Who doesn’t find it irresistible when their cat lies on their again? It’s certainly an indication of being extremely calm and relaxed round you, proper? It’s additionally extraordinarily cute. But, once you resolve to attempt to rub their stomach, you typically get the wrath and rage of all cats in historical past. So why do cats lay on their backs?

Imagine it or not, a cat mendacity on its back might point out a few belongings you may not anticipate. Lots of the way to interpret this includes taking a look at what different elements of the physique are doing. The tail, facial features, and legs all play a job in expressing your cat’s feelings.

Sure, physique language could be very a lot a cat factor and part of lots of the top cat behaviors. Like most of its postures, mendacity on its again can relate to many moods and intentions. Play, relaxation, agitation, and even estrus can all play an element.

So let’s dig into why cats lay on their backs, and maybe we will demystify these stunning creatures a bit of bit extra within the course of. We’ll additionally most likely be capable to stop you from sustaining an undesirable scratch, chew, or everlasting curse.

silver tabby cat on back with paws up

Picture by Milada Vigerova from Pixabay 

Why do Cats Lay on their Backs? 7 Causes

1. Belief

The scenario most of us need to really feel and consider is that your cat trusts you. Simply often, when a cat is on its again, this is likely to be the case. However be certain that to watch the opposite indicators. In case your cat is taking a look at you calmly, and its tail isn’t flicking, take it as a optimistic.

Now, it’s time to watch out about your strategy. A tough, quick, and erratic soar in the direction of its stomach isn’t going to do you any favors. Greater than doubtless, it might startle the cat, and it’ll instantly react accordingly, leaping up, or worse, scratching and biting you.

As a substitute, strategy calmly, and look ahead to indicators of tail-flicking. A cat’s temper can change immediately from trustful to agitated. In case your cat does permit for a stomach rub, don’t assume it could actually go on without end. 

black siberian cat lying on its back

2. Play (or Mischief)

A cat who’s within the temper for play or mischief is as onerous to withstand as another. All of the sudden it flops down in entrance of you, eyes locked on yours, tail twitching, and smooth meows or purrs emanating from its mouth.

The temptation is to strategy along with your palms. And that might be a mistake. Your cat is trying to play, and it all the time performs with claws and teeth. Save your palms and spend money on a wand toy or one thing comparable. 

Your cat will probably be completely satisfied to expend its power on making an attempt to catch the “mouse” or “fish” on the finish of the string. Instead, some stuffed smooth toys might also be appropriate. Normally, a catnip-infused stuffed toy merchandise of some kind will suffice. 

As a bonus, it can burn off extra power, permitting for a potential cuddle in a while with none stressed issues. 


Picture by Jim Black from Pixabay 

3. Happiness

Occasionally, your cat will probably be lying or sleeping on its again simply because it’s content material. Take this as an indication that you’ve created a cushty and protected house inside your own home. Cats can sleep a very long time — as much as 15 hours a day. So why not let it’s content material in its deepest Z-time?

Often, the cat might sleep in a ray of sunshine, opening its stomach for heat or permitting itself to chill. Even we as people can recognize a heat stomach or a cooler stomach on a sizzling day. Additionally, remember the fact that a cat’s paws do help with cooling, so if its paws are within the air as nicely, likelihood is it’s simply feeling nice!

tabby siberian cat lying on its back on a couch

4. Agitation

Along with mendacity on its again in order that it could actually use all 4 claws, agitated cats will present centered, dilated eyes staring at you and flattened ears. Don’t strategy, particularly if the cat is growling or moaning as nicely. As onerous as it’s to train a cat not to bite, will probably be even tougher if the cat is in a state of tension.

Agitation may be learn as aggression in some circumstances. In case your cat’s eyes are fastened on you, go away the room, or attempt to divert its consideration in the direction of one thing else. On the very least, attempt to point out that you just’re not considering interacting.

why do cats lay on their backs tortoiseshell cat on back

Picture by ivabalk from Pixabay 

5. Estrus

Firstly, in case your cat has been spayed, this is not going to be an element. Unspayed feminine cats who come into their heat cycle will generally present a readiness to mate by falling onto their backs. That is often accompanied by different indicators as nicely.

