We love and share memes because they're so relatable. There are some things that every cat owner knows, and memes are a great way to share them. We all know the strange and often endearing things our cats do, and we love to share that insider experience with others. But why do our cats act so, well, weird sometimes? Previously, we've shared the explanations for five strange cat behaviors. Now we're tackling five more silly, meme-worthy kitty moments!
Why your cat suddenly doesn't like his favorite food.
Just when you find a food brand that your cat loves, he changes his mind. One day he loves it, the next he rejects it, no matter how much you plead. What could possibly be wrong?
Any sudden change in behavior, especially when it's combined with other symptoms, might be a sign of a health problem -- if your cat suddenly stops eating, consult with your vet.
If health issues are not to blame, there might have been a recent change in the food's formula. Or it might be a case of too much variety. In a trip to a pet food processing center, Gulp author Mary Roach found that many commercial pet foods use the same base with various flavor coatings to develop a product line. Cats, she was told, prefer to eat the same food indefinitely -- the different flavors are often created with cat owners in mind. Unlike us, cats are happy eating the same thing for a prolonged period of time. Changing food often can throw off their routine and make them pine for less change!
It's also possible that your cat simply developed an unrelated negative association with a particular kind of food. This might happen if she felt ill for a reason other than the food, but assumed that the food was the cause. Whatever the cause, you can speak with your vet about developing a fitting diet for your cat.
Why your cat loves chewing on boxes.
Cats love boxes. There are countless images online of cats ignoring their awesome new present in favor of the plain box it came in. Why the strange obsession with these cardboard contraptions?
Cardboard is the perfect texture for ripping apart. Cats need to keep their claws and teeth sharpened, which is why you got your cat that expensive scratching post. But the box it came in is just as attractive for sharpening and playing with. If your cat is obsessively tearing apart boxes, it might mean she's acting out her wild impulses of dissecting prey, or she's just playing or bored. If she seems to be actually eating the cardboard, or if her gums are swollen or red, there might be an underlying health condition -- as always, when in doubt, check with the vet! Chances are, though, the behavior is harmless, like chewing on the end of a pencil.
Why your cat gets stuck in things.
Cats stuck in things is hilarious. We feel guilty for laughing, but you know if you find your kitty stuck somewhere, you'll giggle and snap a photo before helping him. Cats are notorious for their ability to slip through tiny spaces, so why are so many cats suddenly getting caught red-pawed?
The simple reason is that we're overfeeding them. More than half of America's pets are overweight or obese, according to a 2014 survey. It's certainly no laughing matter when we look at the numbers. But for a cat to get stuck he doesn't need to be overweight -- he just needs to be wider than his whiskers. Cats gauge the size of a space by using their whiskers. As a cat gets wider, his whiskers don't get any longer. This means cats underestimate their own size and think they can get through spaces much smaller than they actually can.
Why your cat leaves you "gifts."
Whether or not you appreciate the dead animals your cat occasionally brings you, you might at least think it's sweet. After all, he's giving you a present as a show of affection, right? Not quite. Research suggests that when a cat brings you a dead animal, he's trying to teach you to hunt. Cats teach their young to hunt gradually, first bringing dead animals to their young, then bringing back live but stunned ones, and eventually taking the little ones out for their own hunts. Humans are not as quick on the uptake, it seems, and cats (especially female cats) might just be trying to help feed her human, who just won't learn how to hunt, no matter how hard she tries.
As unsettling as finding a dead mouse on your pillow might be, there are worse "gifts" your cat can leave for you to find. If your cat is suddenly going to the bathroom on your bed, don't think he hates you. In fact, leaving poop on the bed indicates a problem with either the litter box or the cat's digestive tract. If a cat feels discomfort or pain when relieving himself, he might assume the litter box is at fault and look for someplace else for relief. Somewhere soft and comfortable, like your bed. Try thoroughly cleaning the litter box, and if the problem persist, bring your cat to your vet for a consultation.
Why your cat occasionally digs his claws into your lap.
You're having a wonderful cuddling session with your cat purring on your lap when suddenly his sharp claws penetrate your legs. He's not doing it to hurt you, but rather the opposite: you've made him so comfortable that he's falling back on instinct. Kittens knead their mothers for milk, and it's an instinctive behavior that denotes comfort. You can't really stop the behavior -- he might not even realize he's doing it -- but you can redirect it by placing a barrier between him and your skin, or by moving his paws onto a different surface when he starts to knead.
Does your cat have any strange but adorable habits?