6 Things My Cats Do in Secret When I’m Not Home


Cats can be pretty predictable. They eat, play, groom themselves and sleep … and boy do they sleep. Did you know that cats sleep an average of 12 to 16 hours a day? No surprise, right? So when we’re not home, chances are they’re crashed somewhere sawing logs until we come home to fill their food dishes.

I have some other, more unconventional ideas, though. Stay with me. I think cats do way more that sleep when we leave them at home. They’re smart and resourceful, so why wouldn’t they take advantage of “When the humans are away, the cats will play” scenarios? They totally would — at least my cats would.

Here are six secret ways I think my cats spend their alone time.

1. Copying their butts

The beginning of the end.
The beginning of the end.

It’s such a cliché office party maneuver for humans, but I believe my cats would get their kicks by copying their butts on my printer. Hey, they’re quirky little suckers! The only thing that I wonder is whether they sniff each other’s butt copies. I like to think they do. Again with the quirky.

2. Playing the ukulele

Cosmo's getting ready to tiptoe through the tulips.
Cosmo’s getting ready to tiptoe through the tulips.

No wonder my cats don’t like to get their nails trimmed — it’d mess up their ukulele mojo. They don’t need no stinkin’ pick. While I’m away from home, my cats are all about jamming on the uke. I’m fairly confident that Cosmo enjoys the likes of Tiny Tim, while Phoebe’s more into the Zooey Deschanel vibe.

3. Getting smart

"I have 'bestseller' written all over me."
“I have ‘bestseller’ written all over me.”

I have quite a few books lining my shelves, and I’m sure one of the reasons my cats outsmart me at every turn is because they study up when they’re alone in the apartment. I have several books about writing and publishing, so I’m fully expecting one of my kitties to suddenly have a book deal. How cool would it be if my cats supported me? Well, I write about cats for a living, so I suppose they sorta do that already.

4. Order food

"Cheeseburger with extra cheese ... and extra burger."
“Cheeseburger with extra cheese … and extra burger.”

My cats are ready to eat any time of day. They get super excited about chow, and I have to say I don’t blame them one bit. I’m also a huge fan of throwing back some noms. I know my cats have seen me order food delivery and then taken note when the delivery person showed up at my door. If I had magic powers, I’d probably have seen a light bulb flicker above their heads when they did the math: Go online, order food, and then wait for it to be delivered to you. I don’t know why they’d think it’s such a big deal because their food gets delivered to them at every meal … but not cheeseburgers. Remind me to change my passwords.

5. Inviting friends over

The rainbow unicorn was known for her nonstop gossip.
The rainbow unicorn was known for her nonstop gossip.

Most human kids love to invite friends over — especially when their parents aren’t home. They can explore the freedom of listening to loud music and raiding the refrigerator without anyone on their backs. At least that’s what I remember doing when I was a teen. I’m sure my cats have an open-door policy with their buddies when I’m not home. They might even have parties and believe that I’m none the wiser. Come to think of it, I did notice some catnip puke on the floor last week, and there were claw marks on my ukulele. Hmm.

6. Play games

"I win."
“I win.”

Cats love anything with small pieces that they can easily swat — this is why they love board games. When humans play board games, kitties can’t cut loose and go after dice and small plastic houses. When left on their own, my cats would be all over board games, except they’d — of course — play by their own rules. There would be no order of play; everyone would go at the same time, and they’d all eventually win because all the game pieces would be batted underneath furniture and appliances.

What secret things do you think your cats do when you’re not home? Tell us in the comments!

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