Who doesn’t adore it 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 usually 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 stuff you may not count on. Plenty of learn how to interpret this entails 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 are able to demystify these lovely creatures slightly bit extra within the course of. We’ll additionally in all probability be capable of forestall you from sustaining an undesirable scratch, chunk, 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 state of affairs most of us wish to really feel and imagine is that your cat trusts you. Simply often, when a cat is on its again, this is likely to be the case. However ensure that to look at the opposite indicators. In case your cat is you calmly, and its tail isn’t flicking, take it as a constructive.

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

As an alternative, method 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 might go on endlessly. 

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 every other. Abruptly it flops down in entrance of you, eyes locked on yours, tail twitching, and gentle meows or purrs emanating from its mouth.

The temptation is to method together with your fingers. And that might be a mistake. Your cat is seeking to play, and it all the time performs with claws and teeth. Save your fingers and put money into a wand toy or one thing related. 

Your cat might be comfortable to expend its power on making an attempt to catch the “mouse” or “fish” on the finish of the string. In its place, some stuffed gentle toys might also be appropriate. Often, a catnip-infused stuffed toy merchandise of some kind will suffice. 

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

Sometimes, the cat might sleep in a ray of sunshine, opening its stomach for heat or permitting itself to chill. Even we as people can admire a heat stomach or a cooler stomach on a sizzling day. Additionally, take into account that a cat’s paws do help with cooling, so if its paws are within the air as nicely, chances are high 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 might use all 4 claws, agitated cats will present centered, dilated eyes staring at you and flattened ears. Don’t method, particularly if the cat is growling or moaning as nicely. As onerous as it’s to train a cat not to bite, it will likely 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 mounted on you, depart 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 simply’re not thinking about 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 won’t be an element. Unspayed feminine cats who come into their heat cycle will typically 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 wish to depart the home extra intently as nicely. On the opposite aspect of the coin, you might end up internet hosting just a few male cat guests.

To your half, it’s price figuring out that your cat won’t wish to be touched on the abdomen (or in any respect) throughout this time. With its hormones operating rampant, your cat is slightly unpredictable and delicate presently. Extra probably than not, making an attempt to work together along with her bodily will lead to 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 typically lays down on its again whereas “ready” for the opposite to attack. It is a defensive posture {that a} cat will typically 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 tough 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 might be twitching (in all probability). It would appear able to pounce, regardless that it’s on its again.

This posture affords a number of benefits for the cat in query. For one factor, it has entry to all its paws’ weapons. It may 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 homeowners ought to 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 increase slightly 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 together with your telephone, and watch the YouTube hits roll in. 

Cats do are inclined to strive a lot of positions to sleep in. On its again appears pretty much as good a posture as every other, and why not? The tail might be nonetheless, the eyes closed, and its respiration light. 

No matter you do, don’t disrupt the cat nap. Nobody desires an excellent sleep to be rudely interrupted. Moreover, a defensive intuition will probably kick in whether it is startled, and your fingers will undergo the results. As talked about, simply take the video. And take a look at to not make any noise within the course of.

lynx point siamese on back with paws up

Not All Cats Prefer to Lie on Their Backs

With all the above being stated, it’s price noting that almost all cats won’t get pleasure from a protracted relaxation on their again for the enjoyment of it. Cats usually discover it uncomfortable, and it offers 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 it will likely be much less capable of react shortly to any alarm or sudden state of affairs. Cats will generally sleep in a curled place, on their bellies, sitting sphynx-like, and so forth. For a full clarification 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 fingers and different physique elements could also be safer. The important thing to figuring out when it’s protected to play together with your cat on this place is by all the opposite indicators that accompany the posture.

Often, a flicking tail, dilated pupils, and eyes mounted 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 fingers 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 submit might include affiliate hyperlinks. Which means in the event you click on by way of and make a purchase order I’ll most probably obtain a small fee. This received’t have an effect on the value you pay. Simply needed to be sure you knew.

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