Why Do Cats Act So Weird? Here’s the Science Behind Their Strangest Behaviors

Jun 7, 2019 by

Cat Peeking from a Box
It is estimated that of the more than 2 million “cat videos” on YouTube right now, there have been a whopping 26 billion views from people all over the world.

So, what gives? What’s so great about cats doing random things like purring, stalking, clawing, and pouncing anyway? Well, if you’re a cat owner or cat lover yourself, you already know: Cats do weird stuff …

And it’s super entertaining.

“So … why does my cat do so much weird stuff?”

Turns Out There’s Actually a Scientific Reason

Believe it or not, your cats’ behaviors actually stem from way, way back — millions of years ago — when all cats were on their own in the wild: Simultaneously, the predators of smaller animals and the prey of bigger ones.

This concurrent predator/prey status led cats to form some of the instinctual, “funny” habits we still see today. While they look to us quite bizarre, long ago, these actions and reactions were crucial to their species’ survival. For example:

  • Climbing atop your bookcase and cupboards: The ancient ancestors of your cats developed unique muscular structures and balancing abilities, which enabled them to climb tall trees and survey the land for prey.

  • Hiding in weird places and fitting into tight spaces: As with many other similarly sized animals, cats needed to quickly evade prey by cramming into impromptu hiding places at a moment’s notice.

  • Constant claw-sharpening and scratching: Ancient cats required at-the-ready sharpened claws for self-defense, hunting, and climbing.

  • Chasing and pouncing on small toys (and animals) and eating small meals instead of large ones: Your cat’s ancestors required many small meals throughout the day. Their hunting strategy? Stalk, pounce, kill eat.

  • Daily purring sessions: Your cat may purr when they’re hungry, stressed, or happy. However, cats’ purrs are also leveled at a truly unique frequency (between 25 and 150 Hz), which has been shown to help restore and regenerate bone and muscle tissues — essentially helping your cat heal and survive better.

So, the next time you see your cat committing their daily acts of weirdness? Give a little nod to your feline friend’s ancestors — now you know why!

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