1114 North Rolling Road, Catonsville, MD 21228 410.869.0800

Your Cat’s Instinctive Behavior

Cats have a lot of instinctual behaviors including kneading soft objects!

It is said that a dog is man’s best friend. That might be true for some, but for others, cats have always been the way to go. For someone that is used to a dog and is trying out the whole cat thing for the first time, it may catch you off guard to discover that there isn’t much training that goes into a cat. While dogs must be trained to behave a certain way, cats behave mostly off instincts. Here are some instinctive behaviors that cats have.

Covering Their Tracks

Cats don’t really need to be potty trained because they will instinctively use their litter box. Not only will they use it, they also cover up their droppings with the litter. This is because wild cats had to cover their tracks to avoid being found by predators. They leaned towards soft dirt or sand to use the bathroom because it was easier to cover which is why they instinctively use litter. This instinctive behavior eliminates the stress and time that goes into potty training a pet. 


One thing that everyone seems to know about cats is that they tend to scratch a lot. This is another instinctive behavior that comes from the need to protect themselves. A lot of people think that cats scratch to file their nails down, but it does the opposite. Scratching sheds the dull layer of a cat’s claws and exposes a fresh, sharp claw. It is also an exercise method and a way to mark their territory by putting their scent on whatever they are scratching. They like the material of scratching posts because in the wild, they use the trunk of the tree to scratch their nails on.


A less commonly known instinctive behavior that cats have is to knead. This is sometimes referred to as “making biscuits” because the movement is similar to that of someone kneading dough. This stems from when they are kittens and knead their mothers stomach to induce the flow of milk. Going back to wild cats, they would knead down tall grass in order to make a soft bed for sleeping or giving birth. Domestic cats will almost always knead on soft surfaces like blankets and they sometimes will purr while they are doing it. It is a behavior that shows that is comforting to cats and isn’t something to be worried about.  

Bringing You “Gifts”

All cats have the instinct to hunt because they are predators and hunt their prey. They will stalk and attack their toys all day so long as you keep swinging the toys around. When cats hunt insects and mice in your home, they may bring it back to you and drop it right in front of your foot. This is probably the last thing you want to see, but your cat sees it as a gift. This comes from when wild cats would bring the prey back to their kittens and drop it to be eaten. The cat brings this to you to show off their accomplishment and provide you with a token of their appreciation, so don’t yell at them for doing this! The best way to discourage this behavior is to ignore it.

Contact Catonsville Cat Clinic Today!

For 20 years, the Catonsville Cat Clinic has been providing quality veterinary care to the cats of Catonsville and beyond! Dr. Pam Nesbitt, who purchased the practice in July of 2011, runs the Catonsville Cat Clinic with compassion in mind. A team of professionals with an advanced level of veterinary medicine is at your service to make sure your cat is healthy and happy. So stop on by; we’d love to get to know you and your cat!

For more updates and advice, be sure to follow our Facebook, Twitter, and Google+! You can get in touch with the Catonsville Cat Clinic by giving us a call at 410-869-0800 or visiting our contact page.


This entry was posted on Monday, February 26th, 2018 at 9:05 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.

Get Directions!

Schedule an Appointment!