What Does It Mean When a Cat Shows You Its Belly?

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Cats are known for their funny and naughty behaviors. They won’t be much irritating, and instead, they only look cuter. Their mysterious and funny behavior should not be taken for granted, as there is some meaning behind every action.


If you are a new cat owner, then these signs are challenging to decode. As weird as it looks, these signs also sometimes mean that your cat is in some trouble or something is bothering it. It is essential to interpret the right meaning of those activities at the beginning to avoid unnecessary discomforts for both you and your cat.


One such most common behavior that every owner witness is cats show their belly, especially to their owner. Have you ever wondered why does your kitty repeats this action very often? Do you think your kitty always shows its belly to you? If yes, here is an article to help you figure out what they mean by this gesture!


Why cats show belly to the owners?

The belly is the most impuissant part of a cat’s body; cats won’t expose their bellies to everyone. If they show it to you, it means that they ultimately believe in you and are not afraid of being attacked. So, your cat’s gesture of lying supine and exposing its belly at you implies that it feels secure and happy in your presence.


Reasons why cats show their belly:

  • Communication: Just like humans predominantly use oral language for communication, animals like cats use certain body language as a means of communication. Exposing their belly in your presence means that they wish to spend time with you as they feel comfortable with you.


  • Emotions: Cats express various feelings in various forms. Likewise, they will tell their happiness in many ways. One among the forms for conveying that they are elated is this gesture of exposing their belly at you.


  • Relaxation: Just like cats stretch their body, perform kneading, groom themselves to boost their mood, they lie in a supine position to make them feel relaxed, which is why they sometimes have this position while sleeping.


  • Allergies: This is the point where you should be cautious. Just because this is common and positive behavior, you can’t ignore it at any cost. Sometimes your cat might suffer from wounds or allergies or some discomfort in its belly but couldn’t convey to you. To handle this unpleasant situation, your kitty might be lying on its back while comforting and exposing its belly. Pay keen attention if your cat repeats the action of exposing its belly accompanied by self-kneading or scratching at its stomach.




For some cats, rolling over and showing its belly is a gesture of greeting. Although this is one of the rarest scenarios that your cat is trying to get attention or compliment from the people they love, some owners have seen this when they come back after a few days or weeks. Some even have felt this when they come back home from the new place or environment. Hence, your cat is just trying to get complimented.



Just because your kitty exposes its belly to you, it does not mean that you are allowed to pat and pet its belly. Cats often get uncomfortable with that action, which might reflect as sudden aggression. Because all the vital organs are present in that region, which might get damaged even though you tried to pat slowly, they are susceptible to get hurt, which may lead to something fatal.



If a cat is in a defensive mode, it is either expecting or worrying about the possible attack. During this time, you may notice that the tail is conspicuously tucked between the legs. It is wise if you are attentive to these possible signs since your kitty would require more protection.


However, this feeling may come with various other signs, such as increased pupil size, cowering stance, flattened whiskers, and more. If you observe anything like this, then it means your kitty is highly anxious about fellow pets or the environment. The only way to get rid of this by acknowledging it immediately.


Do cats show belly when they are hungry? 

It is one of the habitual behaviors of cats showing their belly during their mealtime or hungry. However, the difference is that they don’t lie on their back or do not show their tummy fully exposed. They usually go near the bowl and show their tummy to you. They may cry sounds near the bowl.


When you are indifferent, they lie on one side and make whining sounds to show that it’s their mealtime. When they need some treats, they come to the same place where the food is kept. They lye while showing their tummy and insisting on giving them their treats.


Do cats show belly when they are pregnant?

Not really all cats do that. When a cat is 30 days pregnant, it slowly develops a rounded swollen abdomen. It is always easy to spot, and rapidly they do gain weight for a few weeks. If you haven’t noticed, then the cat might try to express it by showing their belly. If you cannot find it, we recommend you to take to the vet and do an ultrasound to get it confirmed.



When should you take this gesture seriously?

If you find your cat is showing a strange behavior while showing their belly, you may need to check. The heart, liver, and kidney are circulatory systems of the cat’s body. When there is excessive fluid accumulation in these regions, cats undergo terrible pain. They look for a way to push the waste outside the body.



