Why Do Cats Flop?

You just walked in the door and you nearly trip over the fluffy ball of Kitty, who’s splayed on her side in front of you. You reach down to give her tummy a rub, but she immediately gets up — she’ll be having none of that. Why does Kitty flop down on her side if she’s not wanting a belly rub?

It’s a sign of submission, but she’ll still have a paw full of claws ready to swat if the offensive kitty doesn’t back down. If her mother was exposed to distemper, poison, or malnourished while pregnant, Kitty’s cerebellum might not have developed properly.

Why does my cat collapsed in front of me?

The most common reason your cat flops down in front of you is that it is after your attention. They love you and want to be fussed and petted! This is even more likely if your cat rolls around when you get home from a period of being out of the house. They love you, miss you, and want some lovin’!

Why do cats roll on their backs when they see you?

Cats roll on their back to greet owners and express happiness at being reunited. Cats often roll onto their back when feeling relaxed and confident. The cat may also be requesting attention, including play or food. A cat rolling over is not requesting a tummy tickle.

Why do cats flop their tails?

Cats swish and flick their tails languidly when they’re excited. A playful cat’s tail often waves smoothly. Some biologists think that, in the wild, this motion mesmerizes or distracts potential prey. … Note that this flicking can quickly escalate or change to that of an annoyed cat.

Why do cats lay down when playing?

This is similar to a defensive posture, but in a playful version. She’s in the mood to play, and if you scratch at her tummy, you’ll probably get a harmless swat or a mock bite.

Weve all seen it. Cats walking nearby and suddenly flopping over on their back with a wriggle called the social roll, but why do they do it? Like all cat postures, there are subtle variations of meaning but whether its a human or animal watching them, its a friendly, non-aggressive stance demonstrating comfort. Comfort is a key point. Ive seen my cats gallivant happily in the rain and snow but not once have they rolled on their back in cold weather. Also, if they are all alone having a dirt bath, I wouldnt call it a social role since they might be simply scratching an itch. Ive added other details courtesy of Merlin and Odin.

Have you noticed that your cat sometimes flops onto one side and rolls over onto its back as you approach them? This is known as a cat social roll and many domestic cats exhibit this behavior. While its undeniably cute, this behavior is a little weird! So, why do cats flop down in front of you?

This will make it easier for you to communicate with your cat and give them what they are looking for, helping the two of you form a strong and loving bond. Some cats become overstimulated or feel vulnerable and afraid when being touched on their underside and would prefer a pet on their chin, for example.

Lying on their backs and having their stomach exposed is one of the most vulnerable positions cats can be in where they are threatened most by predators. Besides, all of your cats important organs are located inside their tummy, including their kidneys, their liver, and all other parts of their digestive system. Their sense of smell is extremely strong 15 times strong than humans in fact and so cats use scent to mark ownership of their territory and to mark other cats, pets, or people as family.

This could be true for your cat, so why not try getting her favorite toy, waving it in front of her, and seeing how she responds? They will also rub their face on things more often to spread their scent to potential mates in the vicinity, and put their rear into the air more often, showing all the male cats what shes got going on! All of these behaviors can be frustrating to owners who suddenly have a needy and loud cat on their hands.

They can then easily clean of this looser dirt that they have just rolled in with their tongue, resulting in a much cleaner coat overall. This makes it harder for fleas and mites to jump and move out of the way and more likely that theyll be kicked out from living in your cats coat for good! Catnip can have some crazy effects on cats thanks to a chemical found in the plant called nepetalactone.

Sometimes cats choose to communicate in very subtle ways. You know, like a slow blink of approval and friendship or just a slight chirp when you start petting them.

As prey, the last thing a cat wants is for a larger predator to have access to her most vulnerable area where vital organs are located. So if youre lucky enough to experience your cat happily throwing themselves on the floor in front of you, focus on the typical petting spots like the cheeks.

Many cats will flop in front of their owners and then vigorously mark the ground with their cheeks as the roll back and forth. For unspayed female cats, flopping and rolling is a normal part of the mating behavior. Check out this video of a little cat Tigger who seems to have found a secret stash of actively growing catnip:

Not only is a big stretch of her muscles but the texture of the floor might feel like a little back scratch for your cat. While we usually think of cats as constantly seeking the perfect sunspot to lay in, they might find that rolling on the cool tile floor feels really nice sometimes! That leads them to conclude that that rolling may act as passive submission and inhibits the development of overt aggression.

Well, we might not have completely decoded the feline flop but weve at least got a good idea of what it means.

Friendly Greeting

Kitty’s tummy is one of her most sensitive bits. If she’s comfortable enough with you, she might roll onto her side to expose her fluffy stomach. She’s not begging for some love. She’s simply giving you a sign that she trusts and adores you.She also might roll onto her side to say hello if she’s feeling a little lazy. If you just woke her from a nap, or if she’s found a particularly warm place to snuggle, she still wants to tell you hi, but not badly enough to walk across the room. She’ll roll on her side to let you know that she cares but she’s happy staying where she is.

