Why do Some Cats Seem Dumb? Stupid Acts Explained!

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Why is my cat so stupid

Have you ever seen your cat engaging in what seems like a dumb action and wondered what’s going on? Cats, with their curious and quirky ways, often leave us both amused and baffled.

Their behaviors, ranging from the hilariously stupid to the endearingly odd, can be a source of endless entertainment and sometimes, mild frustration.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the quirky things cats do and discover the reasons behind them. So, the next time your cat does something odd, you’ll have a clue about what’s going on in their furry little head!

Key Takeaways

  1. Cats bringing prey home or knocking items over are displaying natural hunting instincts and curiosity.
  2. Urinating outside the litter box often indicates health issues or discomfort with their environment, not low intelligence.
  3. Cats’ biting and scratching can signal playfulness, stress, or a need for more interaction, and aren’t necessarily aggressive behaviors.
  4. Humping in cats, while possibly surprising, is a natural behavior influenced by factors like excitement, stress, or hormonal changes.

1. Gifting You Small Animals and Insects

Gifts are nice, but not when they come from your cat.

Cats, driven by their hunting instinct, naturally chase prey and often present their catch to you, seeing you as part of their family.

This gesture is a teaching moment, particularly common in neutered female cats, who exhibit this behavior as an innate way to pass on essential survival skills.

Also, according to one study, cats in the United States kill 1.3 and 4.0 billion birds annually.

However, despite the good intent behind their actions, you shouldn’t tolerate this behavior. That’s because your cat may bring up sick rodents, which can harm you or your family. As a result, here’s what I recommend doing to eliminate this behavior:


  • Immediate Removal of Prey: When your cat brings prey, promptly and calmly remove it without showing strong reactions. Overreacting can encourage this behavior.
  • Safe Outdoor Enclosures: If your cat goes outdoors, consider providing a safe, enclosed outdoor space (like a cat patio or ‘catio’) where they can’t hunt.
  • Close Supervision During Peak Hours: Keep a closer watch on your cat during early morning or evening hours when their hunting instincts are strongest, possibly restricting outdoor access during these times.
  • Discourage the Behavior: Gently discourage your cat when they show hunting behavior or attempts to bring prey inside. Consistently doing this can help reduce the behavior over time.

2. Biting/Scratching Your Hands and Feet

Cat chewing on stuff

Cats bite and scratch for various reasons, including play, hunger, or as a defense when they feel threatened or anxious. These behaviors can also stem from stress due to changes in their environment, the presence of new people or pets, or discomfort from loud noises and travel.

Additionally, cats may react with biting or scratching if they feel overstimulated or disturbed during relaxation. It’s important to recognize that each cat’s tolerance for affection differs; some may welcome constant petting, while others prefer less contact.

Biting and scratching aren’t always signs of distress. At times, these actions are playful gestures or even expressions of affection. For example, a content cat might gently bite their owner as a way of showing love.

However, allowing a cat to bite or scratch can pose risks, and it’s generally not advisable.


  • Observe Body Language: Learn to read your cat’s body language to understand when they are playful, scared, or overstimulated. This helps prevent unwanted biting or scratching.
  • Provide Appropriate Toys: Offer your cat suitable toys for biting and scratching. This redirects their natural instincts away from your hands and furniture.
  • Regular Playtime: Engage in regular play sessions with your cat. This satisfies their play instincts and reduces the likelihood of aggressive play with your hands.
  • Avoid Overstimulation: Be aware of your cat’s tolerance for petting and handling. Stop petting or interacting when you notice signs of irritation or overstimulation.
  • Create a Safe Environment: Ensure your cat has a calm and safe environment. Stressful surroundings can increase aggressive behaviors.

3. Knocking over your stuff

cat acting silly

I always felt confused about why cats knock things over randomly. What confused me the most was their sheer will to do that, even with the constant “Stop it!” don’t” from their owners.

I know you feel the same way, especially as a cat owner. You may find it amusing, but it can also be frustrating, especially when your favorite object gets broken. And it turned out that the answer to this mystery is quite simple.

It’s again related to their hunting instinct. Whether it’s an immobile pen lying around or a real mouse, a cat will be a cat and investigate it even when they know the difference between them.

Their curiosity won’t settle till they meddle with the object using their paws.

Mikel Delgado, a researcher, says that cats knock over objects to get you to notice them. They want your attention, and they know that by acting this way, they will get a reaction.


  • Secure Fragile Items: Keep valuable and breakable items in secure places where your cat can’t reach them. This prevents damage and keeps your cat safe from harm.
  • Provide Adequate Playtime: Engage your cat in regular play sessions. Using toys that satisfy their hunting instincts can redirect their attention away from household objects.
  • Interactive Toys: Offer a variety of interactive toys that can keep your cat entertained, reducing their interest in knocking over household items.
  • Ignore Unwanted Behavior: Avoid giving your cat attention when they knock things over. Reacting, even negatively, can reinforce the behavior. Instead, redirect their behavior to appropriate activities.

4. Urinating outside their litter box

cat avoiding dirty litter box

Cats urinating outside their litter box might seem like a ‘stupid’ behavior, but there are logical reasons behind it. Health issues, such as urinary tract infections or kidney disease, are common causes.

If health isn’t the issue, consider their environment: a dirty litter box, disliked litter types, or a box in a noisy or busy area can make them uncomfortable.

In homes with multiple cats, ensure each cat has their own litter box to avoid territorial stress.

Lastly, changes in their environment or the presence of other cats outdoors could lead to marking behavior, which is a natural, instinctive way for cats to establish territory, not a sign of ‘stupidity.’


  1. Veterinary Check-Up: First, rule out any health issues like urinary tract infections or kidney problems with a vet check-up.
  2. Clean Litter Box Regularly: Maintain cleanliness in the litter box. Cats prefer a clean environment for their bathroom needs.
  3. Suitable Litter Type: Experiment with different types of litter. Cats can be particular about the texture and scent of their litter.
  4. Multiple Litter Boxes: In multi-cat households, provide one litter box per cat, plus one extra, to reduce competition and stress.
  5. Quiet Location: Place the litter box in a quiet, low-traffic area of your home. Cats prefer a calm and private spot for their litter box.

5. Humping your arms and legs

cat biting humping their owner's hand

When your cat humps your legs or arms, it may seem odd, but this behavior is rooted in natural instincts. It’s seen in both male and female cats and is more common in those who are sexually active, usually from about 9 to 12 months old.

Even after neutering, it may take a few weeks for a cat’s hormones to stabilize, during which humping might continue. But it’s not always about mating instincts.

Cats also hump due to excitement, stress, or as part of playful behavior. It can indicate a need for more physical activity or mental stimulation.


  1. Distraction and Play: When your cat starts to hump, gently distract them with a toy or engage them in a different form of play. This redirects their energy and attention.
  2. Increased Exercise: Provide more opportunities for physical activity. Interactive toys, climbing structures, or regular play sessions can help expend excess energy that might otherwise lead to humping.
  3. Stress Reduction: Identify and reduce stressors in your cat’s environment. A calm, stable environment can minimize stress-induced behaviors like humping.
  4. Neutering or Spaying: If your cat is not yet spayed or neutered, consider this option. It can reduce the drive to exhibit mating behaviors, including humping.
  5. Consult a Veterinarian: If the behavior is excessive or sudden, consult a veterinarian to rule out any medical issues or to discuss behavior modification strategies.


Now that you know why your cat does these weird behaviors, you don’t think cats are dumb, do you? Cats are full of mystery. So, you just have to keep learning about them and choose a breed that matches your energy.

Always remember to open your heart to them, and they will do the same to you.

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