These problems appear in two phases: acute and chronic. Acute is when it takes a few days or weeks to cure. Chronic may require hospitalized treatment and sometimes even surgery. The recovery period may usually be longer. It is one of the reasons why you may acknowledge the gestures carefully.


If you think your cat is suffering from digestive problems quite often, then you can also find some digestive supplements available online. Check this product from Pet Natural of Vermont that brings daily probiotic supplements for the cats. These are chew bites that promote the overall immunity and soothe their digestive system.


Why shouldn’t you touch the cat’s belly?

The most common mistake that most owners make is giving a rub to the cat’s belly immediately, but it might aggravate them badly. Even your cats are very conscious about these parts. If they feel like you are disturbing their vulnerable region, they would immediately attack with your claws – some adult cats even use their teeth as a defense mechanism.


Sometimes cats lie on their back and expose their belly, especially when they are in a deep sleep only. During this time, never disturb them or even touch them. It might scare them. The following table will give you an insight into why you should not pat your cat on the belly.



How will they respond to the patting?

How does it affect the cat in the long term?

Your cat might get threatened Cats are natural predators and try to save themselves from the foes. Since the belly is a vulnerable region in a cat’s body, it takes more special care of that, and if someone touches the stomach, it tries to attack. To prevent them from getting injured, as they have already considered you as their foe in some fraction of seconds, they would attack you with their claws and teeth as a defense mechanism. They might continue to be aggressive and express their aggression in some other forms.
Feels insecure even when the cats are awake Suddenly, your kitty would roll over and stand on its legs and run away and might begin to behave strangely. After that, it would avoid coming near you or will give up the habit of exposing its belly to you. Since a cat would expose its belly to you only if it trusts in you and feels comfortable in your presence & if you suddenly touch your cat’s belly, she will get frightened and lose the trust it has in you and feels insecure about your company.
You might be patting at the wrong time Sometimes when the cats show belly, it may reflect that they might be having trouble in the stomach. When you pat during this time, it might aggravate the pain immediately. You may notice some symptoms during the Gastrointestinal infection are vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite, and so on. We already know that belly is one of the sensitive regions in a cat’s body. Even if your cat allows you to touch its belly, you should be very careful in handling that particular region as excessive stroking or deep pressure while stroking might damage the internal organs and result in serious health issues.




But do you think these things make it evident that you should never pat your beloved cat’s belly at all?? Of course not; you can pat your cat’s stomach, but only if it allows you to do that. One way to pat your cat’s belly is to reach the center by starting from the sides. You can gently move your fingers from the lateral part of your cat’s abdomen and then make it to the center. Even then, you are allowed only to make a few feathery strokes and nothing much.


What are the best ways to respond when the cats show their belly?

Just because you are not supposed to pat your cat in its belly, it doesn’t mean that you should not pat it at all, or you should not touch it at all. When your cat shows its belly, respond by cuddling it. If you have a kitten, you can even pick it immediately to show that you’re acknowledging its love and trust. You can very well caress and comfort your kitty at a few other regions of its body. The following table will give you an idea about the same.



Where can you pat?

Why pat?

Head If you stroke your cat’s head, it will encourage your kitty, thereby will boost its mood.
Ears Ears are the most favorite place to get stroked for cats as they feel elated with that gesture.
Chin Stroking your cat’s chin is also a good option, but make sure to monitor its mode and change in body language as it might bite you when it is not in the right mood.
Neck It is against a sensitive region, so you must be very careful while stroking your cat in its neck.
Back Stroking your cat gently on the back will often make it fall asleep as it will be very soothing and relaxing. The added advantage of stroking a cat on its back is that you can enjoy the smoothness and softness of its hairs.



Do you know that every cat has its own region in the body that they like to get patted? And these are some of the preferred parts that your cat likes. They love to get strokes in these regions, but the reason behind this act has a simple explanation.


Cats have scent glands in their paws, known as pheromones. The cats scratch and knead on specific places and leave it sent over there as a matter of marking it as its favorite place. Likewise, they also contain scent glands in the body parts like the head, ears, chin, neck, and cheeks, and that is why rubbing in this region means that you are acknowledging them. It will give our cat great relaxation and happiness.


It is better to admire a cat’s sweet gesture of exposing its belly to you and conveying that it feels secure and comfortable in your presence rather than attempting to caress it and ending up in unpleasant situations

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