Characteristics of Cat Behavior

Kittens might grow up to be timid if they are not socialized early.
i cat image by Raja stills from

Although every cat has its own personality, all cats have some characteristics that some people find endearing and others find off-putting. Cats can be inquisitive, friendly, playful, active, loving and independent. Just remember who is boss; cats appreciate attention but only when they want it.

Breed Characteristics

Most house cats crave your love and attention, but they prefer they get it on their terms instead of yours. Once you get to know your cat, you will understand his preferences. There are some breed-specific characteristics to consider. Persians, for example, typically love affection and are happy to sit on your lap. Because of their long hair, they need regular brushing; otherwise, their hair will mat. Siamese cats are communicators; they'll speak to you with a distinctive meow and with their body language. The Siamese is a “people” cat, according to The Cat Fanciers’ Association. The Maine Coon is a large, athletic cat that will follow you around. The Maine Coon Breeders and Fanciers Association said, “They are big, gentle, good-natured goofs.” Maine Coons are not generally lap cats and typically don’t like to be babied.

White Cats

Blued-eyed white cats are sometimes deaf due to genetics. The genetic peculiarity also affects the cat’s behavior and personality, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. These cats, especially females, tend to be timid. If you have a deaf cat, do not let him outside since he won’t be able to adequately protect himself from dangers such as traffic or predators. Do not startle your deaf cat, and touch him gently as you enter or leave a room.

Socialization and Nutrition

Kittens that are socialized between 4 weeks and 12 weeks of age tend to be friendlier than kittens that were isolated from people and cats in their early months. Socializing a kitten involves a variety of people handling him frequently. Isolated kittens will probably grow to be timid cats that become fearful when restrained. Early nutrition can also affect cat behavior. Kittens from malnourished mothers can be more aggressive to people and other cats. This behavior trait can last even after the cat grows up and receives proper nutrition.


Cats urine-mark to leave a message to other cats. One message is that whatever the cat marks is his and other cats need to back off. Another is that he is available for mating. Both male and female cats mark. Cats that live indoors, have no conflicts, have predictable lives and are spayed or neutered probably won’t mark. Most of the time, unneutered males are the ones doing the marking. The typical way a cat marks is to back up to a vertical object with his tail in the air. He then sprays urine onto the object’s surface. This behavior is called “spraying.” The tail often twitches during the act.

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