Is Your Pet Behaving Bizarrely?


Pet owners have revealed some of the weirdest things their furry companions have done – including sitting in the toilet bowl, trying to eat candles and walking backwards, according to new research.

The study of 2,000 cat and dog owners, commissioned by, also found our four-legged friends have been caught barking at nothing, eating mud and even trying to ‘dance’.

Acting like a human, trying to do a forward roll, sleeping in an empty bathtub and even sucking on a baby’s dummy were also among some of the unusual behaviours cited.

But while animals acting up is seen as funny by many (48 per cent) pet owners, psychic astrologer Jessica Adams believes their strange behaviour could be down to a timely astrological phenomenon known as Mercury in retrograde.

She said: “Pets can do all sorts of unusual things and a lot of the time we, as humans, can find it thoroughly entertaining. It’s what makes our pets so loveable.

“However, their quirky goings on might be down to more than just a ‘funny five minutes’ – as it could be due to something called Mercury in retrograde.

“Mercury is the planet that actually rules pets. When it appears to go backwards and forwards, moving in peculiar ways, so does life in general – according to your horoscope. This is what’s known as Mercury Retrograde. And animals also get affected.

“In 2020 we have Mercury Retrograde, and Mercury Petrograde, three times; February and March. June and July. October and November.

“So, if you think your pet’s behaving strangely, the answer is in the stars – with astrology at play.”

The study also found that a fifth (20%) of those polled agreed their pet’s behaviour is unpredictable, with them doing something ‘out of character’ twice a week, on average.

In fact, 23 per cent have even noticed their furry friend acting more unusually than normal during certain times of the year – with 42% citing that snow sends them doolally.

More than a quarter said their cat or dog acts oddly on their OWN birthday (27%) – with an equal percentage saying they behave bizarrely on a human birthday (28%).

Nearly a third believe their four-legged friends have acted more strangely with age (31%), although 32 per cent believe it’s actually all down to Mercury in retrograde.

And two-thirds said their cats and dogs have a ‘sixth sense’ when it comes to mood changes in the atmosphere (66%).

Tiredness, hunger and stress are also among factors which pet owners believe are contributing to their animal’s unusual antics, along with loneliness, excitement, spending time in different locations or even something they’ve eaten.

Unsurprisingly, 23 per cent have even taken their pet to the vets because of quirky behaviour.

Yet, worryingly, just one in 10 believe fleas are a cause of animal antics which are out of the norm (11%), and a third were unaware fleas and worms can affect their pet’s behaviour (32%).

Charlotte Harper, co-founder at pet wellbeing specialist,, said: “We love our pets regardless of their weird and wonderful behaviour and celebrate everything about them – from the good, the bad and the ugly.

“But whether unusual antics are in the stars or not, it’s incredibly important to regularly check your pet for fleas and worms, as behavioural differences can also be down to their health and something they aren’t able to tell you about. Which is why we recommend treating your pet for fleas every month and being sure to worm them quarterly.”

Top 30 weirdest things dogs and cats have done:

  1. Had a ‘mad half hour’ – such as running or darting crazily around the house
  2. Tried to catch flies
  3. Taken food out their owner’s hand
  4. Chased their own tail
  5. Tried to catch a flying bird
  6. Head-butted their owner
  7. Chased a leaf
  8. Stood up on hind legs / sat on hind legs like a human
  9. Howled / barked at the TV
  10. Howled / barked at nothing
  11. Drank out of a mug
  12. Climbed into a carrier bag
  13. Bitten their own tail
  14. Tried to ‘talk’
  15. Deliberately done things their owner has told them not to
  16. Barked at blank space
  17. Slept on their owner’s face
  18. Carried around a log
  19. Walked into a window / glass door
  20. Jumped on the TV
  21. Bitten at their owner’s hair as if it were another animal
  22. Dug at a hard floor
  23. Barked at themselves in the mirror
  24. Sat in the sink / bath with the tap running
  25. Refused to let other animals / people near their owner
  26. Howled / sang along to a song
  27. Barked at the phone
  28. Cat barked
  29. Eaten mud
  30. Ran backwards

Has your pet done any of these strange things? Let us know in the comments!



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4 thoughts on “Is Your Pet Behaving Bizarrely?

  1. William says:

    One morning, I was playing with my cat Charlie in the hallway. I was pulling her toy spider on a string backwards & forwards, and when she was just about to pounce, I moved out of her way. As I moved backwards, I made her jump, and she ran up the hallway on her front legs, with her back legs up in the air. I almost fell over with laughter, I laughed so much that I cried, and could not explain why I was laughing for ages, because every time I tried to explain, I burst into fits of laugher again. Charlie did not speak to me, or come near me for three days, and that was only after I had apologised.

  2. Rohvannyn says:

    Funny. 🙂 I did notice that about half the things on that list aren’t odd at all. Like chasing a flying bird or a leaf? Normal. Drinking out of a mug (or anywhere there’s water?) Normal. Trying to act like a human? NORMAL. If you’re a cat! Now… in my house… the humans also act like cats…

  3. retrodee says:

    My Holly used to chase her own tag on her collar when she saw it from the corner of her eye! She’d also chase the reflection it made. She doesn’t do that anymore, but was funny! 😀

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