It's not just kids — cats also sometimes do the darndest things. But does occasional weird cat behavior have an underlying cause, or are they just showing their individual personalities? That depends on the behavior itself.
For example, pica may just be behavioral or may have an underlying medical cause. Pica in cats is the name given when cats eat unusual items, such as wool or cat litter or paper, etc. Some cats do this out of boredom. Some cats do this as a substitute for nursing. But other cats may have an unaddressed health issue, such as anemia, a dietary deficiency, or a brain disorder. If your cat habitually eats weird things around the house, a trip to the vet is a good idea. Even if your cat is just bored, certain items can cause dangerous intestinal blockages, so you may need help discouraging cat pica.
Does your cat think a small, empty box is the best present? It may seem strange to you that your cat would rather nap in a tiny box than on your bed or another surface in your house, but it's a very common behavior. Remember that your cat's ancestors lived in the wild and had to protect themselves. Sleeping in small, hidden areas is a behavior that's been passed down for generations. A box is the perfect hiding place for a cat because no one can sneak up on them, but they have a perfect view of the world — and potential attackers — from the opening.
If your cat seems to "head butt" you, you're not alone. This somewhat strange cat behavior, technically known as cat bunting, is actually a way that your pet leaves his or her scent on you, so consider yourself "marked territory" when this happens. In a way, it's really a compliment because cats tend to only cat head butt people they like or trust.
And the last weird cat behavior we'll address in this blog may be the most common — purring. Cat purring is one of the first things a kitten can do, so it's a behavior that they probably always find comforting on some level. Many cat owners notice that a cat's purr will change depending on the situation. So, when your cat is sitting contentedly in your lap, you'll hear one purr, but a cry may be added when the cat is hungry. Cats also often purr when they are in pain or distress, which may seem odd since we often think of purring as a sign of happiness. Yet many experts believe that the vibrations in a cat's purr actually help speed healing and that purring is therapeutic.
So, just like people, cats have their own quirky or weird behaviors that make us laugh. But in many cases, the behavior is common in many cats and may have a link back to their ancestors. In other cases, a compulsive behavior may need a trip to the vet just to rule out anything more serious. Generally speaking, these funny behaviors are just cats being cats.