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Drinking from the toilet again?

 | June 11, 2012

Have you noticed that he makes a rumbling sound whenever you go near him or pet him? This is his way of telling you he feels secure and content around you.


Cats have some of the most unusual behaviour traits, some of which can leave you cringing in disgust. Like why on earth does he gingerly step into a toilet bowl for a drink of water?

Well, though no one really knows for sure, many believe he probably detests the stale, stagnant water from last night and prefers the taste of the fresh water from your toilet bowl after a good flush! Go figure…

So while you love him, you don’t necessarily understand all that goes on in his head. Here’s an attempt at trying to meet him halfway.

Swishing his tail

While dogs wag their tails to indicate happiness, it isn’t so with cats. Some cat behaviourists say a cat does this to get his balance before jumping. Most often, it is an indication of mild irritation, and if he starts lashing his tail, back off. He will most likely pounce on you in agitation. A thumping tail shows utter frustration… like when he’s spotted a bird just beyond his reach.

Rubbing up on you

This is his somewhat crafty way to leave his scent on you. Your cat has glands on his cheeks and the corners of his mouth. So when he feels affection for you, he’ll claim ownership by rubbing up against you, expertly releasing his scent on you.

Showering you with ‘gifts’

Like a rich boyfriend trying to steal your heart away with gifts, kitty lovingly brings home his ‘catch’ of the day – dead mice, birds, grasshoppers, cockroaches and lizards – just so mummy and daddy know how much he loves them. Seeing as his ancestors were wild cats who hunted for food, his instincts tell him to hunt too. A word of advice? Graciously accept his gifts lest you break his little tabby heart.

Snoozing all day

He’s not lazy, just keen on ensuring the survival of his species. The wild cats that were his ancestors hunted for short periods and spent the rest of their day conserving energy so they’d be well rested for the next kill. Although your cat has been domesticated, he doesn’t know any better and is only doing what comes naturally.


Have you noticed that he makes a rumbling sound whenever you go near him or pet him? This is his way of telling you he feels secure and content around you. Some cats even purr when sleeping. Although the purring sounds like it is coming from the throat, many believe purring results from a vibration in the wall of one of the major blood vessels in his chest. These vibrations, transmitted to his upper air passages, result in a purring sound. His purr translated, simply means, “I love you”.

Playing the keyboard

When he jumps on your lap and starts kneading you like he’s playing the keyboard, he’s showing you how relaxed, comfortable and secure you make him feel. Cats learn this early in life – it’s something kittens do to their mothers while drinking her milk.

Licking your fingers

Looks like your salty sweat or hand lotion tastes ‘finger-licking’ good! Licking is also indicative of ‘comfort’ behaviour, much like a kitten licks his mother when nursing.

Going belly up

When a dog exposes his belly to you, it’s a sign of his total submission. When a cat does it, beware! While some cats will happily submit to a belly-rub, others go into this position to grab, bite and bunny-kick your hand. In the wild, cats were able to use their claws and teeth on their prey when they were in this position. So before you go “awww…”, be sure you really know who you’re dealing with.

Sharpening his claws

You think he’s sharpening his claws but he knows he instinctually wants a good stretch and a chance at a quick manicure. Apart from cleaning his claws, he is also marking his territory this way as scratching leaves a visible sign of his claw marks (how he loves showing off his handy work) and releases his scent through glands between his paw pads.

Chomping on your plants

Just like you eat salads, he likes one every so often too. Small amounts of grass can be nutritious for him and in larger quantities, can have a laxative effect or cause vomiting. This is normal. However he should not be chomping on aloe, philodendrons or easter lilies as these are toxic to him. So keep an eye on what he puts in his mouth.

Eating wool

If only he would knit you a sweater instead of eating it. Pamela Reid, PhD, Vice President of the ASPCA’s Animal Behavior Center says, “Some suck on wool. Some ingest it.” Yet this is normal compulsive behaviour, most common in indoor-only cats. Try giving him a tasty alternative like catnip, lettuce or grass.





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