What Does It Mean When Cats Lie On Their Backs?
13 November, 2017
cat lying on back

Some cats purr a lot while others just do so occasionally. Similarly, some cats lie on their back exposing their bellies to you, while others rarely do so.  Usually, a cat exposing his or her belly to you means they have the utmost trust in you.

There are some other reasons a cat lies on his back.

Your cat is happy and in a good mood

When a cat is lying on her back and her belly is visible, she’s probably communicating to you that she’s feeling totally happy, relaxed and content. She’s in good spirits, and all is fine and dandy in the world — at least for the moment, of course!

Trust and vulnerability 

Apart from just showing pure happiness, a cat lying on her back and showing off her tummy is also displaying a very submissive and vulnerable behavior. If your cat is willing to be this vulnerable to you, it usually means she trusts and feels safe around you. She knows that you’re not going to do anything to harm her.  Think about it! A cat showing her belly is in no way prepared to properly protect herself and handle a predator attack.  If your cat’s legs are spread apart, that is super-trust!

Your kitty is ready to play

A cat will also lie on her back because she is a playful mood.  I know my kitty does this…lying on the back can point to a playful, lighthearted mode in felines. If your little one all of sudden turns over onto her back, it may be a request for you to take out her special catnip filled mouse, so she can fetch it!  Your kitty is ready to play!

Vocalization can help determine your kitty’s mood

Vocalization may be able to provide a hint regarding what your cat’s belly exposure may mean.  A growling cat on her back can even mean preparation to attack.  And, of course, a purring feline on her back may actually be asking for you to stroke her tummy.  Not all purring cats appreciate tummy strokes when in this position.

If your cat is simply napping or chilling and you interrupt her relaxed state by touching her belly, she might react by biting or scratching you!   You will get to know your cat’s moods and but always approach your cat cautiously when figuring it out.

However, if your cat’s meowing seems excessive, it can be indicative of a health- related issue and should be taken to the vet.  It’s times like these, that you will be glad that you are covered by pet insurance.

Your kitty might even feel threatened

If your kitty is on her back with flattened ears or dilated pupils, this means he or she feels threatened. Your cat is defensively announcing that if she has to fight, she’s ready to use all of her weapons—including those powerful hind legs and claws.

Mating time

Although a cat showing her stomach typically indicates trust and joy, it isn’t always true.  According to some research, female cats occasionally lie on their backs to show they are ready to mate. But, clearly, this is only in a certain point in your cat’s lives.

Every cat is different and you will learn exactly why your cat lies on his or her back as you get to know them better!  If you are worried that your cat is acting aggressively than it might be a good idea to consult a pet behaviorist which is covered by pet insurance companies like Healthy Paws.

Other related articles:

Why Cats Knock Things Off Tables

Why Does Your Cat Head Butt You ?

Are You Your Cat’s Favorite?


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