Why do cats arch their backs? If you thought cats arched their backs only in Halloween posters and horror movies, you’re wrong. Cats have different bodily actions to tell us how they feel.
From clawing at us, rubbing next to our foot, to licking our nose and face, cats tend to do amusing things. However, one of the most unique and famous cat behavior is to arch their backs. If you aren’t aware, cats are exceptionally flexible, and they like to form different positions from time to time.
Find out why your cat is arching its back!
Why Do Cats Arch Their Backs?
A cat is known to form many bodily actions throughout the day based on the different situations. Their body movements change when they want some love from their favorite human and when they see their opponent cat outside. Other interactions cause them to give different responses.
Here are the most significant reasons as to why cats might arch their backs:
They Are Afraid
The cat is crouched directly on top of its paws, with visible shaking seen in some parts of the body. Its tail is close to the body, and it can be standing up, together with its hair at the back. This is the instant reaction when they feel at threat or when something makes them feel uncomfortable. They will immediately arch their back, hair standing on end and often hissing to tell their opponent to back off. If you’re a cat owner, then you’ve probably experienced this behavior before.
The cat looks much more significant and scarier in this position, all to scare away whatever is putting them at threat. In most scenarios, your cat can go after them if they’re a minor threat. This is a straight reaction to a dangerous situation. This body language is a clear indication of fear and then self-defense.
They’re In A Playful Mood
Often, your cat does this when they’re playing. This is nothing as compared to their attack position. The difference between this and their position in defense mode is that no teeth are showing, growling, or hissing in this scenario. It’s just playful excitement.
However, this behavior is only for their favorite human, play buddy, or when they see their favorite toy or best-loved ball. You can even expect them to bounce and pounce around the house when in this mode. This is a clear indication that the cat is comfortable around you and in the most friendly mood.
Just like humans stretch, cats do too. However, cats are far more flexible than us, which is why when they stretch, their owners might feel like it’s unusual, but soon, they come to know that it’s a part of their routine and how they stretch.
A typical cat stretch would be face down, tail up, and spread-out paws. This is when your cat is trying to tell you that they’re feeling lazy or ready to sleep.
If your cat has been circling all around you to give them a good scratch, and you do, this is how their body reacts to it. It is a positive sign, and it indicates that you’ve done the scratch right.
This will lead them to arch their back, allowing you to get even better access to the itchy spot. In this situation, a cat that arches its back means that the cat is showing signs of comfort and contentment.
The most significant and common sweet spots are:
- Down the spine
- Underneath the chin
- Above the tail
- Behind the ears
It is imperative to be very gentle when petting or scratching your cat. The belly and tail areas are the most sensitive spots of a cat, and you never know what reaction they might give. Keep under consideration that there is a thin line between comfort and discomfort for your cat, and if you go overboard, they might end up biting or scratching you.
They Might Be Making Friends
Cats arch their backs as a friendly greeting to other cats. This is a pervasive behavior found in cats. Don’t take this as a negative sign when they do this to you, as this means they’re asking for more pets in the house. It is also an indication that they feel happy and content around you.
These are the five primary reasons why a cat arches their back. If a cat arches its back when you pet them, it’s a great sign as this shows how comfortable they are around you. Your personality plays a huge role in this. How you are and act towards the cat can determine their level of trust and comfort with you.
Our Final Thoughts
Now you know the five main reasons as to why do cats arch their backs. Some cats enjoy being pet all the time and are friendly towards all, while most cats are not. It’s best to keep your love and affection light when you don’t know a cat or are meeting them for the first time so that they can get used to your presence.
It is necessary to pay close attention to when your cat arches their back. They might be excited and in a friendly, playful mood, but it might also be that they’re scared. If your cat is not okay with being touched, leave them alone for a while as you don’t want to annoy them any further.