If there’s ever a support group for cats called ‘Floppers Anonymous’, I will be the first to sign up my cat.
My cat flops when I brush him, when he’s about to eat and more often than not, when he sees me come home.
This flopping action in cats also goes by the names, “The Squiry Wormy”, “The Roly Poly”, “Boof And Roll” and “Cutsie Roll”.
As adorable as this action is, why is floppy over much a common gesture in our cats?
Cat flopping is a natural behavior that can have various meanings. It can be a sign of trust, relaxation, playfulness or an attempt to grab your attention. Cats that enjoy belly rubs tend to flop over and expose their soft bellies for some affection.
In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of cat flopping and unlock the secrets behind this charming behavior.
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 ‘on-edge’ 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 even gets to them.
The cat’s ears, paws, nose and whiskers all work together to warn the cat if it’s in danger.
As someone who has always had dogs and cats, cats are much slower to trust humans as compared to dogs.
But when a cat starts to trust you, it is a beautiful moment.
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 slave…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 possible death for the cat.
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
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.
Most cats (60- will have some response to catnip which usually results in them having a strong urge to rub themselves in it.
This is due to a chemical compound called Nepetalactone in catnip which puts cats in a state of euphoria.
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.
Different cats react to catnip differently.
But with those that do, rolling around, flipping about and rubbing on the catnip are pretty common behaviors.
Your Cat Is In Heat
If you have a female that has yet to be spayed, you can expect your cat to go into heat once very 2-3 weeks.
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 more 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 “roll or thrash about on the floor.”
This is how a female cat flirts with a male cat to show her eagerness to copulate.
So don’t be alarmed if your female cat rolls at your heat.
She’s not interested in you.
Your cat 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
I don’t know about you but my cat (and dog) is always hungry.
I can feed my greedy cat a big meal half an hour ago and he can come to crying as if I have been starving him for years.
Every cat owner knows that a hungry cat is an affectionate cat.
Your cat could be flopping and rolling at your feed because it wants a snack or more food.
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.
Your Cat Is Ready To Attack
When your cat flops over and displays an alert and intense posture, it could be a strong indication that it isn’t too happy and can attack suddenly.
If you have ever seen two cats engage in an argument, one can flop on the floor and still be intimidating.
The cat that flopped isn’t in the mood to look all cute and cuddly.
In fact, you will notice aggressive body language such as:
- Ears pulled back
- Claws exposed
Being in this position enables the cat to use his sharp claws and powerful paws to inflict serious damage on his opponent.
If your cat has flopped over but isn’t looking too friendly, please do not go over and touch it.
Your cat is angry about something and it’s best to leave it alone till it has calmed down.
Why Does My Cat Flop Over And Show Me Its Belly?
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 its 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 start 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.
Why Does My Cat Flop Over When It Wears A Harness?
There has been an increasing number of cat owners that have started taking their cats out for supervised walks.
This is a good way for your cat to get some exercise without getting into trouble.
Please do not ever let your cat out of the house unsupervised.
The risk of your cat running away or getting hit by a car is very very high.
The best way to walk your cat is to use a cat harness.
This harness doesn’t go around your cat’s neck but around its body where it is more secure.
However, this sensation can immobilze some cats and cause them to flop over on the floor.
This is also known as ‘Pinch Induced Behavior’ and it reminds the cat of its kitten days.
When cats are small, their mothers will carry them around by picking them up by the scruff of the neck.
This sensation causes the kitten to remain still which makes it easy for the mother cat to move her litter around.
You might not carrying your cat that way but the pressure of the harness on its back might trigger a similar sensation.
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.