Unique, Quirky Cat Habits

Here are some unique, quirky and funny cat habits and behaviors.

Here are our reader questions and answers related to funny unique habits and behaviors. Just scroll down to read more about:

  • "Knitting Kitty"
  • "Ear Sucking Kitten"
  • "Why Does My Maine Coon Love His Sock Toy?"
  • "Why Does My Maine Coon Try To Eat His Water? Instead Of Lapping It Up?"
  • "Upside Down"
  • "Do Maine Coon cats seem to try burying their food?"
  • "Shaking their tails"
  • "Unusual behavior"
  • "Buddy's first snow"

Knitting Kitty

by: Jenny and Tessie

I have a kitten who knits CONSTANTLY while cuddling. I understand that cats knitting is normal, but my kitten (who's about seven months old) suckles on any patch of skin she can find. It hurts and sometimes ruins cuddle time. Any suggestions?

Hi Jenny and Tessie,

You're right, it's common and normal. But, when kitty won't stop and settle down it can ruin cuddle time.

There are a couple of quick fixes. First, trim your kitten's claws with some guillotine style clippers. This will really make those sharp little claws more bearable.

As for the suckling, it's so hard to tell her no, isn't it? After all, she's just pretending she's a tiny babe again with her mama!

You could get a bit of cloth for her to use. Some folks have had success with that. If you were to go to the fabric store, there is silky material that she'd probably like. But, any little bit of cloth would probably do.

If she's really too persistent and you need her to settle down & stop, you could give her a tap on the nose, very lightly. She'll likely stop sucking & settle in. When our kittens were young, Alice was just like this! I just put a thick blanket between us & let her do her thing. Now, she's all grown out of it and is a wonderful snuggler.

Leo still kneads too much. He'll do it for an hour or more, never settling in. I just move him so his back is against me instead of his claws pricking me. He's usually content with that.

So, it does get better! Enjoy your little girl!


Ear Sucking Kitten

by: Ann Neville

I own a six month old Maine Coon kitten. He likes to suck my ear lobes, this can occur either before or after food.

He purrs loudly and attaches himself for anywhere between five to ten minutes.

I did consult my vet initially who advised me to take him to his food. However, this did not work as is written above.

Is this normal behaviour as he is becoming rather heavy and a hard hat may soon be required.


Hi Ann,

Your kitten has a unique quirk! This general type of behavior is quite normal.

Kittens and cats of any age will suckle, knead and purr when they are happy.

Some cats suck on their persons skin or another pet. And a lot of cats suck on material such as a blanket or shirt. This is the first time I've heard of ear lobes!

The actual ritual of it has nothing to do with hunger. (I'm surprised your vet thought he needed to be fed.) It is a very common thing cats do to. The action involved, sucking, is reminiscent of their time with their mama cat, nursing, kneading (to stimulate milk) and purring (as a pleasure response).

So now you are taking the place of his mama and he is "nursing" on you, not for food but for bonding and happiness.

I imagine it's getting uncomfortable. If you would rather he suck on something else, try offering a finger, soft cloth (rolled up a bit) or whatever else you would rather he attach to. Just stay with him, as what he needs to do is love on you, not an inanimate object.

Hope this helps!

All The Best,


I have had a cat that did this
by: Purpleangie

Hiya, I had a burmese cat that did this...if he couldn't get at my ear lobe then he would suckle on the fleshy bit between my thumb and index finger.He did it till he was about 6 or 7 years old...never used his teeth! I currently have a 1 year old possible MC cross, who enjoys sucking on the tassle bits of a hoody I own (the ties that you pull to tighten the hood)he purrs very loudly, and closes his eyes. When he has finished he falls into a very heavy sleep. Enjoy it, it is a sign of affection.

Why Does My Maine Coon Love His Sock Toy?

by: Megan Michael
(Camp Hill, PA)

My 3 year old Maine Coon, Christmas, has loved this sock he has head ever since he was a kitten.

I used to wear the sock on my arm so I could play with him without getting scratched. For years he has carried it around, hugged it, kneaded it, and humped it (he's neutered, though.) The whole time he purrs really loud!!

Does he think the sock is his baby or what do you think is going on? Does your MC do anything like this?


