Saturday, October 20, 2012

Cat Behavior

Neither Tam nor I have seen a cat do this before: under some circumstances, typically if he is annoyed or frustrated, Huck the cat will "Mohawk" the fur along his spine.  It stands right up with the hairs at 45 degrees or so, looking like the crest along a dragon's back.

     I've seen him -- rarely -- "bottle" his tail, puffing up the fur so it looks three times its usual size; he can puff out his fur, too.  But "Mohawking" is a new one.  H'mm -- whatever's irking him doesn't rate a full threat display?

     (Rannie-Wu, Tam's cat, has picked up another nickname, from the way she eels across the desk and ever-so-delicately into my lap: Almost Two (or Too) Jaguar.  Call it semi-Aztec; and Huck's would probably have to be Ten Tiger, his strength being as the strength of ten because his heart is pure.  Greedy, but pure.)

15 comments:

NAVIGATOR said...

NORMAL CAT BEHAVIOR

ENJOY !

Mr.B said...

I have had several cats that did the whole Mohawk thing.

It's part of the "I want to look bigger and more of a threat" response.

What is irking him to trigger such a response?

Dave H said...

I've seen cats do the Mohawk display occasionally. The only time I've seen it in this house is when I brought George home, and Nicky voiced his disapproval.

Roberta X said...

Huck, pampered brat that he is, will Mohawk over things like not being allowed to poach Rannie's breakfast or dinner, or being scolded for gravity-testing small items off my dressing table.

Ruth said...

Hm, my cats will mohawk as a precursor to the full puff, occasionally the problem will resolve itself before it gets that bad so all they do is mohawk.....dogs will raise their ruff and spine hairs though for a variety of reasons not just in reaction to danger/threat, so maybe there's a similer reflex?

armedlaughing said...

Huck's a cat, of course he's greedy, by definition.
Another sometimes desirable cat behavior involves picking them up by the nape of the neck - like momma used to do - to get them to hold still.
Like when in need of shampooing after rolling in carport grease!
We call it 'kittening out'
(but they usually curse under their breath while in process)
Not recommended unless wearing leather gauntlets and apron!

gfa

Roberta X said...

Also known as "scruffing." No need to actually lift them -- in fact, lifting an adult cat that way is not recommended -- just grab a handful at the back of their neck and they will settle down, a more-or-less hardwired behavior that lets Mama carry them around when they are kittens.

BobG said...

The Siamese cat my parents had when I was in my teens used to raise her hair that way when dogs came around; it usually meant she was ready to attack them, which she would do any time they came in our yard.

Anonymous said...

Take you a big old Main Coon with 5" guard hair and 4" undercoat from ears to the tip of the tail puffing up. Goes from 18 pound cat to 60 in seconds.

On a Wing and a Whim said...

The order I'm used to is first the hackles and spine going up, tail bottling, and then the cat trying to turn broadside while arching to look even bigger. (Yowling, growling, and hissing are interchangeable all throughout the process.)

Kind of funny when you see a cat do this in response to a deer - he must have thought it was a Really Big yellow dog.

The Freeholder said...

Nothing terribly unusual; I have two that do it.

The Freeholder said...

Nothing terribly unusual; I have two that do it.

LabRat said...

Arousal/agitation. Some cats are prone to it just like some dogs are hackle-y. Doesn't necessarily need to happen under the same circumstances as the bottlebrush threat display. I've had several that did it, and I usually associated it more with aggressive feelings than fear.

armedlaughing said...

Only did that in emergencies, as with emergency shampoo!

gfa

Drang said...

Sparrowbane does the ridgeback thing; his tail also goes all bottle-y. Which he does depends on circumstances.
Ratbane does not do the ridgeback thing, and does not have enough tail to go bottle-tail. He just attacks anyway.
Ditto The Princess.