Kitten behavior basics

What to expect in your cat’s first 18 months (and how to make the most of them)

  • Gentle touching, holding, playing and other interactions with you are very important to your kitten’s development.

What to expect in your cat’s first 18 months (and how to make the most of them)

Mothers are key to having a happy, secure kitten: Well-socialized cats are more likely to have well-socialized kittens. Kittens often mirror their mothers’ calm or fearful attitude toward people; this is a normal part of their socialization.

But you can play a vital role, too: By petting, talking to and playing with your new kitten, you can help her develop good “people skills.” More

Aggression in Cats

Aggression is the second most common feline behavior problem seen by animal behaviorists. Although cat aggression is sometimes taken less seriously than dog aggression—perhaps because cats are smaller and don’t pursue people to bite them—aggressive cats can be formidable. They have five potential weapons (their teeth and all four clawed paws) compared to a dogs’ sole weapon of his or her mouth. Cats can bite and inflict severe lacerations, which are painful and can easily become infected. They can also cause cat scratch fever, a usually benign but potentially serious infectious disease that causes flu-like symptoms. Fights between cats rarely result in fatalities, but they can lead to infections and result in considerable veterinary expenses for cat parents. Aggressive cats can be risky to have at home and can pose a real danger to family and visitors. —>

The Good and Bad Behavior

My Ghost Cat is a master thief — and she loves to get her little paws into mommy’s makeup bag.

Heather Marcoux  |  May 14th 2015

Like so many cat people, I’ve dropped plenty of cash on cat toys over the years. I’ve bought Ghost Cat remote-controlled spinning feathers, several laser pointers, and lots and lots of dangly things on sticks. She would play with these things for a bit, but always went back to her very favorite toy — old pop bottle caps. Luckily for Ghosty, these are plentiful in our household, thanks to her dad’s Diet Pepsi addiction (and, luckily for me, they are cheap) but lately it seems like Ghosty is getting bored with her old favorites.

I’ve tried to pick her up some different options without busting my budget. I’ve brought home several different kinds of catnip-filled mice for her to chase around, but Ghost Cat is not pleased with these cost-effective playthings. No, she wants to play with my things — my expensive things.

“Really, Mom? You expect me to play with that cheap catnip mouse? I have much more expensive taste than that.”

The first thing she ever stole  —>

Why Does My Cat… Rub His Face on Everything?

When your cat rubs his face on an item like a chair, wall or coffee table, he leaves his scent behind.

Cats rub their faces on things for many reasons, depending on the context or object being rubbed.

Leaving Scent Marks

Cats have multiple scent glands on their heads. They have glands located around their mouths, chins, sides of the face, neck and ears. When a cat rubs his face on an item, he leaves his scent behind. The act of a cat rubbing his head on objects is called “bunting.” The height of the object determines which part of his head a cat will use to leave a scent mark on an item. Cats also tend to choose conspicuous objects, such as a corner that sticks out, whether a wall, the edge of a coffee table or sofa, or even the corner of a book or box. Male cats tend to bunt on more items than female cats. Cats also tend to bunt over the scent marks left by other cats. —>


Shocking Truths Behind 11 Strange Cat Behavior

Ever catch your cat sleeping scrunched up in a tight little ball or pawing at her litter (before or after using it) and wondered what it means?

To learn the true meaning behind some common but seemingly strange cat behaviors, we spoke to Kat Miller, Ph.D., director of anti-cruelty and behavior research at the ASPCA and a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist.

Sleeping in a Tight Ball

Many mammals actually sleep this way, as both a way of retaining heat and to keep themselves protected. “They either push into small spaces to have some security with solid walls around part of their body so they can’t be snuck up on, or they roll into a tight ball,” explains Dr. Miller. “It’s also similar to the way a bird tucks its wings in, or tucks one foot up into his feathers. It’s an easy way to retain heat.”


This behavior traces back to a feline’s earliest days: “Kittens kneed their mom’s belly to encourage milk production,” says Dr. Miller. “When cats grow up, it’s often performed when they’re relaxed or cozy.” It could also be that whatever material your cat is kneading — a soft blanket or maybe even your skin — reminds him of his mother’s belly. “They could also knead when they’re upset or scared, as a way to self-calm.”

Pawing at Their Litter


Decode Your Cat’s Behavior: 17 Things Your Cat Would Love to Tell You


Wish you had a secret decoder guide to cat language and behavior? Here’s a primer to things your cat wishes you understood.




You people talk and talk about how much you need to work on the computer so you wake us up and push us off, but we know what you’re really planning to do on them: watch videos of cats. Weird. Don’t you humans realize that cats must get an average of 12 to 16 hours of shut-eye a day, or we’re just useless? Also, our delicate cat bodies need the warmth from your computer: Our ideal temperature is 20 degrees higher than that of you humans. (Here are other fascinating facts about cats you never knew.)

Quit taking photos of me (I’m not a Kardashian)



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How to Stop a Cat From Biting

Your cat is biting for a reason that makes sense to him, even if his behavior alarms you. If he’s never bitten before, something has triggered this new behavior. He could be in pain from illness, or reacting to the presence of another pet, human or even an unfamiliar sound he perceives as a threat. If the cat is a new arrival in your home, his habit may be a holdover from something he’s learned in the past.

Often a cat bites as a part of playing roughly, especially if he’s less than 2 years old. Kittens learn fighting and biting behavior from encounters with their littermates or mothers, grabbing each other in mock battles, swatting and nipping, but not inflicting injury. Through their rough-and-tumble play, they learn to sheath their claws, and not to sink their teeth into the other cat. Orphaned cats or those that were weaned early may never have distinguished the difference between rough play and real fighting. Lonely cats lacking stimulating playtime may alleviate their boredom with aggressive behavior. Cat owners who think it’s fun to encourage their felines to attack human hands or feet are giving Fluffy the wrong message.

Who Says You Can’t Train A Cat? A Book Of Tips For Feline-Human Harmony

September 12, 2016

Feline behavior specialist Sarah Ellis says that contrary to conventional wisdom, cats are more trainable than many people assume.

It’s 3 a.m. and Whiskers has decided it’s time for breakfast. He jumps up on your bed, gently paws at your eyelids and meows to be fed. Annoyed? Cat behavior specialist Sarah Ellis says you have only yourself to blame.

Ellis says that cat owners reinforce negative behaviors when they give in to them. “Cats are not necessarily born meowing and screaming at us for food, it’s a behavior that they learned,” Ellis tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross.  READ MORE



Feline advice from the cat experts

My family created this cat behavior and health website together to further enjoy our hobby of having cats or furry children.

We crafted some popular articles that answer burning questions like how long do cats live when they are allowed outside compared to indoor only pets.

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Your Cat’s Behaviors Are a Mercola Healthy PetsRadar of His Health…



Story at-a-glance

  • According to research, cats outnumber dogs by about 10 million in the U.S. alone, yet they are often viewed as second class citizens when it comes to the care they receive.
  • Cats are stoic creatures, even when they don’t feel well. It can be quite difficult to detect illness in your kitty.
  • One of the first signs your cat is ill is often a change in behavior you may not even notice — especially if she’s the shy, retiring type.
  • To determine if your cat is experiencing some sort of condition, you should monitor any changes in his behavior and eating habits, and be on alert for changes in his poop and urine.
  • Ideally, Dr. Becker recommends that you bring your kitty to her holistic veterinarian twice a year for wellness checkups.  GET THE WHOLE STORY