Don't be offended if your cat scratches your brand-new couch to shreds. She's just following the way of her ancestors.
Turns out there are some fascinating reasons behind cats' most irksome and strange behaviors, from purring to kneading to shredding a roll of toilet paper with their claws, as explained by veterinarian and "cat guru" Dr. Tony Buffington in the animated TED-Ed video above.
Scratching, in particular, was a way for cats of the past to keep their claws sharp for self defense and hunting, Buffington says. Scratching continues to help modern cats relieve stress while also stretching their back and leg muscles. It may also be an evolutionary behavior for cats to mark their territory both outdoors and in, the Humane Society notes.
If your cat is scratching too much, the Humane Society recommends covering valuable surfaces with unappealing materials like sticky tape or aluminum foil. Install a scratching post in a convenient location for your cat, rub it with some catnip, and train your little friend that this is the place to scratch.
Purr-fect! Watch the video above for more explanations behind cats' strange behaviors, including why they love to view a room from above, hide in unusually tight spots and reach into teensy-tiny cracks in your underwear drawer.