As much as we love our cats, sometimes the unexplainable things they do can drive us insane. Why do they enjoy attacking our ankles so much? What are they looking at from the window all day? Why will they only play with a single toy, when they have dozens scattered all over the floor? We interviewed NYC Veterinarian Dr. Alan Rubenstein to uncover the secret of why cats do the crazy things they do.
1. Why do cats push their toys under the furniture?
To save them for later. And so you can’t take them. Whacking it under the furniture is part of their game.
2. Why do cats only play with certain toys?
Why do we only play with certain toys? Because we’re not interested in other ones. I’ll make a bet with you that this will work, try a ping pong ball and a soda straw, too.
3. Why do cats chase their tails?
Not all cats do. Plus, they can catch them whenever they want, so it is another game. Also, it could be OCD. We’ll never know until we teach a cat to talk. Most likely it’s a game, so if you can distract them from it, then it’s definitely a game.
4. Why cats must inspect and “approve” anything you bring into the house?
Because it’s their house. You just happen to be living in their house, too. Without a doubt you are living there at their pleasure.
5. Why do cats stick their butts in our faces?
I don’t know. I don’t have an answer for that one but they do seem to know we don’t like it. Maybe it’s to put us in our place, I don’t know.
6. Why do cats stare at things that we can’t see? And why do they stare out the window?
Why can’t we see the things they’re staring at? I don’t have any idea what they’re staring at because I can’t see it. And we don’t know if they’re looking at it or listening to it or smelling it. Who knows? Maybe all three. Maybe windows are like a cat’s TV. They are waiting for things to happen, or to go by, dreaming. Or perhaps, they have a significant other out there.
7. My cat makes a baby peeping sound. Does that mean he wants me to pick him up?
It’s contentment sounds. Or maybe he’s just being cute, and issuing the command.
8. Why do cats hate water?
They don’t all hate water, and I’ll bet you didn’t know that most cats can swim. We have cats in the practice that jumps in the shower with their owners, or play with dripping water in the kitchen sink. It’s not a universal behavior at all. It’s just not as unusual as you think.
9. Why do cats crawl into discarded bags, boxes, and whatever else they can fit into?
Some of it gives them a sense of safety. It’s a little like hunting blind; you can’t see them but they can see you. I don’t think they know how much of them is visible when they think they’re hiding. I’m sure you’ve noticed that a cat can stick his head in a bag and not realized you can see his body sticking out. Also, tighter seems better. If you give them 2 boxes, small is usually the one they pick.
10. Why do cats attack your ankles?
Because they can. They ‘re sitting there looking for something to do and you walk by. Or they’ve been planning it all day, or for weeks.
11. Why do cats sleep in weird places?
They don’t think they’re weird. Why do you think they’re weird?
12. Why do cats attack toilet paper?
I don’t know. Dogs do it too. I don’t know. Kids do that too. Maybe because its fun. College kids play with it too. They use it on Halloween to decorate trees and telephone lines.
Dr. Alan Rubenstein can be found more often than he likes at Victory Veterinary Hospital, Staten Island NY