them feel cozier and close to mom
before settling in for a nap. Cats
only knead individuals with whom
they are extremely comfortable,
just like their own mom.
3Walking in a circle before they lie down This action before naptime
accomplishes three things. First,
their paws mark the area with their
scent, so they can recognize the
area as a safe place to sleep and
immediately notice the strange
scent of an intruder. Second,
cats do this in tall grassy
areas, and walking in circles
over the grass flattens it
into a nice bed. Third, it
enables them to feel for
snakes and other creepy,
crawly things that might be
camped out in the area.
4Nuts for catnip About half of all cats get a buzz off of catnip. Nepeta cataria, the scientific name
for catnip, contains an essential oil
called nepetalactone, which acts
as a stimulant when cats sniff it
and a sedative when cats ingest it.
It’s this stimulating effect through
their sense of smell that makes cats
roll around and act nuts. The effect
lasts for about 10 minutes before
cats lose interest. Catnip is safe for
cats, and they simply stop indulging
when they’ve had enough.
5Hunting, even though they have plenty to eat Cats’ eyes are designed to
detect movement, so it’s no wonder
that they’re stimulated by
anything that moves.
Cats don’t just
hunt for food.
It’s natural for
kittens and cats to play with each
other without eating immediately
following. They still find this to be a
physically and mentally stimulating
behavior. Food is an important part
of their lives, but that doesn’t mean
everything they do is about a meal.
That said, cats do like to indulge
in a meal after a play session.
Incidentally, so do we. Who doesn’t
like a nice dinner after working out
at the gym or a long day at the
6Crazy for smelly stuff Have you ever noticed how interested your cats are in
your smelly gym clothes, socks, or
shoes? What they’re smelling is concentrated you. You might think it’s
stinky, but they’re smelling you times
10, and, of course, they associate
you with good things like food, love,
and protection. Since they identify
people by scent, why wouldn’t they
want to sleep where they can smell
their favorite person a hundredfold?