Why do cats stick their bum in the air when you pet them?

Why do cats stick their bum in the air when you pet them

Most cats raise their bum in the air when you scratch them, this kind of reaction from your feline friend is completely normal. They do this to invite you to scratch and pet them even more. They’re telling you that this makes them happy and whatever you’re doing, don’t stop. 

We have established that cats have a unique way of communicating how they feel and what they need to humans. The way their body reacts to how you treat them has more meaning compared to a hiss or a meow. When they raise their bum to your face, don’t be offended, they’re trying to let you know that they feel safe around you and that they consider you a friend or maybe even family. Cat’s only raise their bum if they don’t feel threatened or afraid. When you’re petting them and they don’t seem to respond this way, that might mean they do not want to be touched or they aren’t feeling very affectionate at that moment.

 Eventually their bum will slowly settle down, but that doesn’t mean they want you to stop. Observe how they react, if they’re still purring and rubbing their head against your fingers then they still want you to continue petting or scratching them. This area is very hard for them to reach on their own and it is also a very sensitive spot. Having you scratch it for them could either be satisfying or irritating. If they suddenly bite you, this means they’re uncomfortable and they don’t want you to continue.

Kittens learned to do this at an early age, this is their way of letting their mother know that they are ready for grooming. It is also possible that they see you as somebody who takes care of them and their needs, a parental figure. 

For unspayed female cats, raising their bum could mean they are ready for mating. This position is called lordosis; it usually occurs when a female cat is in heat. She assumes a crouching posture with elbows on the ground. 

Cats’ transfer their scent through anal glands, and when they assume this position they’re inviting you to affirm their place in your family by swapping scents. It might not sound pleasing, but it’s a huge compliment in the animal kingdom.

A cat raising its bum to you is usually called the elevator position, and if you’ve experienced this yourself it is the highest compliment they can give you. Although it doesn’t look much like a proper thank you, they’re trying to show you that they appreciate what you’ve done for them. 


Where do cats like to be stroked?

Finding your pet’s “good spots” is a process of trial and error. Each cat is different and it will take time to figure out which spot is your cat’s favorite. You can start with the “safe zones” which are the the top of the head between their ears, their ears, along the cheeks, and under the chin. These places are the most generally loved purr-zones. Take note of avoiding the belly, most cats don’t like to be touched there. 

How do cats like to be stroked?

First and foremost, petting a cat is an equal exchange of touching. Avoid controlling or pulling on them, if a cat is trying to get away from your grasp then most likely they don’t want to be touched. Start by stroking them slowly on the spots mentioned above then observe how they react to it. If they enjoy it, they tend to lean in and lead your touch to the place they want to stroked. Pay close attention to your cats behavior during your interaction, be considerate and notice if they’re comfortable with it or not.

How do cats like to be held?

Cats are independent creatures and most of them react poorly when picked up. Some of them feel constrained when held so it’s so important know the proper way to do it. Make sure to support their body weight and place a hand beneath their back feet. It makes them feel uncomfortable and unsafe when their feet is dangling, supporting it would make them feel more secure. Hold their body close to yours and if you feel them getting annoyed put them down.


Cats enjoy being touched and spending time with their owners. When they like how they’re treated they stick their bum up as a go signal for you to continue whatever you’re doing. This means they trust you enough to let you touch them. 

There are a lot of places that a cat enjoys to be touched, the most common places being top of the head between their ears, their ears, along the cheeks, and under the chin commonly called the “safe zones”. Throughout your interaction with your feline friend, take note of the slight changes in their body language and be considerate towards them.

Why do cats stick their bum in the air when you pet them

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