Ask Dr. Anna: Is your cat weird?

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Every wonder if your cat is weird?  I think I have most of you beat on this question as our clinic cat, Sylvie, sucks on the end of her tail.  In all likelihood, what you think is a strange behavior is probably normal in most cats.  Today, I will discuss some common normal behaviors in cats and explain why they do what they do.

Anna Coffin is the Veterinarian at Guthrie Pet Hospital and can be contacted at (405) 282-8796.
Anna Coffin is the Veterinarian at Guthrie Pet Hospital and can be contacted at (405) 282-8796.

Face rubbing is a sign of affection.  Cats have scent glands on the side of their face and the corner of their mouth.  When they rub their face on you or your furniture they are leaving their scent behind.  This scent has actually been synthetically reproduced by a company and is called Feliway.  It is used to alleviate anxiety and actually works very well in calming cats.  We use one in our feline only cat exam room and in the cat boarding room to calm our feline patients.

Cats are frequently caught drinking out of the toilet.  Cats like fresh water so they like drinking from the toilet bowl because the water is typically ‘fresher’ because it is changed with each flush.  Drinking toilet water is not dangerous unless you keep chemical cleaners in the tank.  If you don’t like you cat drinking from the toilet, then try getting a running water fountain for them to drink from.

Cats sleep a majority of the day.  This is actually a survival trait learned in the wild to conserve their energy for hunting.  Cats also tend to be more nocturnal because they have superior night vision which allows them to sneak up on their prey.  Their night vision is due to a layer of tissue in the back of the eye that reflects light back through the retina.  This extra layer of tissue is what causes their eyes to glow in the dark.

What strange behavior does your cat do?

Please e-mail me with your questions at and put “Ask Dr. Anna” in the subject line or mail your questions to 123 West Harrison Guthrie, OK 73044.

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