Three cat behaviours that can mean several things at once

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Cats are special animals in many ways. They have a complex system of cat behaviours. Some of these elements can sometimes seem strange. My article will now focus more on behaviours that can be interpreted in multiple ways. I’m sure you’ll know some of these too. Let’s look at these three things and their possible meanings.


Cat behaviour - purring

This is the most obvious sign that cats are happy. We know relatively little about this sound, much less than other sounds used by cats.

Although experts say they don’t only purr for just that. They can also convey other emotions through purring. Let’s see what emotions cats can express while purring.


If purring is accompanied by other signs (bunting, blinking), we can be sure that our cats will give these sounds as a sign of love when they are with us. This sound (and the vibrations that come with it) is loved by every cat owner. Some cat owners sleep much better because of purring. There are plenty of types of devices to buy that will help you sleep by emitting a cat purring sound.


I mentioned earlier the positive effect of purring on people. Well, cats also benefit from this activity. This is primarily due to stress relief. After all, in a stressful state, healing processes also take place much more slowly.

However, these low-frequency vibrations have been observed to help in several health conditions. For example, they speed up various healing processes, but they can also relieve pain.


Researchers say cats do not make the same purring sound in all situations. For example, if they are hungry, they put more meow into the sound than if they purr for pleasure. This is obviously because this is how we pay more attention to them.


This is similar to showing love. What is interesting, is that kittens can purr from the age of a few days. This is how they show the mother cat that everything is fine with them, and this will be shown to you in their adulthood.


Cat behaviours - rolling

Every cat owner knows the sight when the cat rushes towards her, throws herself down, and starts rolling on the ground. However, rolling can have several meanings. Let’s look at these!


Animals are basically always positioned so that their bellies are protected. This is no wonder, as they have their important internal organs there. Because of this, seeing your cat in a rolling position is a sign of trust. If she didn’t feel safe next to you, she wouldn’t show her belly to you. But I have to draw your attention to one thing. While rolling is a submissive activity in many cases in dogs, this is not the case in cats. Try a belly rub now and you may regret it.


Communication with scents is very important for cats. And rolling is a perfect way to spread their scent in the area. It’s a friendly and harmless way of marking behaviour. These scents are not perceptible to humans. (Unlike spraying which stinks pretty much. If you experience this, you might want to think about neutering your cat).

Raising awareness

Cats know exactly how to get more attention. If you notice that she has been rolling in front of your feet several times, there is a reason. Spend more quality time with her. Believe me, it’s worth it. Doing this right after rolling will reinforce this habit. Cats love habits and will stick to it after a while.


Catnip is a special herb that contains nepetalactone as one of its active ingredients. This substance stimulates the sexual desires of cats. After this, they really enjoy rolling on the ground.


I mentioned sexual desires earlier. In female cats, rolling can also be observed during they are in heat, and after mating. In this case, they do not want to spread their scent. They want to get rid of odors that do not belong to them.


Cats have higher body temperatures than humans. This is why they like to stay near warm places (e.g. radiators). However, sometimes they can get easily overheated. With this rolling motion, cats can cool themselves.


People have been studying the positive effects of beneficial bacteria on digestion and health for some time. Cats also seem to be aware of this. There are also such bacteria in the dirt. When cats roll on the ground, these organisms get into their fur. They then do a little self-grooming and get everything into their digestive system.

Licking people

Cat licking

Everyone knows why cats lick themselves. This is an important grooming procedure for them. But why would they lick us? For them, it is a social habit used to express connection and love. People can be licked by cats for a variety of reasons.


People show care by petting towards cats. Cats cannot express this to owners in the same way. They reciprocate kindness by licking. Think of this activity as caressing, hugging or kissing. If you notice that your cats lick you a lot, you can be sure that they want a little love in return.


Yes, this can be another marking behaviour. However, it’s not like the marking signs discussed so far. If your cat licks you, that means she wants to let you and the other cats know that you are important to her. This is why you may have cats who show little affection for you. They probably feel (or see) that you belong to another cat.


Could it be that cats want to teach us something? Yes, it can happen. Just think of when they bring us a little rat, mouse, or bird as a gift. It is not uncommon for these animals to be brought to us alive. That is, cats want to teach us to hunt.

Licking can be an attempt by cats to teach us about self-grooming. This is how their mother taught them too.


Cats use grooming activities as a very good stress management method. And they can feel very well when we need reassurance. So the next time your cat licks you, keep in mind that she’s probably doing it for you.


As you can see, some behaviours can sometimes have other meanings in cats. But this is not a miracle, as this phenomenon can also be observed in humans. Next time, watch your cat. If you notice the signs described in my article, try to figure out which of the above explanations might just be true.

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