The cat will vocalize with loud, long wailing. It will occur particularly when male cats are within the neighborhood. Your cat will appear to need to go away the home extra intently as nicely. On the opposite aspect of the coin, chances are you’ll end up internet hosting just a few male cat guests.

On your half, it’s price realizing that your cat is not going to need to be touched on the abdomen (or in any respect) throughout this time. With its hormones working rampant, your cat is a bit of unpredictable and delicate presently. Extra doubtless than not, making an attempt to work together together with her bodily will end in a claw and tooth-based response.

lynx point siamese on its back

6. Defensive Posture

Should you’ve ever seen two cats play, you’ll know the way one generally lays down on its again whereas “ready” for the opposite to attack. This can be a defensive posture {that a} cat will generally make use of as a tactic. It could even accomplish that if it has encountered a stranger, cat, or dog.

Whereas it feigns a submissive posture, in actuality, it might be difficult to lure an unwitting sufferer to its doom. Don’t fall for it. As soon as once more, the cat will appear alert, and its tail will probably be twitching (most likely). It is going to appear able to pounce, though it’s on its again.

This posture presents a number of benefits for the cat in query. For one factor, it has entry to all its paws’ weapons. It might probably drag its opponent down by grabbing it. On the identical time, its deadly again paws will kick out and scratch. 

On that be aware, new house owners must be conscious {that a} cat’s again paws are extraordinarily harmful. Historically, wild cats would use these to tear open a prey’s chest or stomach because it held on with its entrance legs. 

ginger cat in hammock
ginger cat in hammock

Picture by Dorothe from Pixabay 

7. Simply Resting

Let’s develop a bit of on the sleeping cat on its again. Although barely uncommon, it has been identified to occur, and it’s lovely. When this occurs, movie a video along with your cellphone, and watch the YouTube hits roll in. 

Cats do are likely to attempt a lot of positions to sleep in. On its again appears nearly as good a posture as another, and why not? The tail will probably be nonetheless, the eyes closed, and its respiration mild. 

No matter you do, don’t disrupt the cat nap. Nobody desires a superb sleep to be rudely interrupted. In addition to, a defensive intuition will doubtless kick in whether it is startled, and your palms will undergo the implications. As talked about, simply take the video. And check out to not make any noise within the course of.

lynx point siamese on back with paws up

Not All Cats Wish to Lie on Their Backs

With all the above being mentioned, it’s price noting that the majority cats is not going to take pleasure in an extended relaxation on their again for the enjoyment of it. Cats usually discover it uncomfortable, and it gives a vulnerability, as its stomach is taken into account a weak level.

Its wild ancestry usually seeks to guard its stomach. Furthermore, the alert nature of a cat signifies that will probably be much less in a position to react shortly to any alarm or sudden scenario. Cats will generally sleep in a curled place, on their bellies, sitting sphynx-like, and so forth. For a full rationalization of many of those positions, see this text about sleeping cat positions.

ginger cat lying on its back

Picture by Serge Jové from Pixabay 


With the understanding that cats lay on their backs for a number of causes, your palms and different physique elements could also be safer. The important thing to realizing when it’s protected to play along with your cat on this place is by taking a look at all the opposite indicators that accompany the posture.

Normally, a flicking tail, dilated pupils, and eyes fastened on you’re unhealthy indicators. This implies they’re able to pounce, whether or not by way of agitation or playfulness. Whichever the case, it’s all the time safer to err on the aspect of warning in terms of your palms and your kitty’s claws and enamel. Put money into some good toys and keep away from the query altogether. 

Bengal cat laying down on its back.

This why do cats lay on their again publish might comprise affiliate hyperlinks. Meaning if you happen to click on by way of and make a purchase order I’ll most definitely obtain a small fee. This gained’t have an effect on the value you pay. Simply needed to be sure to knew.

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