Maybe you’ve tried to stroke your cat’s tummy while it’s quietly lying on their back next to you. In this case, you probably had one of two scenarios: either it let you do it, or it made you understand that this initiative on your part did not please them, but then not at all. In any case, know that even if your feline shows you its belly, it is strongly advised not to touch it. Here’s why!
Just because your cat shows you their belly doesn’t mean it invites you to pet them there. In fact, showing your belly can have several meanings for your hairball:
1. It trusts you
If your cat is happy around you, chances are showing you them belly is a sign of trust. Indeed, by exposing this part of their body in this way, it knowingly puts itself in a position of weakness. And for good reason, it is the most vulnerable part, where all their vital organs are located.
Thus, this shows that it feels perfectly safe in their environment. It knows that if danger were to arise, you would know how to protect them. So it can relax completely.
2. It is happy to see you
If, upon your return home, your cat greets you by quickly lying on its back, it is because it is happy to see you. It‘s their way of greeting you, basically.
3. It is on the defensive
If your cat shows its belly and seems nervous at the same time, it may be because it is in a defensive posture. Indeed, it is in this position that cats generally find themselves when they are attacked by other cats or by predators. This allows them to effectively defend themselves with their claws and fangs.
4. It wants to ease tensions
When your cat rolls onto its back, it can also be a sign of appeasement to you or other cats. Indeed, if the situation seems tense, it can adopt this position in order to dissuade the one it has in front of them from becoming aggressive.
5. It has irritated skin
As you will have understood, it is rare for cats to ask for a stroke on the stomach, unlike dogs. In fact, they greatly prefer having their neck, chin or even the top of their head scratched. And for good reason, when they interact with each other, cats lick or rub these parts of the body mutually, but never the belly. This explains why it can make them uncomfortable.
So, if your cat starts begging you for tummy rubs when it’s hated it before, it may be because it‘s itchy. Many factors can cause irritated skin in cats: insect bites, ringworm, shampoos, intolerance or food allergy…
Be careful, if your cat regularly lets you stroke its belly, watch out for any signals that could indicate that it is fed up. For example, if it holds their ears down or starts nipping at your hand, it’s best to stop your petting.