10 Strange Behaviors of Cats and Dogs

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Whether your dog dances in circles before he lays down or your cat prefers sleeping in a box, the peculiar habits our pets have sometimes just us scratching our heads.

Strange Cat Behavior

Cat Meowing at Birds

Reasons run wild as to why your cat talks to the birds or other animals they see wondering by.  Experts speculate that cats do this in response to pent-up frustrations for not being able to pursue and chase the birds.  As far as seeing other animals and howling in their direction, this is a result of protecting their territory.

Cat Brings me Presents

Dead rodents, insects and sometimes even birds are presents from your cat that you least expect or want!  But looking at it from your kitty’s perspective, this is a true honor for her to deliver these things to you.  As a kitten, her mother fed and nurtured her even sometimes bringing back dead prey.  Now you are the one providing the food and nurture, and she wants to thank you.  She does so by bringing you her hunt.  This is also a way for kitty to acknowledge you as a part of her friends group.

My Cat Chews on Plastic

Cats chew on things just like dogs, but some of the items that entertain your cat are definitely different.  A few particular items are plastic rings off of the milk jug, carpeting, and wiring.  Similar to humans and their nervous habits, cats need to vent their nervous energy too.  They do so by chewing on non-food items.  But most of the items your cat chooses to chew on are hazardous to their health if ingested.  So kitty-parents beware!

Why Does my Cat Love Boxes?

Birthday and holiday gifts equal good times for your cat!  Most all cats love boxes and will spend time playing and sleeping in them.  The smaller, the better.  Why is that?  Well, cats feel more secure in small spaces.  Your cat’s ancestors were raised in the wild, making them easy targets if they slept in open, clear spaces.  So cats learned to survive by bedding down in close, protective quarters.  Cats continue to practice this habit, making use of boxes, cubby holes and tight spaces.

Not Covering her Poop in the Litter Box

Not near as cute as some of the other habits, cats can sometimes demonstrate signs of distress by not covering up their poop in the litter box.  So what could be the problem?  Reasons can range from a sore paw, to a possible urinary tract infection, or just not happy with the cleanliness of her litter box.  To resolve the issue, start by cleaning out the litter box and making it a daily routine.  If a cleaner litter box doesn’t fix it, check her paws for sores or infection.  If the issue continues, it is time to visit your veterinarian.

Strange Dog Behaviors

Why Does my Dog Chase their Tail?

Most puppies chase their tails, making them dizzy and wearing themselves out. That’s cute, right.  But if your dog continues to chase his tail non-stop and appears frustrated, it may be something more serious.  Things to consider can be an anal gland problem, allergy or dermatitis issues, or even a sign of obsessive-compulsive disorder.  If the habit continues, it may be time to visit your veterinarian.

Why Does my Dog TIlt Their Head?

You call your dog and he comes running.  When he gets to your feet, he stops and cocks his head.  Most of us think this is cute and adore his effort to pay closer attention.  As a matter of fact, that is one of the possibilities of what he is trying to do.  Among the speculations as to why your dog does this cute little trick is to better understand what you are saying, or to better listen for key commands.

Sniffing Other Dogs’ Butts

For humans we say hello and shake hands, maybe share in a hug if it’s someone we like.  Well the gesture of saying hello for a dog is sniffing each other’s butts.  Yes, this is how your dog makes new friends and says hello to his buddies.  Your dog’s sense of smell tells him everything he needs to know about his new friend.

Dog Eating Poop

We saved the best for last.  This is a gross habit and one that we want to avoid if at all possible.  But odds are your dog is doing it for a reason that you’ll want to be aware of for their health.  Some dogs just like it, again, yuck!  Some dogs may be hungry.  For a few dogs, the reasoning could be poor nutrition.  No matter what, talk to your veterinarian about the habit.  This will help you determine the reasoning behind the behavior and help make changes to correct it.

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances. 

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.