Often I get asked why cats show their belly and why the cat responds rather opposite of what people expect. We will answer today that question and more regarding cats showing their belly to us.
First of all, when a cat shows their belly to us, we humans have a certain instinct. This instinct tells us to cuddle and stroke the cat on the now revealed belly. She or he looks so inviting “come and stroke me” that we cannot let it pass by unnoticed.
Out comes a claw or four and a nibble of the cats teeth. We get immediately punished by the cat in question and it leaves us confused about whether the cat was inviting for a cuddle or not.
The fact is though, that cats are trying to show that they trust you in their lives when they finally show their belly to you. The belly of a cat is one of the weakest points. Not just with cats actually, you will see this with most animals and mammals. Showing the belly is not automatically a sign to cuddle that cute kitty, but a sign of watch me showing my belly to you from a good distance.
What Not To Do
With the belly showing, there is not much cuddling left to do, but only time to just looking at your cat showing its belly to you. It is however okay to cuddle the cat on other places right before this happens or after it is done with the “belly show”.
There are only a few cats that enjoy a belly cuddle. Those that do allow you usually to only cuddle them for a short while, as they get easily over-stimulated from that.
Kira, Nusse and Chanel allow to be cuddled on their belly, while the other cats do not really allow it that much. If anything, they allow it only for a couple of seconds up to a minute.
What To Do
Although there are a couple of cats that will allow a rub on their tummy, you should generally not rub their tummy.
When they show their belly, they are also saying hello. You can acknowledge their welcome and hello by patting and rubbing their head, not their belly. Other than that you can leave them alone and in their element.
Instead, you can let them take control over the situation and hope your cat will get on its feet again to come and get that cuddle they want from you.
Three More Reasons For Showing The Belly
- Female Heat – Unspayed female cats do also show their belly when they are on heat. They are showing to other cats in the neighbourhood that they are ready to mate.
- Playfulness – cats that are in for a play will roll over on their backs to let the other cat playfight with them.
- Defense Mode – cats that are in fighting and defense mode, will roll over to their backs from a strong position. They will have all their paws and claws ready, as well as their jaw to fend other threats off them.
So be careful next time you see a cats belly. Cats have amazing habits. What is your experience with cats showing their belly to you? Please share it below.