Cats And Tummy Rub – They Love It Or They Hate It?

Cats are sensitive when it comes to rubbing certain parts of their bodies. Some prefer head rub, while some are crazy about cheek rub. However, do you know why they are so reluctant when it comes to tummy rub? Discover in this article why some cats are tummy rub fans while others aren't.

Cats are known for having rather unusual habits and straight forward communication when it comes to their likes and dislikes. They know how to make a stand and, moreover, they know how to show the world their preferences.

Although some cats’ behaviors are easy to understand, some tend to send mixed signals. Often people stay confused because they don’t know what their feline really wants to form them.

Cats And Tummy Rub

Understanding cats and tummy rub is especially challenging if you are a first-time feline owner.

Cats loved to be pet. When they want to be pet, naturally. Furthermore, they prefer to be pet when they want, for as long as they want, and in specific places.

You may enjoy for hours watching TV or scrolling on your smartphone while your cat keeps your lap warm. At one point, she moves over into her back, exposing her belly. So, what should you do? To pet it or just ignore it?

Although this may seem like an inviting move, in reality, it can be a real trap. That being said, before you place your hand on that adorable belly, think twice if you want to avoid seeing your feline’s teeth and feeling her claws on her skin. So, what’s so special about a cat’s tummy? Do they love being pet there or not?

Should You Rub Your Cat’s Belly?

Cats love being pet. Their favorite petting spots are usually cheeks, behind the ear, or they simply love pounding their heads upon yours. However, when it comes to their bellies, humans must be careful.

Some cats are so sensitive to their bellies that they will immediately show their teeth and claws. So, why do they react so harsh when it comes to their stomachs? There are many reasons for this. Let’s explore them.

1. The Cat Belly Is A Sensitive Place

First of all, even in humans, belly is a sensitive and vulnerable place. After all, the stomach is a host of vital organs. In cats, crucial organs are just under mere millimeters under the skin of the cat’s tummy.

Naturally, any damage to any of them could be fatal. Therefore, cats prefer their bellies safe and guarded against potential injuries.

Now, you probably think – but dog’s love showing their bellies, and they adore to have their tummies rubbed. So, what’s the difference? Cats have strong instincts that tell them they should never leave themselves vulnerable. That’s the main reason why you won’t see cats lying on their back, even when she’s fast asleep.

Simply said, cats will guard their bellies always. However, some cats will show their bellies to the people they love.

2. Your Cat Loves You

Just like dogs, cats have been known to roll over exclusively to people that they know. However, this is not an open invitation for a tummy rub. This is your cat telling you that she loves you.

Therefore, don’t rush to pet the tummy, but approach slowly with your hand, and see how your feline reacts. Make sure that you always read your cat’s body language. Also, showing her tummy is a sign of deep trust.

Showing her tummy and purring is both adorable and a sigh of respect. This is your feline telling you that she loves you. Moreover, she is feeling comfortable and safe around you.

3. Defending Itself

In the wild, cats always expose their stomachs as a real defensive posture. They fight off predators by rolling into their backs.

If, and when, a cat gets into the fight, she will always turn over to give itself access to all its birth-given weapons, claws, and teeth. This is the most secure way for a feline to fend off an attacker.

Any other position would put her in additional danger. Is there a way to see if your feline is showing defensiveness? Well, yes. The very first reason is to pay close attention to your cat’s body language. If you notice any of the following behaviors, act with caution.

  • Making disturbing sounds: cats are known for being vocal depending on the breed, but in general, they know to make strange cat sounds. However, if you hear your feline making agitated vocalizations, be careful – this is a sign of fear.
  • Flattening their ears: this is a common indicator of fear.
  • Licking her lips: cats tend to lick their lips after meals or when they clean themselves. In addition, this action can be a clear sign of stress.

4. Your Feline Is Happy To See You

A cat may come to you as soon as you come home. In these rare moments, she will run to you, turn itself on its back, and roll in excitement. This is nothing more but a sign of love. Your cat is merely showing you that she is happy to see you, and she wants your attention.

In these moments, be respectful and careful. If your feline loves belly rubs, rub her belly. If she is not a fan of a belly rub than scratch her underneath its jaw.

5. Your Cat Is Relaxed

Some cats love to expose their bellies when they are relaxed. Moreover, this means that she is completely relaxed. This may also mean that your feline is in a playful mood.

Cats will turn on their backs when they play with a toy, such as a toy bird or a toy mouse. They can also roll over when they require rest.

6. Cat May Be In Heat

If your female cat is unspayed, she will be in heat. During those days, she will be more clingy, and she will roll on her back as mating behavior. This is a sign of both affection and frustration to its mate.

If your cat is in the heat, this is not the time to over pet her. Just stay away until she settles down again. As soon as the heat cycle is over, take her to the veterinarian to spay her, unless you are planning to breed her and have a secured home for kittens.

For males and neutering them, you can find more information here.

But… Why Do Some Cats Really Dislike Belly Rubs?

Tail area and hair follicles on cats belly are hypersensitive to touch, so even petting them can be overstimulating. Cats prefer being stretched and pet on the head.

Actually, they are crazy about being pet under their chin and cheeks. There is a reason why they love these spots. It turns out that hey love mixed scents, and rubbing their faces tells them if you belong in their group or not. That’s why cats rub their faces on fellow felines.

This is a unique opportunity for them to mix scenes, and recognize if they are part of the same group. They use the same approach to greet us. So, whenever it’s possible, always read your cat’s body language first.

What To Do If Really You Want To Pet A Cat’s Belly?

So, you really want to rub a cat’s tummy? If yes, there is one thing that you should know, and that’s not to rub your cat’s belly. At least, not immediately. Make sure to address this slowly.

If you insist on touching your cat’s tummy and you see that it makes her aggressive and stressful, just don’t do it. If a belly is a no-go, you will know immediately.

If she is undecided, approach her slowly and carefully and pet her tummy slowly and gentle. Of course, watch her reaction all the time. Observe if your feline enjoys tummy rub, you may continue.

The Bottom Line On Cats And Tummy Rub

Feline experts have very different opinions when it comes to should you or not rub cats tummy. Some are firmly against it, while others support it as long as your feline allows it.

In the end, giving belly rubs depends on your cat’s preferences.

Some felines love belly rubs, while others won’t allow rubbing their tummies, not even for a second.

Luckily, you can immediately tell if your feline enjoys rubbing or not. If you see that your feline is not comfortable with you touching the are, you should stop. Don’t push it, because the aggressive approach may traumatize her.

Last but not least, don’t see this behavior as rejection. It has nothing to do with you, it’s just your cat’s preference. As a responsible pet owner, you should know the limits and respect some boundaries.

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