Cats know they’re adorable and we know our cats are adorable, but some particularly aww-inducing moments stand out from the millions in their purr-fect nine lives. Here are the 15 most adorable cat behaviors pet parents can appreciate:
“Pick me, pick me”
When you’re looking to adopt a certain kind of cat, without fail, an unexpected feline decides to make you her choice, reaching a paw through a cage to latch onto you as if she’ll never let go. Alternative scenarios include the long pitiful, “Pick me, pleeease!” meow, or the eye-lock-slash-arched back-slash-curled tail that says, “What took you so long?” It’s the first adorable moment you share with your cat.
Power of the purr
The magical sound and gentle thrumming beneath our fingertips is one of the world’s great wonders. Mom cats purr to let their offspring know they’re nearby (along with dinner), while adult cats purr to show contentment (or occasionally fear at the vet). No matter how many times you experience it, feeling a warm bundle of purr on one’s lap and hearing the soft rhythm under a furry tummy is a surefire cure for stress.
The first meow
New kittens can prompt an automatic “awwww,” but seeing their little pink rosebud mouths open and hearing that first squeak of a meow as the precious fur baby makes his voice heard instantly melts the sternest heart.
If you ever see a momma cat’s facial expression towards her babies, radiating the purest love, and you’ll automatically smile at this most precious sight. She’s endured the lonely labor of bringing her kittens into the world, where their future is uncertain, but now her heart shines as she devotes her whole being to keeping her kittens safe, warm and loved.
The cat in the hat
The always-adorable image of a cat in holiday attire knows no season. We can’t resist the perfect feline chapeau, even if the cat is less than thrilled to pose for posterity while wearing a cute, sparkly, funny or classic topper. We squeal our delight, but be warned, cats are patiently plotting, imagining how adorable we might look in a hilarious hat!
Sinking about it
Even though there’s an entire website devoted to this feline phenomenon, nothing can match the sight of your own cat nestled in the sink. She’s enjoying the cool tile, the comfortable, cat-customized shape that nicely fits her bod. So what if she’s got a plush cat bed in the next room? Right now she’s basking in your joy at her sink antics.
Can I See this in a kitten heel?
Ah, the special shoebox appeal for kitties of all sizes. In general, boxes are a cat favorite, but a shoebox equals bliss. Take a look at a hefty tabby wedged into a Nike box or a clutch of kittens enjoying the secure feel of a space just their size and your smile muscles will get a major workout.
Mirror, mirror on the wall
A cat’s first glimpse of his own furry face in the mirror is a priceless moment. He’s not sure why that handsome fellow is staring right at him, with the same beautiful markings and imitating every flick of the whiskers. How mesmerizing to know there’s another feline whose beauty and sass match his own.
Tale of the tail
When a cat or kitten chases his tail, it’s a blur of amusing motion, whirling like a small fur tornado. Dogs chase their tails, too, but seem confused by this anatomical challenge. Cats have no such dilemma: when they decide to nab their tail, they’ll give it a good washing before releasing it again, the ultimate DIY plaything.
Give a cat some catnip and wait for the show to begin. Stuffed into a fabric mouse or mini pillow, or sprinkled generously on a scratcher, catnip brings out that inner kitten. First there’s that almost-desperate grab to paw up a full share, followed by playful acrobatics around the room or a dose of sacked-out serenity—like some of us after an ice cream binge—that follows a catnip encounter. Grow some fresh cat grass on a sunny windowsill to guarantee a moment of adorability whenever needed.
Is that a mini-me?
Whether it’s a plush version of Grumpy Cat or a generic stuffed kitten, seeing a cat’s encounter with a toy kitty is a gem. The careful inspection from all sides, a gentle touch with a paw before scampering off, and then stare at the newcomer, sniffing to check for the enemy scent. She may grab this new playmate and wrestle or snuggle it as a special pillow, which may be adorable but still can’t compare with the real deal.
Cat at the window
A long workday or a busy weekend of shopping leaves you longing to just get home and relax, and someone else agrees. What’s a cozier, more-welcoming sign of homecoming than your cat perched on the windowsill, whiskers pressed against the glass? Even if she’s been scanning the sky for birds or spying on the neighbors, your arrival home is the day’s highlight.
A little night reading
Any bookshelf gets an upgrade with a furry feline bookend or two. Cats nestle next to books (even badly-written ones) as if they’re recommending the next title for a book club choice and look like literary scholars just before they knock the entire stack to the floor.
Curled in that new comforter
Luxuriating in the feel of soft fiber and the knowledge that it’s your bed, a cat curling into a circle of warmth prompts an instant smile, even if the price tag is still on that comforter. Perhaps your cat believes you’ve chosen that colorful print to complement her own coat or perhaps she’s just agreeing with you that a new blanket is worthy of a happy cuddle, complete with a christening of cat hair.
“Look, I’m flying!”
It’s the feline version of totally chilling: cats lie on their backs, paws extended front and rear, still as a statue. Your dog may strike the same pose when he shamelessly rolls and begs for a belly-rub, but cats are merely showing off their relaxed aviator vibe as they indulge in a feline daydream or two.
Kathy Blumenstock is owned by cats, loved by dogs, writes about both, and still longs for a horse.