9 Common Pet Behaviors Explained


Let’s face it – at some point, we’ve all wondered why our pets behave a certain way. So, in this blog, we’ll provide explanations and insights for some of the most common pet behaviors, observed in cats, dogs and birds.


Pawing next to the food bowl

There’s differing opinions on this one. Some say it is the cat trying to bury their food, not to save it for later but to cover their tracks from predators that may be in the area. Personally, we think they are just telling us they want more!

Obsession with boxes and other small spaces

This is an instinctual behavior. In the wild, cats need to hide from predators and find nifty places to eye their prey. So what better place to do that from than a nice cozy, enclosed space (like your suitcase!). However, we think house kitties do it just for fun and games.

Going crazy in the middle of the night

There is likely a few reasons why cats decide to lose their minds and dart around the house at full speed in the middle of the night.

1. If you’ve been out of the house all day, Kitty has probably been sleeping all day and the sight of you gets him all excited and ready for play and burn off all that pent up energy.
2. If kitty were in the wild, she would be spending her nights out hunting for food. Instead she’s inside, practicing in case a poor mouse happens to stroll in to your home!
3. Your cat is a new kitten and it just has A LOT of energy.


Circling before laying down

It is believed that this is most likely and ancestral behavior, long before domestication, dogs had to sleep in the wild. Circling around helps stomp down grass or dirt to make a nice level, comfortable surface to rest on. Or they are are just chasing their tail before falling asleep for a bit of fun.

Peeing when excited

This is known as ‘Submissive Urination’. This is your dog’s way of saying that they are not a threat and that they are excited. It’s also a good indicator if your animal is anxious frightened or scared. No doubt you will be able to determine which one.

Tilting their head

Watching a dog tilt there head can be very cute and amusing, but why do they do it? There are a few possible explanations for this behavior which can include:

– Trying to listen better. When talking to you dog, you’ve probably noticed them tilt their heads, right? They may be trying to listen out for words they know like “Walk” or “Dinner”.
– Dogs can also do this as a way of trying to pinpoint the precise location of a sound.


Head snaking

When the bird moves its head from side to side in a fluid snake like motion it can show that they are excited or seeking attention. It is quite enjoyable to watch and sometimes might make you want to do it with them!

Standing on one leg

This usually indicates that your bird is totally comfortable and at ease with its surroundings. That’s why you will often see a bird sleeping on one leg – they feel safe enough to catch some shut-eye!

Wasting food

You may notice when your pet parrot is eating that it seems to be dropping more food than it is eating. It may seem wasteful, but what they are actually doing is helping everyone out (if they were in the wild of course!). By dropping bits of food on the floor they are helping ground dwellers get something to eat as well as germinate plants. Doing their part for the ecosystem!

Let us know if there are any pet behaviors you would like explained by tweeting us @activ4pets or Facebook.com/activ4pets

If you start noticing a behavior in your pet that is of concern, the best thing to do is to consult with a vet as soon as possible. If you can’t make it to the vet, check us out! – We can help you to consult with your vet via webcam and gives you access to your pet’s complete medical history all in the one place. For more information visit the Our Services section of the website.


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