Hi Megan,

That is just adorable! It's nothing to be concerned about. It's one of those sweet, quirky things that some cats do, like drooling, kneading, or snuggling.

The sock toy probably reminds him of his kittenhood, playtime, and gives him fond feelings. Our cats have their own quirks too, though not exactly like yours!

Christmas is a very cool name, too! Share a picture sometime so we can meet him!

All The Best,


Pics of Christmas
by: Megan

Thanks for your thoughts! He def is quirky and I love him so much.

Why Does My Maine Coon Try To Eat His Water? Instead Of Lapping It Up?

by: Max
(New Zealand)

My 5 month old male Maine Coon has not learned to lap water like a normal cat. Instead, he tries to eat it.

He is healthy, and growing well, and his tongue appears normal. He has no trouble eating, or grooming.

Is this a Maine Coon trait? Will he grow out of it? Any tips or hint appreciated. (I can't imagine how one might teach a cat to lap tho!)


Hi Max,

What an unusual question! You're right, I wouldn't know how to teach him. My only thought on that is to have another pet "show" him.

Is there plenty of light, and is his vision good? I wonder if this is his way of "checking" the water level. Lots of cats, when looking at a still bowl of water, dip their paw in it to make a ripple. Sometimes it's because they prefer running water, sometimes it's because they can't see where the level is.

He is growing and healthy, so he is getting water. I wonder if maybe this is something he does for fun, and other times he laps it, when you're not looking? Maine's love to play in water, especially kittens.

At our house, we use a fountain we purchased last winter. It's one of the cats favorite things. You can check out my review, if you're interested: Our Favorite Cat Water Fountain. The cats love it, and we do, too.

All in all, I wouldn't worry too much. This might just be a cute quirk of his! You might want to get it on video, just in case he outgrows it :)

All The Best,


Drinking water
by: Heidi

Our female Maine Coon will scoop up water with her paws and drink it from her paw. For the longest time I thought this was the only way she drank water, until I caught her lapping at it too.

I also used to have another Maine Coon that would stand in his water bowl and paw at the water surface so the water went all over the floor. But he too did lap from it normally too.

I've had around 15 cats in my lifetime and of those, 3 were/are Maine Coons. They are the only ones I've had with quirky water habits so as long as your cat appears healthy and hydrated (do a skin pinch test) then I would not worry.

Upside Down

by: Shirley
(Dallas, Texas)

Our Maine Coon Cat, Mandy, loves to lay with her head hanging down..Is this a common trait for these cats?

Also, she will just lay down, anywhere, anytime.. She prefers hard surfaces to soft places.

Any answers to these questions will be most appreciated.

Thanks in advance.


Hi Shirley,
Mandy sounds like lots of fun! Great name, by the way!

In one way, her behavior is totally unique to her. Many other cats may prefer a certain soft chair, or a favorite sunny window. Her preference for hard surfaces sounds more like a personality quirk than a breed trait. (Although, many cats & dogs will do this in warm weather.)

On the other hand, she is showing a Maine Coon characteristic. They can be very "floppy" and not picky about where they spread out. Maybe it's their size that makes them so confident! I sometimes find our Leo sprawled out, belly up, right on the kitchen floor in the line of traffic :-) It is a part of their outgoing nature.

When Mandy flops down with her belly up, she's totally confident and secure. Maine Coons are outgoing that way. They're not timid or shy! Like a dog, they say "come rub my belly!"

Have fun with her!

Do Maine Coon cats seem to try burying their food?

My 2 pure bred Maine Coon cats both seem to be trying to bury their food (dry food in a bowl).

They paw at the floor all around it, like they're digging trying to bury it. Is this a trait?

This is a cute habit that many of us witness from time to time. It's not a breed-specific "Maine Coon trait" but it is something that many cats do.

Many think it has something to do with a cats instinct to save their food for later. When they hunt in the wild, they only kill every few days. They take their dinner, whether it's a hare or a gazelle (big cats!) and find a nice hiding spot. They cover it up nice and return to it for their next few meals.

A mother will take her cubs to the spot with her, too. So for our sweet Maine Coons it's just instinct now! Bury it, hide it, and come back for more later!

Just one of those cute and silly cat habits to make us smile!

