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Mysterious ritual

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
My Sasha was rescued as a feral kitten. I am very lucky to have a cat that exhibits no bad behavior.

He has several quirky rituals. When he approaches his water bowl to get a drink, he first must get into his stance. He squats low with his front legs, hind legs more erect but in a "ready to bolt" position. He then scratches the tile floor a few times before finally taking his drink. As he begins to drink his hind legs settle.

I really enjoy watching this ritual no matter that I have seen it hundreds of times. I'm as curious as to where this behavior comes from as I am fascinated by it.
post #2 of 13
idk where it comes from but Sabastian has his own little water ritual too, he will go up and stick his paw into the water and pull the bowl foward a bit, then he will readjust himself to take a drink.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
That behavior is another one that Sasha does. Just as you describe. We speculate that he likes to create the impression of flowing water.

Aren't most cats intrigued by moving water?
post #4 of 13
Your description of his "stance" reminds me of documentary videos of large cats going down to water holes to drink (lions, leopards, cheetahs, etc). Maybe, because he was out on his own for a while he also knows what all wild cats know, this is a period of time that be may be a bit defenseless?

As for cats and water. I think they're also fascinated with what sort of watery mess they can leave for us - puddles to slip in, soggy toys, tipped over glasses, water glasses tipped out on your head while you're sleeping, and so on. One of the ultimate pranks on us humans.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Your description of his "stance" reminds me of documentary videos of large cats going down to water holes to drink (lions, leopards, cheetahs, etc).
I believe your answer has merit. My cat thinks he is a large African cat. One of his favorite play games we call "wildebeast of the Seringeti". He lies in wait under the foliage of some potted plants. When I walk past he springs at me always batting me right across the Achilles tendon. When I'm in the mood, I fall to the floor and bleat like a wounded widebeast. He is yet to try and finish off his prey.
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by diggerled View Post
My cat thinks he is a large African cat. One of his favorite play games we call "wildebeast of the Seringeti". He lies in wait under the foliage of some potted plants. When I walk past he springs at me always batting me right across the Achilles tendon. When I'm in the mood, I fall to the floor and bleat like a wounded widebeast. He is yet to try and finish off his prey.
Yeah. It reminds me our plays when our older cat was younger and alone cat. We often played Big Dangerous Monster Chasing Poor Muskis. He fled, me after. After a while he took stand and gave battle. Usually by juming on something and try to wack me in the face with his paw. (always soft paw, I never get scratched. I do also bear glasses,). Astonishing. A homebred cat in maaany generations, and yet he knows how he must fight back if he is attacked by an enemy much bigger then he...
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by diggerled View Post
He then scratches the tile floor a few times before finally taking his drink.
It's the scratching the floor part that is most puzzling. Six scratch strokes, three each paw.
post #8 of 13
OK, I don't actually think this, but I'm throwing it out there.... maybe he is "un-burying" his water hole?

Our kitties free feed on dry food, but every evening we give them a meal of wet food. Every night, Shelly paws over the bowl (often flipping it over) to "bury" it when he's done. He then proceeds to "bury" all the food bowls. For a while, as a kitten, he would paw around the dry food dishes - both before eating and after. I always thought he was "un-burying" the food to eat it, and then "re-burying" it.

Laurie
post #9 of 13
Interesting suggestion, Laurie.

And why not? We KNOW they are supposed to bury the left-overs. Or food they dont want now, but is too good to lose.

So they must have also some instinct for unburying it, for digging it out. They must.
post #10 of 13
i've heard there's both some vestigal primal stuff going on, plus some physical aspect: the digging (like burying food) is some leftover instinct to dig for water, and moving the bowl or sticking paws in the water is because cat's have a hard time seeing where the water's surface, so they get it moving to know where to stick their face. if you've ever heard that little sneeze when drinking you know they often dive in too far at first!
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Sasha does the bury thing all the time. Mostly things he would never eat (including wet cat food). Yes, my cat will not eat wet catfood. This floor scratching is rythmic. It's more of a dance.
post #12 of 13
Libby scratches the bed before she lays down.. I know dogs do that... Libby is my 1st cat.
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by merindah View Post
Libby scratches the bed before she lays down.. I know dogs do that... Libby is my 1st cat.
She's making a nest. Shelly does that too. He also "digs" in the sink. He loves the bathroom sink, because it's rounded, so he can just go at it - like a person on a treadmill.

Diggerled, you're going to have to post a video of your kitty doing this! It sounds too cute!

Laurie
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