Cats are often associated with certain kinds of behavior — independence, aloofness, sleeping a lot... But there's so much more you notice once you really get to know them.
Reddit user u/detective_kiara recently asked people, "What's something people typically don't know about cats until they have one as a pet?" It's wild how accurate some of these are:
1. "They snore."
2. "They are smart as hell. I got my first one about six or seven years ago. She jumped into my car window when I was eating a sandwich, which almost gave me a heart attack that some strange animal jumped into my car. She was dirty, skinny, and scruffy, so I gave her some of my turkey sandwich. Couldn’t find anyone who claimed her, so I took her to the vet. They gave her shots and treated her for worms, so I’m guessing she was a young stray. I took her home with the intention of re-homing her, but within about a week or two, she woke me up in the middle of the night freaking out. I followed her to my basement, and my water heater was flooding my basement. I looked at her and said you know, you earned it and can stay kitty. She did the slow blink, and the rest is history. Been best pals since. She never grew very large. She’s about seven pounds or so, about 60% of the size of a normal cat. So it’s like a kitten for life, I guess."
3. "If you have a routine, they will adapt to it. My cat gets upset if we stay up late. He goes to lie in his bed and will meow to tell us it's bedtime. And the flip side, though, if we try to sleep in, he wakes us up when we usually wake up, lol."
"I created a routine with my cats where I'll give them treats at night while I take my prescription medication because there are some days I might forget to take my pills, but the cats sure as hell won't forget treat time."
4. "Cats (like dogs) can sense when you're not well. I'm currently recovering from sinus surgery, and my cat didn't leave my side for three days. Extra affectionate. She also seems to sense that my face is currently off limits to 'boops,' as she often does. She's more back to normal behavior now, but I had a nice 'recovery attendant' for a few days."
5. "The random running for no reason during the night."
"And they're louder than you expect a cat to ever be. It's like a small elephant running down the hall."
6. "They do learn their names and come when you call them, and they will follow you around."
7. "They are far more affectionate than people think."
8. "They’re very cuddly and needy. If they like you, they’ll meet you at the door."
"My cat knows the sound of my car. My boyfriend tells me that as soon as I park, she's at the door meowing. Edit: I thought you would all like to know that I just got home from work and was greeted at the door with many loud meows."
9. "The belly is not necessarily a 'touch and you die' zone — you have to earn the trust to see it and the privilege to rub it, which is a specific treat with my cat because she LOVES belly rubs but is avoidant of most all people."
"I'm now a stepdad to two cats. I didn't expect them to have so many different levels of trust. I've noticed every benchmark I've reached with them. I remember when they let me touch their paws. I remember when they let me touch their bellies. I remember when they started coming to me when being called. I remember when they started being attracted to my scent and gained a fondness for my computer chair as a result. I feel like I'm unlocking bits and pieces of their love on a monthly basis. I absolutely adore them. Such wonderful gentlemen."
10. "How much they shed — hair EVERYWHERE in your house. Even if you vacuum every day, you still find hair everywhere. You have to lint roll your clothes so often."
11. "Cats need entertainment too or they will get destructive."
12. "They love carbs. Leave a loaf of bread or tortillas out in the open and they will tear through the packaging and eat a chunk out of it."
13. "DON'T TRIM THEIR WHISKERS TO MAKE THEM EVEN. Omg... do not do that."
14. "They are like people. Some are kind and loving. Some are just psychotic. My current cat is the latter; he likes to randomly attack me. My previous cat was soulful and beautiful and slept with me every night of his life. 😭"
15. "When fluffy cats get old, like 16, they stop grooming themselves thoroughly. Then you need to keep up brushing and removing the little fur knots that pull their skin."
16. "I’ll add to this. Something you might not know about cats until you have TWO of them is just how resilient and strong they are. I used to be so afraid of picking my cat up and handling him until the second one showed up, and when I’d watch them play fight, I remember thinking, what the hell this is UFC-tier shit? Had him in a headlock and all. After that, I became much more comfortable picking up, holding, and, in general, handling my cats. Helps a lot if you need to apply medication or handle the cat for the vet's ease."
"To add to this, it's easy to mistake two cats playing for actually fighting. The main way to tell is sound - if there's no hissing or angry-sounding yelling, they're playing, even if it looks really violent."
17. "They drool when they are happy. Kind of like dogs lol. My cat when she’s purring and cuddling me will start drooling."
18. "Cat purrs have different frequencies for different things. It has been shown that certain purrs are used for certain things such as decreasing blood pressure, improving circulation, reducing heart attacks, and more, in not just themselves but in other people as well. This is why cats will come and lay on you or become more ‘affectionate’ if you're sick because they're slowly helping you heal with their purring frequencies. It's like having a mini-massager as well. Their purrs can do a lot of things, even make the frequency different, so that it will annoy you to make you get up (the soliciting purr, as I call it — mine does it to take my spot). I just think it's cool that having a cat can help you improve faster since they're mini-medics."
19. And lastly, "They puke often (not just hairballs). You will think your house is haunted since they either stare at the wall and growl or go from a relaxed state to sprinting across the room in a matter of seconds."
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Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.