Cat owners know that felines often exhibit some puzzling behavior. Ever wonder why your cat scratches your couch, sleeps in the oddest of places or jumps up to super-high places in your house, like the top of the refrigerator? It turns out there’s a scientific explanation for a lot of their strangest behavior.
Thanks to a 2016 video from TEDEd, you can have all your burning questions about why cats do what they do answered. Narrated by cat guru Dr. Tony Buffington, the video explains, alongside a cute animation, the motivation behind some of cats’ weirdest behaviors. Check it out below:
Here’s the lowdown on why cats exhibit some of the following behaviors.
Why They Seek Higher Ground
It’s not uncommon to find your cat perched on top of the refrigerator or some other high spot in your home. What gives? It turns out that cats are primed to seek high vantage points in order to survey their territory and more easily spot prey.
“Grizmo doesn’t need these particular skills to find and hunt down dinner in her food bowl today, but, instinctually, viewing the living room from the top of the bookcase is exactly what she’s evolved to do,” explains Dr. Buffington.
Why They’re Always Going After Small Objects
Whether a toy mouse, an actual mouse or a nugget of cat nip, have you noticed that your cat is always on the prowl for something small?
That’s because cats in the wild evolved to eat small prey and needed to eat several small meals each day. That’s why your cat seems to constantly be stalking and pouncing on any small item they can find.
Why They’re Always In Boxes
If your cat loves to sneak into empty Amazon boxes and stick their nose into any tiny crevice or opening they find, it’s because it’s all part of their strategy to get fed. Their prey could often be found hiding in small places, so this instinct is part of their survival strategy.
Why They Sharpen Their Claws On Your Furniture
When you discover your cat has ripped up your new couch, it can be frustrating. But it’s not his fault. Cats developed sharp claws for climbing, hunting and self-defense. She’s just making sure her nails are in fighting shape should she need them.
Why They Always Hide
Do you find your kitty curled up sleeping in the strangest of places, like a dresser drawer or under the bed? Cats exhibit this behavior because they evolved to quickly find safe hiding spaces to protect themselves from predators.
Why They Purr
When it comes to the reasons behind your cat’s purr, the explanation is a little bit more mysterious. Cats can purr for a number of reasons, including stress, happiness and hunger. So while it may be difficult to decode exactly why your kitty’s making noise, it actually provides a benefit.
The frequency of their purrs can promote tissue regeneration, which can aid in strengthening their muscles and bones, and possibly yours as well!