32 funny things cats do

cat laughing: 32 funny things cats do
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If you are a feline owner then you'll be familiar with funny things cats can do. These furry friends are unpredictable, they can be weird, and they are often comical. But their weird and wonderful behavior is part of their appeal. They always seem to be up to some strange hi-jinks, which seem random to us but often have a feline explanation. 

Usually living in our home, cats share our personal space but do exactly as they please, in their time, and in their way. We are left feeling just lucky to be in their orbit.

Let’s take a look at some of the funny things cats do...

32 funny things cats do

1. Knead

Cat kneading cushion

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A distinctive feline behavior whereby the cat repetitively pushes its paws into a soft surface, such as a blanket – or its owner. Cats start kneading as little kittens, when they knead around their mother’s teat to stimulate the milk flow. With its early associated reward (milk), it often becomes a comforting adult habit, even without the reward. 

This is also known as pawing, making biscuits, or playing the piano!

2. Zoomies

kitten running

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Particularly popular with kittens and young cats, they will suddenly take it upon themselves for no obvious reason to sprint at high speed around the room as if chasing a very fast mouse – only there’s nothing there. Despite the fact it often happens at exactly the same time of the day, or night, this can be startling.

3. Show you their bottom

cat being stroked tail up

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This isn’t the most charming of funny things, although by presenting you with his tail he is actually telling you, cat-style, that he trusts you. You may not want his bottom in your face when he jumps into your lap but that high-held tail position is his way of being friendly.

4. Lounge on high surfaces

cat sitting on shelf

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There’s always an air of superiority when it comes to cats. Why look up submissively from the floor when you can look down on other pets – and people – from the vantage point of a high shelf, countertop or cupboard?

5. The gaze

cat's green eyes

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Cats can stare into space as though there is immense wisdom behind those unmoving eyes. We don’t quite know what they are seeing, and it may even be that they are tuning into their auditory senses, but there’s something going on beyond our comprehension.

6. Cats love boxes

Cat in cardboard box

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Cats love to find a random cardboard box, curl up in it and go to sleep – even if it is far too small for them to be comfortable. It’s a security thing, as they enjoy both the hiding aspect and the protective feeling of the tight box, and it looks super cute. 

7. Their ability to prevent you working 

cat distracting girl at laptop

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Any cat-owning home-workers will know the feeling. You have your cup of coffee, settle down for a day at the desk, and the cat steals up and sits on your laptop. Best seat in the house, apparently.

8. “Here’s a dead mouse, pawrent”

cat with dead mouse

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It’s a sure sign of affection when your cat gifts you a dead mouse, bird or other conquest – honestly.

9. Lick, lick, lick

cat licking paw

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Cats spend a lot of their time licking. Licking themselves, licking you, licking their friends.

10. Demand tummy tickles

cat lying on back

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You can’t just stroke a cat, their demands are way more particular than that. The cat will roll over and insist on a full-on belly rub, or he will paw you until you oblige. And then, with no warning, “that’s enough, stop!”

11. A cat preserves the right to change their mind

cat asking to be let inside

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They’ll stand by the door meowing to be let out, so you get up and open the door. But actually, no, they don’t want to do out after all. So you sit down again. Cue more meowing – and repeat the process.

12. Bent on destruction

cat with toilet paper

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Watch a cat sitting on a table and see if it can resist the urge to swipe items off and on to the floor. See that pencil? Gone. And in the bathroom, the temptation to unroll an entire roll of toilet paper is irresistible.

13. They seduce you until you stroke them, and suddenly turn vicious

cat being stroked

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We have no idea why they do this. Just for kicks? The purring gets louder and louder, and then it’s as if they turn electric and they dig their claws in or you're left wondering; why does my cat bite me? Not so funny...

14. When headbutting is a sign of trust

boy and cat head bumping

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Also called “cat bunting”. this is a distinctive feline behaviour which helps them self-soothe and create bonding. They bump their head against you and then rub, releasing pheromones which help mark you with a scent, signifying you as one of their colony.

15. Cats seem to know who doesn’t like cats

cat rubbing against person's legs

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Have you noticed that cats often seem to brush up against the legs of the one person in the room that doesn’t like cats? In reality, they probably wouldn’t brush up against someone they themselves don’t trust, but they may be doing so to gain new scents and information, or to mark their territory.

