Emergency Appeal

In this time of crisis, our front-line staff are working hard to ensure we're still there for the UK's most vulnerable pets. We need your support now more than ever to keep our doors open.

Weird things cats do

Have you noticed your cat doing something strange?

Our cats can have us scratching our heads with some of their strange behaviour. Our vets answer 7 common questions about the odd things our feline friends do:

‘My cat has a scratching post…so why are they still clawing at my wallpaper?’

There’s usually a good reason for this and your cat’s not doing it to wind you up! Scratching is part of a cat’s normal behaviour. They use it not just to sharpen their nails but as a signal to other cats. Once they’ve got into the habit of scratching in one place it can be difficult to stop them. If your cat is scratching in areas you don’t want them to, you might want to try a new scratching post. Cats need a stable scratching post that’s the right height for them. Lots of cats like to reach out to scratch- this can be upwards (like they would to scratch a walls) or in front (as you might see on your carpets). Try a wall mounted post or one with a good, sturdy base. Place it in the area your cat naturally scratches – like over that patch of wallpaper they just won’t leave alone. Hopefully once you have the perfect scratching post in the perfect spot, you and your cat will both be happy!

‘Why does my cat rub their face on my legs?’

Cats have lots of scent glands on their face. When you smell strange – like when you’ve come back from the supermarket – they’ll rub against you to make you smell familiar again. They’re probably really pleased to see you but this isn’t just their special way of saying hello. They’re actually marking you with their scent!

‘Why does my cat roll over for a tummy tickle and then bite me?’

You and your cat have your wires crossed! It’s a common myth that cats lie on their backs when they want their tummy tickled and stroked. It’s actually just your cat showing they trust you. Enjoy this as sign of the strong bond between you.

‘Why does my cat wake me up early in the morning?’

Cats are often wide awake and full of energy early in the morning so your cat might just be bored. Make sure they have plenty of toys to keep them occupied.

Toys your cat will love

‘Why does my cat always sit on my laptop when I’m trying to work?’

Cats love warm places so they probably find your laptop cosy. They’re also really playful and the moving images on your laptop can look like something fun to chase. Most likely, your cat wants your attention. Take a break and play a cat-friendly game or two!

Cat-friendly games

‘Why does my cat eat grass?’

This behaviour is still a bit of a mystery and there are lots of different theories. Eating grass is normal behaviour for lots of cats, but the big question on a lot of people’s minds is why? Some people thing cats eat grass to make themselves sick, others think they like the taste. Another theory is that it helps with digestion and prevents hair balls. Or it could be related to trace elements that are found in grass but not in other sources of a cat’s diet. If your cat likes to eat grass, a safe option is to buy ‘cat grass’ which can be grown inside or outside and you know is free from pesticides and other nasty chemicals. But if you’re worried about your cat eating grass or they seem to be being sick a lot, it’s always safest to speak to your vet.

Top tips for keeping your cat healthy

‘Why does my cat hide on top of the fridge?’

Cats feel safest when they’re high up. They often search out a high place to rest and the top of the fridge is the perfect place. If you want to encourage them to sleep somewhere else, like a secure shelf or on top of a cupboard, try making it comfy and inviting with blankets.

Exercise for your cat

Read our vets' guide on how to give your cat the exercise they need while strengthening the bond between you.

Read more

Keep your cat healthy

Browse our selection of kitten and cat articles written by expert vets at PDSA

Read more

Vaccinating your cat

It’s important to get your pets vaccinated early to reduce their risk of becoming seriously ill. Read out vets' advice.

Read more