Karin Spicer: Cats’ behaviors defy ‘human’ logic

Pip in the master bedroom sink. KARIN SPICER
Pip in the master bedroom sink. KARIN SPICER

In describing a cat’s quirky personality, you might say it acted peculiarly, different, unusual.

My family’s 1-year-old cat Pip’s personality fits the definition of quirky. Some of what he does defies logic.

Our feline loves his food, eagerly chowing down on the chicken kibble before we can get it into his bowl. The flavor? Nothing fancy, no combinations or additional ingredients. Just plain old chicken.

So, when family friend Vickie gave him a bag of chicken treats, I didn’t think much about it – until he refused to eat them.

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“Really? Pip, they’re chicken. Yummy chicken.” Nope, he wasn’t buying it. The cat reminds me of the little kids who will only eat butter noodles and no variation of the dish.

The way Pip drinks water from a bathroom sink also defies logic. He doesn’t like getting soaked. Nothing unusual about that, most cats don’t. But when Pip wants a drink, he climbs into a bathroom sink while the water is running and turns his body so the water is pouring on his backside and tail. He laps up the water until his thirst is quenched, gets out of the sink, shakes and goes on his merry way.

Pip doesn’t seem to mind that his backside and most of his tail are soaked.

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When not drinking from a bathroom sink, Pip may be curling up in the cold oval basin for a quiet afternoon nap. Sometimes he’ll wind himself up in my husband Ed’s sink facing me and watch as I get ready in the morning. I think he might be judging my tooth- or hair-brushing techniques.

If you’ve lived with a cat you’re reading this and thinking, “My Tiger is a sink dweller, too,” or “My sweet Sammy loved to play in the back of the tub every morning as I showered,” or “You think Pip is quirky, my Dumbo will only eat green apples.”

In other words, Pip isn’t quirky at all. He’s a typical cat. They all defy “human” logic.

When it comes to the food cats choose to eat, Dr. Elizabeth Colleran, former president of the American Academy of Feline Practitioners, speaking to the catser.com says, “Cats are drawn to certain foods by three factors: mouth feel, odor and taste. They learn preferences from even before birth, so some of what they like is beyond anyone’s control.”

According to Sara Stuart at cuteness.com, when the weather is warmer cats may search for a cool, comfortable place to rest. The bathroom sink may fit the bill. The material, whether porcelain, granite or some other nonporous material, would cool any cat. And the shape molds with its curled position, making it a great napping place.

Stuart also said your cat positioning itself in the sink while you are getting ready in the morning may be doing nothing more than reminding you to feed, pet or play with it.

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And Pip getting his backside and tail soaked? That’s a small amount of water compared to being drenched from head to toe. According to the Canadian Veterinarian Medical Association, felines prefer meticulous coats. Cats diligent with their personal hygiene routine wouldn’t go for a sopping‑wet coat. Pip would probably be uncomfortable and have trouble grooming.

Once you understand why cats do what they do you come to realize humans have far more quirks than they do.

5 Common Cat Quirks

  1. Eating/licking plastic
  2. Slow cat-eye blink
  3. Paw treading (kneading)
  4. Head butting
  5. Rolling

SOURCE: www.thesprucepets.com/weird‑cat‑behaviors