Why do cats expose their soft belly and then attack you for petting them?
If you’re a cat parent, everything your cat does is cute. From pushing their head into your legs, trying to fit into tiny spaces, chasing themselves or your other pets around the house or even just meowing, it’s all super adorable and makes you feel like cuddling with them, doesn’t it? So, we can imagine how tempting it is to hold them or at least give them a belly rub when they lazily turn on their back exposing that super soft, super cute belly. But don’t be fooled, that’s a trap and if you fall for it, those samurai-sword-like claws are going to be locked onto you.
Let’s find out!
Well to solve this mystery, we need to understand why cats expose their belly in the first place. Unlike dogs, who roll onto their back as a sign of submissiveness and literally beg for a rub, cats have totally different reasons for going tummy-up. In the wild, big cats go onto their backs when they feel threatened. It’s a defence mechanism of sorts — they can attack with all paws and even bite if needed. It’s the perfect way to gain the upper hand with another animal in a fight — the attacker thinks the cat is vulnerable and lunges into the attack only to be mauled and bitten in a flash.
So, my cat feels threatened by me?
No, quite the opposite actually! Because, besides for this survival instinct, cats also roll onto their back as a sign of deep trust toward you — it’s a sign they are relaxed and happy you’re around. But then, why do they attack when you try to pet them? Well, just millimetres under your cat’s skin are all his/her major organs. So, though your cat does not feel threatened by you, it’s still an instinct to protect these sensitive organs, even if it’s a loving tummy rub.
So if your cat rolls over in front of you, be glad that he/she has total trust in you and is an extremely relaxed mood. However, also know that this is not an invitation to give him/her a belly rub. You can ruffle your cat elsewhere, just do not venture to close to that furry little belly, or else, there might be consequences.
We hope this has been a helpful and interesting read, but more importantly, we hope it saves you from a potential ambush in the future. Remember to go through our products for things you and furry friends might like — we have a huge collection that’s updated almost every day.
And lastly, have a PAWSOME day ahead!
Want to know some amazing facts about cat Personality? Read Which cat breeds match your PURRsonality?