Outdoor cat keeps grooming herself when I bring her inside for a while - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-15-2015, 03:06 AM Thread Starter
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Outdoor cat keeps grooming herself when I bring her inside for a while

Hi,

Can someone please explain the meaning of this cat's behavior to me? She'a female calico (tortoiseshell) we picked up from the street (there are plenty of strays here--she was just a kitten when we got her), most probably mixed breed. She's a little less than a year old.

She's an outdoor cat, just like the rest of our cats here (I live with my parents and my dad hates cats--it's a miracle he lets me keep so many outside the house) but we sometimes like to take her inside for a half hour or so. I usually bring her to my room where she does the following:

--rubs her face on my legs over and over
--meows semi-constantly (she stops after the first 15 or so minute)
--grooms herself practically the whole time (it's like she can't keep still: she goes to my bed and licks herself all over, then moves to my floor where she grooms herself again, then back to my bed where she licks herself again, and so on)
--after 20 minutes or so she lies down next to me on the bed and falls asleep, but she only sleeps for about 15-20 minutes (unless I fall asleep and wake up to find her sleeping next to me)

Sometimes, I give her my stuffed wolf (smaller size than her), which she plays with (kicking with her back feet, biting, licking).

Is the meowing some sort of clue that she wants out? Does she groom herself because she doesn't like the fact that a scent that isn't hers has stuck to her fur? Is she comfortable in any way in my room (this is the only place I let her loose because my dad would have a fit)?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-15-2015, 03:54 AM
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If she is sleeping by you she is probably comfortable in the room

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-16-2015, 12:58 PM
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I agree with Catlover, she feel safe to relax and give herself a good thorough bath to get the dirt from living outside off. She knows no one is going to hurt her while she is distracted and cleans herself up.

I'd say the cat nap is a habit she formed outside. She isn't safe to fall into a deep prolonged sleep so she wakes up frequently to check her surroundings.

She knows the door leads in and out. She'd paw at and beg to leave when she wants to go.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-21-2015, 07:24 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone. I'm glad to hear none of it means she feels distressed. She always slips into the house when someone opens the door and runs directly up to my room, so I guess she does like being inside. I can't wait for the time I can have a place of my own and let her run free inside.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-21-2015, 07:35 AM
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When cats groom themselves they are more than likely relaxed and comfortable. Aside from my 2 cents worth - catloverami summed it up purr-fectly!

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-18-2015, 01:23 PM
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I agree. A cat's routine is: hunt-eat-wash-sleep. I've noticed that when my house cats or strays are feeling happy with a tummy full of yummy food and are feeling particularly safe because I'm around, and neither too hot nor too cold, and sitting on something comfy, what they'll usually do is start grooming enthusiastically. It tells me they're feeling great, with all their needs satisfied.

I recently adopted a stray and I love how her self-esteem has improved, it shows in the way she grooms herself so carefully and pedantically.

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