CattyCorner: From Flehmen To Splooting, 9 Weird Things Cats Do

Greetings, my paw-like human minions.

Forrest the cat here and today we get weird …

People have a habit of asking cats, “What are you doing?”

I heard the question the first time I saw a human hanging in the wilderness colony I grew up in. It was a common question at the shelter. And in my household, my parents ask me what I do or why I do it at least once a day.

@ noodlethegingercat / Instagram

It became evident in my years of interacting with people, cats, and people who think differently. While we cats know the intentions of our actions, it is clear to me that humans don’t understand some of them, just as there are things humans do that cats don’t get.

Like the shower. Why don’t you just lick yourself clean? You have a tongue …

And why don’t people take naps regularly? A long night’s sleep seems silly when you can doze back and forth all day to soak up more of the moonlight at night.

But I understand now. People just don’t think like cats and that’s okay I suppose. Just as long as you are ready to think cat for your cat, darling. And to help you out, I offer you this glossary of the weird things cats do.

Defined the weird things cats do

Airplane ears

Airplane cat
@ Cats in your pocket / Instagram

When I flatten my ears back and forth, it looks like they’re turning into wings about to fly, hence the term airplane ears. We usually flatten our ears when we are upset about something. Equate your eye roll. And like you, when upset, it means a cat needs some space. The airplane ears can also appear during terror attacks. Therefore, examine kitty for other anxious indicators such as a puffy tail and a hissing posture.


Cat flag
@ mrscmbee / Instagram

Bunting is a quirky term for headbutt or headbutt. We have scent glands on our faces and when our heads bump into people or other animals, our smell lingers. Think of this as a kind of cat to say we belong together. Cats believe that families should wear each other’s scents close together. We also use the headbutt to get your attention. How can you resist such love?


@ thecatsandcrew / Instagram

Have you ever seen your cat try to bury its pet bowl? She performs the instinctive act of caching. In the wild, cats bury food to hide any odor that might attract other predators to the area. Also, some of us like to bury our food so we can have a quick snack later.

Pleading answer

implore answer
@ jetthecat17 / Instagram

You definitely know smelly face, but the technical term for our silly lock of mouth is the flehmen answer. When we want to smell the deep nuances of something, cats breathe the scent into our mouth to flood the Jacobson organ. This organ gives us a deeper ability to process smells, but to do so we pull the smelly face. I know lust right? We are something else.

Fun fact for you, male cats are more prone to pleading than female cats as we boys love to breathe deeply on female pheromones. In fact, there is a lady cat who lives behind me and every time I smell her scent, I can help pucker my lip.


@ kirbydakitty / Instagram

Whether you call it frapping or zoomies, it’s a crazy boost of energy with a cat running around in a frenzied state. When a cat goes through a frap or frenetic random period of activity, we usually just burn off some excess energy. All you have to do is enjoy the show!


@ honey20190922 / Instagram

You may know this as “making cookies” and when you see your cat deep in the throws of rhythmically sinking claws in and out of soft material or your flesh, you know he is happy and content as it can be. When we’re kittens, we knead our mother’s bellies to encourage the flow of milk, and there is nothing more comforting to a cat than the long-forgotten memories of our mother’s tenderness.

Hop sideways

I know you’ve seen this step before, and if it was kittens you saw hopping around, you probably melted to a pulp. The sideways leap is a kitten’s ultimate pull in the game. But if you see your adult cat hop sideways, let him jump out of the situation. The hops can help us bloat and intimidate someone we think is an enemy or a stranger.


@ roti.kitten / Instagram

Cats and other animals splash around by lying on their stomachs with their front and rear legs stretched out. Why do cats splash? First, cats love a good stretch; It’s right up there with a nap in the sunshine. Splashing can also cool a cat off by spreading on tile floors after getting too warm during a sunny nap. And my favorite reason for the sploot, it just feels so damn good!

Suck wool

Suck wool
@ cat.named.bean / Instagram

Sucking wool or cloth is another childhood behavior that can occur when a cat feels stressed. It is a consolation action that reminds us of our mothers. Sucking can also remain with a cat if it is weaned too early. And sometimes kittens suckle cloth for the same reason we knead. We are just happy.

Now that you know why we do these things, they may not seem so strange anymore. But one thing that never needs an explanation … the depth of a cat’s hunger.

So don’t forget to feed the cat.

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Feature Image: @ noodlethegingercat / Instagram


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