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funny behavior

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Joules is a 21 month old calico. It's been pretty sunny around Pullman lately and I noticed that the tom cats are on the prowl again . They like to come up to the sliding glass door to check Joules out . Joules usually gets bristled and growls and hisses at them and lets them know just how unimpressed she is . However, a few days ago a younger, smaller cat came up to the door and Joules didn't get bristled at all. She looked at him intently and crouched down and didn't hiss, but blew out her nose and opened and closed her mouth rapidly like she was smacking her lips. I didn't think it was a submissive gesture because Joules has always been dominant, bold and playful with new kitties she meets at friends houses. I suppose she could have been impressed by the kitty :wink2: and thought he was pretty sexy looking , but she is spayed. Could she still have hormones that made her "interested" anyway, as spring approaches? Can anyone explain her odd behavior? Is Joules just a fruitcake ? Thanks for your input!
-Kelli and Joules
post #2 of 11
Joules was "Chattering"! Cats show this behaviour when they see something they can't get at. Here's some info on chattering!

Information From www.sniksnak.com

The odd behaviour that resembles teeth-chattering is usually produced when a cats sees something he wants but can't get to it. Though his mouth is slightly open (the lips pulled back and the jaw opening and closing rapidly), it's not a form of communication. The noise made is a combination of lip-smacking and teeth chattering as he gets more excited. He may emit small bleating noises like a baby goat. So far, none of this is believed to have any function.

By the way, your kitty is adorable!
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info, I'll check it out. I have seen Joules "chatter" at the birds in a different way though. She doesn't blow out her nose, and she actually goes "raa-ah-ah-ah-ah" at the birds when she opens and closes her mouth, but this time she didn't make any noise at all except for the smacking and her lips were loose (like when a baby kitty nurses). I just thought it was odd also because that isn't her normal defensive response to kitties who walk up to the glass door. I'll read more about "chattering" though!
-Kelli and Joules
post #4 of 11
What a nice picture. you both look so comfy! There is another reaction that cats have. when they smell somthing through there nose and then drop there jaw open and smell through there mouth. They do this when they are particularly interested in a smell. I forget what its called. But my cats do it often.

Binky chatters when she sees birds on the porch. She just wants those darn things so bad...but they just fly away.Whats a cat to do?
post #5 of 11
Tamara, it's called a Flehmen response. When I was watching a show on Animal Planet about baby tigers, I was surprised to see that they do that too! The zookeepers called it "butt-face", because the cubs were making that face after sniffing each other's derrieres.

Max chatters at birds and squirrels, too, but I doubt she would have a clue as to what to do with one if she caught it.

Kelli, Joules is adorable!
post #6 of 11
Hi! There's a very good book called "Cat Watching", written by British animal behaviorist Desmond Morris, which explains all sorts of interesting stuff about cats that you don't find elsewhere, e.g. flehmen, why male cats are called "toms", why cats that are used to a single brand of food may refuse all other brands. I unfortunately don't have the ISBN for the English-language original, but can definitely recommend the book.
post #7 of 11
I just looked for that book on www.half.com and they have it for only 75 cents, hardcover! I have ordered it, based on your recommendation. Thanks!

PS there were several copies available at this price.
post #8 of 11
Binkyhoo: Is it the Jacobson's Organ (sp?) you are thinking of?

My Ishies uses it a lot! But Asim and Tage not so much.
Asim has done the chattering thing once 2 years ago when he saw a fly lol.

It sooo cute to see them do it however.
post #9 of 11
Chattering! That's what it's called, eh?! I learn something every day here at the Cat Site. Thanks for the book tip too, I'm gonna' check that out at half.com.

Joules is soooooo cute! Post more pictures when you have a chance!
post #10 of 11
75 cents is a terrific price for the book! I saw it in a used bookstore in the States two years ago, and they wanted $5.00. I almost bought it, but figured it was a waste of time (and space in my suitcases) because I already had the German-language version. As a foreign-language teacher (I studied German, with a minor in Spanish, but teach English over here), I loved the explanations for "the cat in the sack" and "it's raining cats and dogs". The book has a lot of useful information, together with interesting trivia. I hope you all enjoy it!
post #11 of 11
Anyone have a clue why he does this?

Blondie has a peculiar habit. We haven't been able to pinpoint why he does it, but have a short list of things we were doing when he did it.

He sits up on his haunches and rubs the air in front of him with his front paws repeatedly. We call it "worshipping". It looks hilarious.

He has done it when looking at a cat face mask we have on the wall; when I yelled at him once to stop attacking a piece of plastic on the floor early one AM; when watching my boyfriend lifting hand weights; and once in a while when he appears to be measuring a distance to see if he can make a jump (he doesn't do it for every jump though or even for most of them, only occasionally).

It's not a begging type behaviour, because he's never done it in relation to treats or food.

If I can get a picture of him doing this, I will post it. But it doesn't happen often, and usually when we spot him doing it, by the time one of us grabs the camera, he is done.
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