All The Best,


Trying to cover food
by: Clare

I never thought of that reason...one of my Siamese cats will do that and i thought it was because he didn't like the food and was trying to cover it up like in the litter box...my MCs never do that...they eat what they want then walk away. Cats are such interesting creatures

Burying things
by: GinniP

My Coonie, Lola, alaways scratches around her food bowl after she has eaten and scratches around her glass of water before she drinks. She also eats her meat out of her hand...she is not a polydactyl. They are such gorgeous, placid cats, so very gentle and loving.

Shaking their tails

Sometimes when our boys come in and announce themselves they shake their tails....what does it mean? They are always in a good mood and it seems like they are saying Hi!..I love you!

Is that it?


That sounds like it! Some behaviors, like tail-wagging, can mean different things to different cats in different circumstances. You'll want to notice other signs as well, like the rest of their body language and general demeanor.

If they are chirping & rubbing on you, seem happy and are greeting you, then this is just another way they show their happiness!



Shaking Vibrating Their Tails
Our cat Chestnut will vibrate his tail as he looks at me to tell me that he wants food. He only does it by his bowl and when he's hungry.

Has anyone else observed this unique behavior?

I have had a lot of cats but this is the first one to vibrate his tail!


Unusual behavior

by: Brian Charbonneau
(Billerica, MA)

I have 3 Maine Coons, 2 sisters almost 3 years old and a boy "Sammy" 2 1/2 years old.

Sammy recently began a rather unusual behavior. He "happy paws" with his front legs, like a kitten stimulating the mother during nursing (not unusual) but he also tries to do this with his back paws.

The only time he does this is when I am in bed and he sits on my legs, which are under the covers, arches his back and begins "happy pawing" and making squeeky sound.

He will do this until I hold him and pet him to calm him down. He is neutered and is normal in every other way. Eats, drinks, plays just as always. Thanks in advance for any advice.

Brian Charbonneau

Hi Brian,

I know just what you mean. Leo does something very similar, though Alice doesn't. Maybe it's a boy thing :) Boys are very, very loving!

He's just excited and affectionate, as you noted. It's one of those funny, unique and silly cat habits!

I wonder how many other Maine Coon Cats do this?

All The Best,


Unusual habits
by: Amy

That is funny, our coon mix does this and I just thought it was because he a rescue and didn't get enough of his mama.

My Coon does it too
by: Leona

Samson my 10 month old mc does this too and my grey tabby 3 yrs old she does this too

Happy Paws
by: Deb

I have a "porch cat" Maine Coon purebred who visits me often and he, too, has happy paws whenever he is in my lap. Also have a DSH male who kneads my right arm every night as he goes to sleep!

Mine too
by: Jill

My Maine Coon Molly does the same thing.....she has done it since she was a baby....she does it every night until I pet her for several minutes and then she curls up and goes to sleep....its just their way of saying they love you back :-)

Fascinated by water!?
by: Heather (CT)

Talking about different behavior.. my coon is simply fascinated by water! It could be from faucets running, toilets flushing, and shower spray. He runs to wherever the sound is coming from and will sit and stare for extended periods of time. This includes sitting in a wet shower watching the last beads of water roll off the walls.. Anyone else experience similiar behavior? : )

Happy Paws
by: Deb

My 2 year old female Maine Coon, Randi, does the same thing usually right before she goes to sleep while on my lap.

Buddy's first snow

by: Judy

Hiya Carrie

After 1-2 minutes of mulish behaviour Buddy strode along wearing his collar and harness - after Id bribed him.

Buddy cautiously stepped from our back step, goggled at the snow, then smelt it. He looked astonished, then excited when a bird called out. He chirruped and the bird called again, he chirruped. This went on for about a minute till he noticeably shivered. So we went inside, dried off and headed for the warmest room!

Carrie, was excitement or the cold?


Hi Judy!

I was so excited when I saw the title, I thought I'd get to see a picture of Buddy in the snow!!

I would say, definitely excitement. Our cats are allowed outside on the back deck in the coldest parts of winter, when the snow is deep & the temps are low. (this way I know they aren't going anywhere!)

They are well supervised and after quite some time they may shiver, and ask to come in. Their ancestors spent their whole lives out in this weather, so they can take it!

Sounds like Buddy had fun on the leash, getting out in the great outdoors. Keep it up!


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