with blue eyes, scratches a sofa
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

The act of scratching is more than just a cat’s way of sharpening its claws. It’s a multi-purpose behavior deeply ingrained in their nature. Cats scratch to mark their territory, leaving a visual mark and releasing scent from glands in their paws. Additionally, scratching helps them shed the outer layers of their claws and serves as a form of exercise to stretch their muscles. Providing a designated scratching post is not just a suggestion; protecting your furniture and fulfilling your cat’s instincts is necessary.

Pouncing on Feet

British black cat
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Cats often launch surprise attacks on moving feet, a behavior rooted in their hunting instincts. This playful act may seem like a bid for attention, but it’s a testament to their innate predatory nature. To redirect this behavior, engage your cat with interactive toys and encourage them to channel their energy more appropriately.

Bringing “Gifts”

Black cat with his prey, a dead mouse
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

When your cat proudly presents you with “gifts” in the form of mice, birds, or other prey animals, it’s a sign of affection and an instinctual display of their hunting prowess. While these offerings might not be your cup of tea, acknowledging their gesture with gratitude is important in strengthening the bond you share.


Friendly Ginger Tabby Cat
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

A gentle head-butt from your feline friend is a non-verbal greeting and an affectionate gesture. Cats have scent glands on their cheeks, and by head-butting you, they’re marking you with their scent, signifying that you are part of their territory and family. It’s their unique way of saying “hello” and showing their love.

Slow Blinking

Bengal cat is screwing eyes and lying
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Slow blinking, where your cat closes and reopens their eyes deliberately, is a form of communication. When a cat slowly blinks at you, it’s a sign of trust and affection. Respond in kind by slowly blinking back at them, as this reciprocation helps build a sense of connection and mutual understanding between you and your cat.

Tail Behavior

Cat standing on stacked cardboard boxes
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Cats use their tails to communicate their feelings. A twitching tail can signal irritation or excitement, while a puffed-up tail indicates fear or aggression. The position and movement of their tails can offer valuable insights into their emotional state. Pay attention to these subtle cues to better understand your cat’s mood and respond accordingly.


A Cat staring at you from the blankets
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

When cats hide, they seek refuge from perceived threats or simply desire a quiet, safe space. This behavior is an instinct, harking back to their wild ancestors who concealed themselves from predators. Respect their need for solitude when hiding, and ensure they have accessible hiding spots in your home to help them feel secure.

Midnight Zoomies

Tonkinese cat
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Those sudden bursts of energy your cat experiences late at night, known as “midnight zoomies,” are completely normal. Cats are crepuscular animals which are most active during dawn and dusk. These playful antics are their way of burning off energy accumulated during the day. To minimize disruptions, engage in interactive playtime with your cat during the evening to help them release their pent-up energy before bedtime.

Final Thoughts

Man cuddles her cute ginger cat
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Understanding these 12 purr-fectly normal cat behaviors can enhance your relationship with your feline friend. Cats are complex creatures with their unique ways of expressing emotions and needs. By recognizing and responding to these behaviors appropriately, you can ensure a harmonious and happy coexistence with your beloved pet. So, next time your cat exhibits one of these behaviors, remember that it’s just their way of communicating with you, their cherished companion.

12 Things You Should Never Do to Your Cat

Young woman at home playing with her cat with open hand doing stop sign
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

We all have our dos’ and don’ts. Don’t we? Cats, too, have their dos’ and don’ts. As cat owners, understanding these boundaries is vital.

Here, we’ll explore 12 actions that should never be done to your cat.

Kitten Wonders: Discover the Charm of These 12 Irresistible Photos

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There’s something truly uplifting about a kitten. That newborn curiosity, the boundless energy (until it’s naptime), and the face that just looks like the picture of innocence…we really do struggle to resist their charms, don’t we? So why try?

Irresistible Kitten Pictures

Chatty Cats: 10 Talkative Cat Breeds that Love a Good Conversation

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Are you ready for a lively and engaging conversation with your feline friend? Some cats are known for their talkative nature.

If you are ready for a chat, read more here.

Kitten Cuties: 12 Adorable Photos That Will Make You Go “Aww”

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Discover the endearing magic in their delicate whiskers as these kittens explore their surroundings with curiosity, captivating us with their adorable expressions.

These little moments just capture our hearts.

Top Reasons Why Cats Follow Us to the Bathroom: Unraveling the Feline Fascination

Bearded man washing his hands in a bathroom with a calico cat standing on his back watching him wash his hands
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Cats have a peculiar habit of following us to the bathroom, turning what should be a private moment into a shared experience.

Let’s delve into the top reasons why they can’t seem to leave us alone.

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Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

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