16. Cats’ weird noises

Cat looking like he is talking

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Cats don’t just purr and meow; they can chirp, yowl, hack and even chatter – often when they’re excited about some potential prey.

17. So cool, so aloof

Cat walking along a wall

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Cats don’t need us, so they give the impression. Sometimes they’re cuddly, but often they need their own space and they are certainly independent. They might even head out for a few days and come home when they feel like it. 

18. They help themselves from the faucet

Cat drinking from faucet

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Of course you’ve provided them with a drinking bowl, but they quite enjoy helping themselves from the faucet. They’ll hop up onto the side, wait for you to turn it on, and take a quick drink. Or they’ll sip from puddles. But woe betide you if you leave that unwanted drinking bowl empty!

19. Night time is fun time

cat outside at night on balcony

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Cats aren’t actually nocturnal, although sometimes they seem to sleep all day and to have renewed energy levels in the middle of the night. In fact they are crepuscular, which means they are most active at dawn and dusk. 

20. They groom you

Cat licking lady's nose

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Cats have a peculiar habit of licking humans with their raspy little tongues, or chewing on your fingers. It’s most likely to be a sign of affection given that cats also groom their littermates and feline friends.

21. Roly-poly

Cat rolling over

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Cats rolling over so their fluffy belly is exposed to the world is a sign that they trust you and want some attention. It may look particularly unladylike, but they’re showing they’re happy and comfortable.

22. Tidying up after a bathroom visit

cat in litter tray

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Often it appears that cats are playing in their litter box to cover their poop, but this is probably a trick they have learned from their mothers. Others leave it for all to see as a way of territory marking.

23. Look at that sneer

cat sneering

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Cats have a hilarious habit of curling up their lip, which makes them look like they are sneering, though it’s more likely to be directed at other cats than yourself. It’s something to do with trapping pheromones with their tongue – very advanced cat-speak.

24. Their loving wink

Cat winking paw up

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Cats have a remarkable ability to slowly blink one eye, as if they are winking – also known as a “cat kiss”. This is definitely a compliment; the cat is showing he’s really comfortable with you. Try slowly winking back! 

25. They monopolize the phone

girl on phone, cat interrupting

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Whether you’re on the phone to your boss, your partner or your mum, your cat may well try to get in on the chat. They’ll often jump on your lap and start pawing at your arm until you are interrupted and unable to continue the conversation without mentioning the cat, which was of course their whole intention.

26. Hissy fit

cat hissing

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Kind of funny, kind of scary. A cat can hiss like a snake and it’s definitely a warning sign. Back off and let him calm down. 

27. Twitchy ears

Cat with twitchy ears

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Those little pointy ears are so expressive and can show irritation, alertness or anxiety. When they pin them back and look like a mole, that’s a proper cross face.

28. They will decide when they want to be fed

cat eating from orange bowl

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However much you think you’ll stick to your routine, your cat will end up deciding when he is to be fed. This is because he will meow louder and louder and louder until you end up giving in. His rules, always.

29. They can sound like babies

Cat looking like it's crying

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Try chatting to your cat in soft “baby” tones, and the chances are that your cat will imitate you with soft mews in response. They love to engage. 

30. They can chatter in frustration

Cat watching out of window and chattering

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This is a really peculiar noise, usually made when they spot some prey. They open their mouths, pull their lips back and open and shut their jaw rapidly – sounding like their teeth are chattering. Experts believe it may be subconsciously warming up the jaws for a rodent kill – even if it’s watching out the window with no chance of a hunt.

31. Sleep on you

cat sleeping on human

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Some cats love to sleep on their owner’s chest, as if it‘s enjoying the warmth and the sensation of the heartbeat. Quite possibly they know that if they lie on top of you, they inconvenience you, because you won’t dare move for fear of disturbing them. Got you right where they want you... 

32. Playful pouncing

Cat leaping

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A cat’s stealthiness is one of their most characteristic attributes, and all the more amusing when the sneak up and suddenly pounce. It could be on to your feet, a ball of wool, an unsuspecting dog – anything that takes their fancy for them to practice some ninja moves.

Martha Terry
Features editor

Martha is an experienced journalist working in both print and digital media. She specializes in the canine, equine and rural sphere where she has covered a wide range of topics from cloning animals and the ingredients for a perfect yard dog, to helping owners find the best canine GPS trackers on the market. When she’s not busy writing about dogs and horses, she’ll be found either aboard a horse or looking after the menagerie of pets in her care.