There are many conflicting opinions on cats and their relationship with their owners giving them belly rubs. You never know how your cat will respond to them, especially when they roll over and expose it themselves.
While some cats probably won’t catch you with their claws and teeth, this can’t be said for all of them. So, let’s find out whether cats like belly rubs or not.
What Does It Mean If A Cat Shows You Their Belly?
While you may assume that a cat showing you its belly is a clear sign for you to rub and tickle it, that may not be the case. Dogs may indicate their desire for a belly rub by lying on their stomach, but a cat may be telling you differently.
When a cat shows you their belly, they tell you that it trusts you with its life. While you may think that you can touch their belly, they may take this as a sign of betrayal and counter you with claws and biting. After all, the belly is the most vulnerable area of their body.
Cats Have Vulnerable Bellies
Cats are wary of anyone going anywhere near their bellies, even for harmless reasons such as belly rubs. They’re fully aware of the number of vital organs just a few millimeters beneath their skin, so they’re going to be wary if anyone even thinks of coming close to them.
If you go near them, they’ll see this as a possible fatal attack and won’t care how much they trust you. These are some of the main reasons you would never find a cat sleeping on its back, as they’ve naturally learned never to show vulnerability to any predators in the wild.
So, don’t take it personally if your cat does decide to treat you as an enemy after this. Perhaps you just need to take a different approach.
How Can I Rub My Cat’s Belly?
Cat bellies are soft, so it’s no wonder you’re still curious about what will happen if you rub or tickle their belly. Sometimes you may need to take a different approach than the one you previously used.
See, sometimes, if you come in from the side, your cat will let you touch its belly. However, you shouldn’t ignore your cat’s signs of discomfort when you do this.
You wouldn’t like it if someone kept touching your belly when you didn’t want them to, so you shouldn’t do that either.
So you should make sure your cat knows and trusts you before touching their belly, or you’ll lose that trust you tried so hard to earn from them.
How Do I Know If My Cat Likes Belly Rubs?
You’ll know when your cat likes belly rubs because they’ll most likely roll and stretch further out so they’ll lift their entire body and face you completely.
They won’t curl up, and they’ll most likely stay still for you as you do this, and if they’re purring? Then your cat is having a great time.
The belly rub will be a great time for the cat, as they’ll reposition themselves into a comfier position and close their eyes so they can relax properly.
Why Would My Cat Love Belly Rubs?
Truthfully, some cats enjoy belly rubs for several reasons. Some cats may find that they love to be petted there as they appreciate the amount of feeling they have there.
Or, they may just be feeling playful. Your cat may want to play with you by grabbing at your paws, so you should check to see how they’re grabbing at you. There are different signs, but if they try to bite you here, they may be lighter nips and just bat at you with their paws instead.
If you have a particularly lazy cat, you may just discover they’re feeling itchy and if they are, take a look for any flaky skin. You don’t want to find your cat allergic to anything.
How Do I Know If My Cat Hates Belly Rubs?
While some cats love belly rubs, it’s easy to tell when they loathe them. It might draw its legs toward you if you touch its belly, ready to trap you.
Or they’ll flip onto their stomach or walk away from you. It might draw its legs toward you if you touch its belly, ready to trap you. If they growl at you, they can’t get any more obvious about their opinions than that.
Make sure that it never gets to this point, as that’s when they’re showing maximum levels of discomfort, and you’ll upset them if it does get to that point.
Where Should I Pet My Cat?
Cat bellies are hypersensitive, so touching them can be an overstimulating situation for them. If you want to know a better area to pet your cat, you can pet them on the head and scratch them under their chin and cheeks, where their scent glands are.
They use these glands to mix their scent, and it’s why they headbutt you too. However, every cat is different, so you should pay attention to its body language if you struggle to find a good place to pet it.
Ultimately, when it comes to your feline friend, you may find that it’s better to monitor their reactions to you giving them belly rubs.
Generally, they show you their stomach as a sign of trust, so you should pay attention to their body language if they allow you anywhere near their belly.
Not all cats hate belly rubs, but many of them would prefer you didn’t go near that part of their belly. Unless your cat shows you its belly, it’s better not to try to give them a belly rub, or you may find that there are more claws and bite marks than you planned.
After all, belly rub preference depends on your cat and how they feel about petting in general, and I doubt you would prefer it if someone kept touching you when you didn’t want them to.
At Love4Cats, our practice involves consistent collaboration with licensed veterinarians and reputable industry experts. However, it's important to note that the content provided on Excited Cats is not intended as veterinary advice. While we strive to enhance your understanding of feline care, the information presented on this blog should not replace professional veterinary guidance.