Trying to understand or guess why cats do certain actions at times can be as challenging as trying to predict the next lottery winning numbers.
Maybe a few individuals with super-powered brains have done so but I’m rather confident no one has cracked the ‘cat code’.
Watching cats at play or interacting with each other can even be more entertaining than Netflix.
One of the most adorable things that my cat does is to flop down in front and stay there. I have hundreds of pictures and videos of him doing it and it still looks as adorable as the last time he did it.
But why do cats flop over?
What are they trying to communicate to their cat owners?
The reasons are as adorable as the action.
Why Does My Cat Flop Over In Front Of Me?
Your Cat flops down in front of you because you make it feel comfortable and safe. Cats usually do this with humans that they trust. It is also a sign of affection that the cat is displaying. Give your cat some attention and playtime when it does this action.
Let’s further explore the reasons why cats flop down in front of their owners.
Your Cat Wants Attention
Many cats flop down in front of their owners when they are looking for attention. This usually happens when you are back from work or your cat has been sleeping and wakes up looking for you.
Now would be a good time to give your cat some pets and attention.
When it comes to cats and attention, many people believe that cats don’t need human attention like dogs.
That is totally incorrect.
Cats have been portrayed to be aloof and cold by the media and this image has stuck with many pet owners.
To some extent, this is true as cats are naturally independent and solitary creatures once they live their nest. This is a very different lifestyle as compared to pack animals like dogs.
However, this doesn’t mean that cats don’t need any attention at all. Through the process of domestication over the centuries, cats have evolved to yearn and crave human attention as well.
So cat owners out there, make it a point to spend at least 20-30 minutes each day of quality time with your cat.
Your Cat Trusts You
If you have ever seen a stray or feral cat in the wild before, there’s a high chance that it will be wary and afraid of you the first few times.
Cats are just more wary and edgy in personality due to their strong survival instincts. A cat’s body is built like a radar to detect danger and predators even before it seems them.
The cat’s ears, paws, nose and whiskers all work together to warn the cat if it’s in danger.
Most cats roll on their side when they flop to expose their tummy. This is the ultimate gesture of trust that a cat can show to anyone.
It is your cat’s way of saying ” I trust you to know that you won’t hurt me because you are my salve…I mean, family.”
When cats flop and expose their tummies, they are showing you the most vulnerable area of their body. This is the area that contains all the vital organs like the liver, kidney and digestive system.
Any injury or damage to the stomach could mean death for the cat.
Your Cat Wants A Belly Rub (maybe)
The feline behavior that has a cat rolling on its back to expose its tummy could mean a desire for a belly rub.
Here’s a risk disclosure.
Even though your cat flops down to expose its stomach doesn’t mean make it a fan of belly rubs. Many cat owners have succumbed to this ambiguous cat’s behavior only to have the cat react negatively.
It is called the ‘Belly Rub Trap‘.
If your cat is one that is very sensitive to having its belly touched, it would be best to not do it. For some cats, it can be the opposite.
My cat loves it when I rub his belly and starts purring because it feels good for him.
I understand it is difficult to resist the soft plushy fluffiness of your cat’s tummy but sometimes it is just better to control the urge.
Your Cat Wants To Play
Cats love to play and when cats flop over it could be their way of telling you that it is playtime. Playful cats do tend to exhibit a more energetic mood when they flop down in front of you. It is their way of enticing you to play with them when they are feeling playful.
It is a sign of a happy cat.
Give your cat toys to keep it busy or the old and trusted laser pointer works wonders too.
Some cats like to grab a toy to bite and engage in bunny kicking when they flop over. Point to note, when a kitty kicks like a bunny, make sure it is not to your hand. The claws on your cat’s hind legs are pretty sharp too and can cause some serious injury if it grabs onto your hand and starts bunny kicking it.
Your Cat Smells Catnip
Sorry to burst your bubble but your cat could be acting this way due to the presence of catnip. If you have the habit of putting catnip on the carpet or floor for your cat, it could be reacting to the remaining catnip or the scent of it right at that spot.
Cats react to catnip differently. Not all will be affected by it. But with those that do, rolling around, flipping about and rubbing on the catnip are pretty common behaviors.
For the sake of trivia, catnip is actually a herb that comes from Europe and Asia. If you ever smelt catnip before, you’ll notice that it has a minty scent to it. If you ever run out of peppermint tea, you can actually be some of your cat’s catnip.
Your Cat Is In Heat
This applies to unspayed female cats that are currently in heat. When a female cat is in her mating cycle, she tends to exhibit certain behaviors due to her sex hormones.
She will be meowing a lot louder and frequently to attract a roaming male cat, she will start spraying on things and getting more clingy with you.
A study has shown that female cats in heat tend to flop and roll about a lot more than usual. So don’t be alarmed if your female cat rolls at your heat.
She’s not interested in you.
She is just signalling to the feline world that she is ready to mate.
If your female cat is yet to be spayed, it would be a good idea to get it done soon. Cats can reach sexual maturity at six months of age and can have up to 200 kittens in their lifetime.
This can lead to many unwanted pregnancies and millions of cats being euthanized due to the lack of space in shelters. It is a heartbreaking reality and one that we can prevent by helping to control the cat population.
Your Cat Is Hungry
A hungry cat is an affectionate cat.
Your cat could be flopping and rolling at your feed because it wants a snack or its meal time. If your cat is exhibiting this behaviour when it is time for food, don’t start rubbing your cat’s tummy or you might be painfully reminded of your wrongdoing.
Your Cat Is Stretching
Sometimes, we tend to not see the most obvious reasons. Your cat flops down because it wants to stretch and they feel good when they stretch.
Cats stretch all the time and are the masters of this activity.
They stretch when they wake up, in the middle of their sleep, before they go to sleep and 142 random times throughout the day.
Stretching helps them to improve blood flow and work their muscles and tendons. This is why having a scratching post or scratching board is necessary for cats.
The scratching action allows them to elongate their body and stretch out.
Why Does My Cat Reach His Paw Out To Me?
Your cat might also reach out his paw to you when it flops down. This usually means that your cat is asking for attention and wants to make contact. Some cats might even use their paws to pull you closer to them. Make sure to give your cats lots of love when it does this action.
Cats can be weird and eccentric at times and that is what makes us find them even more adorable. To have a cat show you complete trust is something that should not be taken for granted by cat owners.
We might never be able to crack the ‘cat code’ at all but that is fine by me. A little sense of mystery makes it that little more enticing.