Why Do Cats Sleep On Their Backs? [Best Guide]

why do cats sleep on their backs

The question why do cats sleep on their backs may look stupid at first. Especially to the people who don’t own cats. For the ones who do, you should know that a cats’ stomach is very sensitive and any attempt to touch his stomach could lead to the cat getting defensive. You might be wondering why do they sleep on their back then. I have owned a cat for many years now. The first time she got defensive was when I touched her belly as she was lying on her back. I did not like it, so I decided to know what was wrong with her. I conducted my research, and since then, I have learned to understand a cats’ language. Stay tuned so that you may also learn a thing or two about cats.

Why Do Cats Sleep On Their Backs?

So why do cats sleep on their backs? Cats will only sleep on their back when they are happy. Happiness will mean that she is contented and feels safe. She will never sleep on her back if she felt threatened. The reason being that a cats belly is very sensitive and vulnerable. She will, therefore, do all she can to cover and protect her stomach. There are also other reasons why they may lay on their backs. I have discussed all the apparent reason below.

Why Cats Rest On Their Backs?

Understanding your cat’s behavior can mean a lot. You will have the most comfortable time with your pet. The cat will even feel more comfortable whenever you are around. I would, therefore, recommend taking some time to understand your cats’ communication. There are different reasons why cats do sleep on their backs. Let’s start with the most obvious reason which is they are happy and contented.

Cat Is Happy And Contented

Like I said earlier, a cat cannot lie on his back if he is not pleased or happy. Whenever he feels safe around you and is sure that there is no possible threat around, he will have no issue lying on his back. Although he feels happy, this does not necessarily mean that he wants you to tickle her stomach. Sometimes she might just be enjoying the freedom and the environment. At this moment, she will not want to be disturbed. There are other behaviors that may show you she wants to play such as the ear position. If the ears are up and facing forward, this is an excellent time to try and tickle her stomach. 

Why Do Cats Sleep On Their Backs pin

Cat Is Agitated Or Defensive

Lying on their back is also the position they feel comfortable whenever they want to attack. Hold it there. I know what you are thinking. Why should they attack in their back position while their stomachs are vulnerable? Well, in that position, they can use all the four claws as well as the mouth to bite. That way, they maximize their chances to attack. The good thing is that cats will only attack if they feel agitated or threatened. If you tried to tickle his stomach during this time, you would get it from her. This is what happened to my cat. This is very understandable as she is trying to defend herself. I would recommend using a feather instead of your hand to see whether she enjoys it. If not, stay away from the cat.

Cat Is In Heat

This occurs mostly to mature cats that have become sexually active, mainly after 6 months. When your cat becomes fertile and is in heat, she will lie in the back position to ensure that she is ready if a male cat is available. To know if she is in heat (read how long are cats in heat), she will move her tail away to expose her sex organ, she will be very affectionate, and she will spend a lot of time licking her genitals. She will also lose her appetite. If you notice that she is in heat, you can try distracting her as she may even think of escaping. Close the doors and windows and do all you can to keep her occupied. You can play with her and give a lot of attention. During this time if she lets you, you can touch her belly, brush her fur or cuddle. A cat in heat can be another reason for the cat to lie on her back.  

Cat Wants A Stomach Rub

A stomach rub is what most people will think of when a cat sleeps on her back. Cats are known to be playful and are fun to play with. Although this is the case, their stomach is very weak, with only a thin layer of skin. This, therefore, means that a cat will do everything to protect the belly. If you find him in that position, don’t just dive in and start tickling him. Try stocking some of his favorite spots. The cheeks and under the chin. If she enjoys that, you can advance to the stomach but do it cautiously. Get a feather first then you can use your hands afterward.  

Most Comfortable Sleeping Position For Cats

I would not say that sleeping on the back and exposing the stomach is the most comfortable sleeping position for a cat. There are other sleeping positions that cats prefer such sleeping on their side. Whenever they sleep on their back, they might be showing you that they trust you and they feel comfortable around you. They might also be trying to play, or maybe the cat is excited to see you. Sleeping on the back may not be the most comfortable position, but cats feel relaxed in that position as they are happy. They will even avoid sleeping on their return to prevent choking. If she does sleep on her back, she is sure of no threat at all. 

Is It Safe For A Cat To Expose Their Belly?

Cats are intelligent creatures, and they are sharp enough to know whenever there is a threat around. To be honest, I don’t think there is any creature that may expose him/herself to danger recklessly. A cat will also try to avoid risk by all means possible. If there is a threat, there is no way she may expose her belly. She will be in the attack position. Cats are very swift, and they will attack before the threat gets to the stomach. Cats sometimes do sleep on their back. While they sleep on their back, they risk choking. This is because cats vomit now and then. They will therefore not lie on their back if they feel unwell. 

Can Outdoor Cats Show Their Stomach Safely?

When cats are outside, they like to bask in the sun. Basking is good for them. The only issue is that cats never know when they have had enough sun. You will find them sleeping in the sun. Cats like warmth and they can stay in the sun from morning till evening. This is bad as there are consequences. Your cat may suffer sunburn, dehydration and even skin cancer. The stomach being very thin layered will be exposed to the sun for long hours.

Lookout for your cat!

You should always be on the lookout for your cat. Especially when he is outside. It is not safe for a cat to show his stomach out. There are other threats such as snakes and dogs. Cats are always sharp and even when they are sleeping, they are alert to listen to any kind of danger. The sun is, therefore, the biggest threat outside. If she exposes her stomach in the outside, she is sure of no risk.  

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