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Why Do Cats Cover The Black Dot? TikTok Trend Explained

Why Do Cats Cover The Black Dot? TikTok Trend Explained

There's a new strange cat behaviour that has taken over TikTok.

There are certain cat behaviours that only cat-owners will understand. Like when they decide to wake up at 3 am to race down the hallway, their obsession with boxes and that weird chattering sound they make when they watch birds from the window. You know the one. 

But there’s another strange cat behaviour that our feline friends exhibit which has taken over TikTok: And it’s when they cover a black dot with their paw.

Over 3.3 million social media moguls have been filming their cats and kittens furiously covering pieces of paper when a black dot is drawn onto it. 

So what is the meaning behind this strange cat behaviour? Well, LADbible has enlisted the help of an animal behavioural expert to answer all our burning questions on this enigma.

Why do cats cover a black dot with their paw?

It’s no secret that cats are incredibly curious and inquisitive creatures, and that’s basically the reason why they would cover a black dot on a piece of paper with their paw. 

Behaviour manager Nicky Trevorrow at Cats Protection explains: “Cats are renowned for having a natural curiosity so when they see something new it’s understandable that they will want to investigate it.

“Cats will use different senses to figure out what something is and to gauge whether this is a prey item, a treat, or otherwise.”

Trevorrow also explained that cats have long-sightedness, and so before touching their paw to the dot, they may sniff it first. 

“It’s a little-known fact that cats are actually slightly farsighted and cannot see that well under 25cm, so when you see them leaning in with their heads, they may be trying to use their sense of smell to investigate.”

She added: “Touch is also a very important sense for cats. They may use their paws and/or whiskers which are highly sensitive. When the cat moves in for a closer look at the black dot, you can see their whiskers move forward to get a better sense and feel of what they are looking at.”

Like some of the videos in this trend that sees some cats showing little interest in the dot, Trevorrow explains: “Once they see it’s nothing exciting, edible, or threatening, they just walk away or may sometimes sit over it because it’s a convenient place to sit.”

How do I get my cat to cover the dot on paper?

Before you attempt to see whether your own cat will try this trend, consider trying to teach them a more stimulating and useful skill instead.

“We recommend putting your cat’s pawing skills to better use and teaching them to use things such as a puzzle or egg box feeder,” Trevorrow explains. 

“If you really want to catch your cat performing a thrilling behaviour, using these types of enrichment will help you achieve those results – and as a bonus, it will be highly stimulating for your cat. You can learn how to make a puzzle feeder here.”

Before you record your pet exhibiting any particular behaviour, you should make sure they’re not distressed in any way.

“As always we advise being welfare aware when producing social media videos and only filming your cat partaking in natural behaviours. Remember to think before you film and consider if you are putting your cat in a stressful situation.”

Featured Image Credit: TikTok __tobyandluna__

Topics: TikTok, Animals, Cats, Social Media