Catster logo

Why Are Cats So Curious? 7 Possible Reasons for This Behavior

cream tabby ginger maine coon cat playing with lawn_Nils Jacobi_shutterstock
Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock
Last Updated on November 28, 2023 by Catster Editorial Team

If you have a cat, you’ve probably noticed that they always tend to be underfoot. If we open any doors, bring in any groceries, or go upstairs, our cats are sure to follow to see what we are doing and what we’ve brought home. They are often digging in our bags or climbing into boxes. If you try to wrap gifts or make the bed, they’re sure to sit right in the way to prevent you from completing your task. If you are interested in why your cat exhibits this endlessly curious behavior, keep reading while we list several reasons that could be behind it.

cat face divider 2

The 7 Possible Reasons Why Cats Are So Curious

1. They Are Intelligent

Your cat might be extra curious because curiosity is a natural result of being intelligent. Cats can learn to understand several words, and you can train them to perform several tricks, though they are often not as motivated to learn as dogs. They’re intelligent enough to communicate their needs to others in their environment, including humans, cats, and dogs. Your cat may simply be trying to learn and retrieve information about their surroundings when they are curious.

2. They Are Territorial

Cats are extremely territorial and spend much of their day sitting in a spot that gives them a clear view over their domain. If they can’t see it all from one position, they will switch places throughout the day to give each section adequate surveillance. There is a good chance that the reason your cat is so nosy is that you are moving about or bringing new items into their territory, and they want to inspect the situation so they know what is happening in their kingdom.

3. They Are Hunting

A cat hunting in the grass
Image Credit: SJ Duran, Shutterstock

If you are wondering why your cat is sneaking around behind your television, in your closet, or behind the sofa, you may be witnessing the emergence of their primal instinct to hunt for food.

In the wild, cats eat several small meals a day and will need to search every nook and cranny for anything that they might be able to find. The area behind your television would make a perfect hiding spot for a mouse, and your cat knows it.

4. They Are Seeking Cover

Another reason your cat might be exploring out-of-the-way places is that they are looking for a hideout place. If you have more than one cat, your cat will likely look for a spot to get away for a few hours at a time. Cats also play by chasing each other around the home, so your cat could be looking for places to hide later. Cats like to wait in a hidden location until the perfect time to jump out at you, which could be what your cat is looking to find.

5. They Are Looking For Attention

Cats often like to be underfoot because they are looking for attention. If you’ve spent the day shopping or even if your cat has been asleep for a few hours, you may find them rubbing up against your legs. It’s most likely because they are happy to see you and are looking for some attention. Cats that want you to pet them will often jump on your lap, try to get on your keyboard, and generally be a nuisance.

6. They Are Hungry

curious cat inspecting fresh ripe pears
Image Credit: Nailia Schwarz, Shutterstock

If your cat is following you around, rubbing on your legs even after you pet them, there is a good chance your pet is looking for food or a treat. If you gave your cat a treat around this time yesterday, there is a good chance they are looking for a repeat occurrence. Cats learn how to manipulate you into giving them food pretty quickly.

7. They Are Learning About Us

We all love our pets, but we rarely consider how much they love us back. There is a good chance that your cat is curious about what you are doing because they are trying to learn more about you. If they have fun being with you and enjoy spending time together, they are probably looking for more. It makes sense that since you spend so much time inside your cat’s territory, they want to learn more about you.

cat + line divider


While no one can be sure what goes on in your cat’s mind, there is a good chance one or more of theses reasons is at least partly behind your cat’s curiosity. We’ve found cats are quite often looking for food when they are under our feet and rubbing up against our legs. If they are hopping on our lap and stepping on our keyboard, they want to be pet, and if they are rustling behind the television, they are playing hunting. We recommend monitoring your cat for a few weeks and writing down what you notice to see if you come to the same conclusions.

We hope you have enjoyed reading about these reasons and have learned something new about your pet. If you agree with this list, please share these seven reasons your cat is so curious on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Author

Christian Adams
Christian Adams
Christian is the Editor-in-Chief of Excited Cats and one of its original and primary contributors. A lifelong cat lover, now based in South East Asia, Christian and his wife are the proud parents of an 11-year-old son and four rescue cats: Trixie, Chloe, Sparky, and Chopper.

Get Catster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.


Follow Us

Shopping Cart