Feeling Playful

You pull out Kitty’s favorite feather on a string and she rolls onto her side, ready to bat away. Although she’s excited to attack the plaything, she’s not actually feeling aggressive. This is similar to a defensive posture, but in a playful version. She’s in the mood to play, and if you scratch at her tummy, you’ll probably get a harmless swat or a mock bite.

On the Defensive

If you have more than one cat in the house, one might roll onto her side as a submissive gesture. She’ll flop on her side but will keep a paw raised just in case. She’ll do this when she recognizes that the aggressor is too big to fight.It’s a sign of submission, but she’ll still have a paw full of claws ready to swat if the offensive kitty doesn’t back down. A cat on its back still has four paws and teeth that can tear up an enemy pretty badly. Just because she’s submissive doesn’t mean she’s harmless.

Your Cat Is Marking Their Turf

Cat’s are naturally territorial creatures and in the wild individual cats would control small areas of land. Cats have scent glands on their feet, cheeks, face, and tail and they’ll often rub their cheeks on different surfaces in order “mark” or claim their territory. Many cats will flop in front of their owners and then vigorously mark the ground with their cheeks as the roll back and forth. This spreads your cat’s scent and lets the feline world know that this is their territory.That also explains why your cat likes to rub your legs. They’re basically saying, “Hey, this human is mine. So back off and find your own human to flop for!”

Is Your Cat In Heat?

For unspayed female cats, flopping and rolling is a normal part of the mating behavior. A Cambridge University study found that “Females rolled mostly while they were in heat. Adult females rolled almost exclusively for adult males.” In this case, your cat flopping in front of you might not actually have anything to do with you at all! Instead, it’s your cat’s way of letting the world know that she’s interested!When cats flop and roll while in heat they may vocalize a bit more or try to keep their butts up while rolling. Yes, it’s as silly looking as it sounds.The first 25 seconds or so of this video shows exactly what I’m talking about:While it might be cute to see your cat in heat acting silly, cat overpopulation is a serious problem in the world.Sadly, there are more cats in the world than homes for them so always do your part by spaying (and neutering) your cats! If it turns out that your cat’s flops are related to her being in heat, you can check out Pet Smart’s clinic locator to find a low-cost spay/neuter clinic in your area. Oftentimes you can even get your cat spayed completely for free!

Is Catnip Involved?

Catnip can make even the most distinguished and well-to-do feline turn into a little rolling maniac and it could explain your feline’s flop. Catnip contains a compound called nepetalactone and that’s primarily what your cat is reacting to.One of the most common reactions is rolling around in it or marking it with their cheeks. Check out this video of a little cat Tigger who seems to have found a secret stash of actively growing catnip:His catnip rolls look very similar to a cat that might be marking their turf with a cheek mark or a cat that just wants attention. While a surprise catnip stash isn’t the most likely reason why your cat might be flopping in front of you, you might be surprised at how many cat toys include catnip in them that you might already have around the house. By the way, one of my favorite catnip toys for Debbie are these little mouse toys that come in a pack of 20 Amazon.

Your Cat Wants To Play!

Your cat might just enjoy playing with toys (or you) while on their back and flopping over in front of you is a good way to let you know that they’ve decided it’s time to play! If you’ve ever seen your cat get really into a toy to the point where they engage the rabbit kick or kitty kicks then you know that it usually starts with a flop or roll first!Here’s a great example of a happy kitty showing us a flop into the kitty kick using a pretty clever homemade toy:Some of it will depend on what you’ve done with your cat in the past and what kind of behavior you’ve reinforced after the flop. If every time your cat flops your reward them with a weird stuffed sock to wrestle then there’s a better chance that your cat will start use flops as a way to ask you to play!

It Feels Good!

It might also just feel good for your cat to flop and roll around on the floor. Not only is a big stretch of her muscles but the texture of the floor might feel like a little back scratch for your cat. Kinda like a bear rubbing his back on a tree, your cat can use the floor as a DIY back scratcher!This could especially be true if you find that your cat likes to flop in one part of the house over another! While we usually think of cats as constantly seeking the perfect sunspot to lay in, they might find that rolling on the cool tile floor feels really nice sometimes!

Probably Not A Sign Of Submission

While many people are already familiar with the way dogs roll on their back as a sign of submission, it’s unlikely that your cat is showing submission towards you. While that same Cambridge University study on feline flops did find that younger males would roll in the direction of adult males, the reverse was very unlikely to occur. That leads them to conclude that “that rolling may act as passive submission and inhibits the development of overt aggression.”But this is much more likely to occur in a cat-cat interaction than in a cat-human interaction. Unless your cat is playing or you’ve gone for an unwanted belly rub, you’ll usually see your cat taking on relaxed and loose postures that don’t line up with an act of submission.