Actually it can be very useful to compare a spreadsheet to a database--as a way to understand how they are very different in design and function.
What you describe is a basic, designed behavior of how field objects function in FileMaker.
But it's not clear to me why you would want to click a field without interacting with the contents of that field (copy the value, edit it...)
So exactly what are you trying to do by clicking that field? There are a couple of ways that you can deny access to the field and then clicking the field makes that record the current record without dropping the cursor into the field, but then you have blocked any ability to edit the contents of that field so that solution may be worse than the problem.
- once I land on a cell I can't just scroll up or down a column using the up & down arrows
Try holding down the control key while pressing the up or down arrows.