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HomeExclusiveWhy Do Cats Arch Their Back And Walk Sideways

Why Do Cats Arch Their Back And Walk Sideways

Why Do Cats Do The Sideways Hop

Playful kitten sideways walking! |Nova the Kitten

Cats may appear aloof but they also tend to be affectionate and playful. They have body language and behavior that are confusing but also amusing to see. The sideways hop, for instance, is among one of the entertaining movements that we often observe among cats and kittens.

Here are the probable reasons why cats do the sideways hop:

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Why Do Kittens Arch Their Heads When They Play Together

When kittens play together there is a lot of the sideways arch thing going on because kittens stalk and hunt each other. The attack Hahaha, its because kittens are awesome, thats why. Seriously, though, the kitten who does that is playing. Thats really all kittens do is play, but its play with a purpose.

Why Do Cats Arch Their Backs 8 Reasons You Need To Know

Updated on By MrBossCat Team

Cats use their body language to communicate with other animals and humans. One of the positions you might have noticed your cat pose in is with an arched back. This is the famous Halloween cat pose with its back stretched upward towards the sky. Most people associate this with a cat feeling fearful and getting ready to attack.

But why do cats arch their back? In some cases, this strange body position is because they sense danger and are trying to make themselves look as large and intimidating as possible. However, they may also do it when you are petting them when they want to play, or simply because they need to stretch out their spine.

In this article, we look at all these reasons and more in detail. As cat owners, we must understand our cats body language so we can work out what they are thinking. So, if you have noticed your cat arching its back and want to know what it means, keep on reading!

Most Common Reason: Theyre Scared

The most common reason why cats arch their backs is that they are scared. They are trying to make themselves look as large and as threatening as possible to ward off the opposition. Cats that are scared will also spit and hiss, puff out their fur coats, and often walk sideways. They are telling whatever is threatening them to back off!

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Your Cat Is In A Spirited Mood

Sometimes your cat may find itself with a lot of extra energy. Perhaps your cat has been asleep for most of the day and just woke up feeling refreshed, or they were not able to run around and play as much as usual.

When cats have a lot of extra energy, they can often go into overdrive and start acting silly. Some pet owners call these crazy bursts of energy zoomies, as their cat will start zooming around their house.

When your cat starts acting more hyper than usual, that is your cue to ensure they are getting enough exercise every day.

Why Is My Cat Facing The Corner

Why Do Cats Arch Their Backs and Jump Sideways

Cats dont take well to changes. It means that if you bring about any change to the household or your kitty cat, be it the diet, the sleeping routine, or the introduction of new family members to the home, your cats going to pitch a fit.

Now, a fit from a cat can mean anything from your cat sitting angrily in corners to pooping on the carpet. So, dont be overly concerned. And, dont get mad at your feline your cat doesnt understand your anger.

So, the best way to turn your cats discomfort is to give it more love and care. Dont encourage bad behavior. And constantly reinforce good behavior with treats. The treats then work as positive reinforcement.

But, your cat may also be interested in corners as it may have found a bug or insect and wants to play with its newfound buddy. Cats love to chase and torture insects. Flies, moths, cockroaches, even ants arent safe from your kittys wrath.

It would be wise to keep your house free of bugs. Your cat will enjoy playing with bugs, but this doesnt mean that your cat cannot be hurt by these tiny creatures too. So, its best to get your cat toys to play with and keep the bugs limited to the garden area.

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How Should You Respond To The Crabwalk

Unless your cat appears to be frightened, the best way to respond to your cats sideways running is by playing in return! Whether its the zoomies or a plea for playtime most cats will be happy to start a play session mid-crabwalk!

You can toss out their favorite toy or if youre feeling especially playful yourself you can even drop down to all fours and do your own crab walk. Just keep in mind that some cats may not exactly be ready for a big human to hit the ground and do their own crabwalk so your cat may be startled at first! Let your cat dictate the playtime and theyll quickly understand that this is part of the game.

If, on the other hand, you suspect the crabwalk is in response to something your cat finds frightening then its even more important to go slow. Your cat is in a defensive position and its not a good idea to try and pick them up.

Instead, try to remove whatever is causing them to feel frightened, and if its not a real threat help your cat understand that. Sometimes simply interacting with whatever your cat is afraid of them can help understand that its not a real threat.

Why Do Cats Hop On Hind Legs

There can be several reasons for which the cats hop on their hind legs. It is incredibly harmless in most of the case.

However, you have to know that the origin of this move was somewhat tactical.

When the cats were in danger from predators, jumping or standing on their hind legs will make them appear more prominent. This activity was strictly there to ward off any unwanted animals in their surroundings.

But when the cats are all playful and happy, the cats might be doing this just for getting a few extra brownie points.

Whenever they know that you will feed them or play with them, they will perform this action to get your attention.

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Why Do Cats Knead

That loud purring followed by the sharpening of claws on some soft spot of your body is called âmilk-treading.â When you relax and sit quietly, youâre giving your cat the same signal he got from his mother when he was a kitten â that his mother was ready to let him suckle. A nursing kitten instinctively uses his paws to draw out the milk, gently pushing on his motherâs stomach to increase the milk flow. When older cats behave this way, itâs a good sign that theyâre happy, content, and probably recalling their kittenhood.

It May Mean That Your Cat Has Health Issues

Why Do Cats Arch their Backs

A cat walking sideways may also be a warning sign of an underlying health condition.

If your cat is walking sideways and is also manifesting the following signs then she may be suffering from the feline vestibular disease:

  • loss of body coordination
  • falling or circling to one side
  • the eyes are darting back and forth, also called nystagmus
  • the head is tilting

Cats lose their balance because of a damaged or diseased vestibular apparatus that is located in the inner ear, the part that is responsible for maintaining balance, and a cats sense of direction and orientation. The feline vestibular disease affects cats regardless of age and usually caused by middle or inner ear infections. The growth of tumors and exposure to toxins and drugs may also contribute to symptoms of the disease although a majority of cases were attributed to unknown causes.

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When They Feel Threatened

Like humans, cats also come across threatening situations, whether their neighbours scary pet or even a human. When they face a threatening situation or feel uncomfortable, their general reaction is arching their back or their hair standing on end and often hissing , most of them around cats have seen this. But unlike us, they cant shout out for help. They know its time to stay away! This stance makes them appear bigger and scary. Even though its their form of defence.

Cats Arch Their Back When They Are Stretching

In some situations, its best to not overthink the behavior of your cat. Sometimes your cats arched back means absolutely nothing besides needing a good stretch.

Since cats have a total of sixty vertebrae and more flexibility than humans do, a cats stretch can appear somewhat extreme even though their stance simply symbolizes that they feel tired.

You may observe your cat standing there with their paws spread out, their backs arched, their nose buried in the floor, and their tail standing straight up in the air and wonder what in the world they are doing.

You may even glance around expecting to see a mouse or bird nearby.

However, they arent seeking prey, nor are they in danger. Chances are that they arent even in a playful mood.

On the contrary, they are probably ready to take a nap.

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Why Does My Cat Run Sideways At Me

Cats do it when they trying to tell a human something. Maybe it wants to be fed, or it needs to go outside. If youve been ignoring your cats cries for attention, it may start sprinting sideways as a way of getting your attention. Or the cat might run sideways because its afraid. Your cat may think youre going to hurt it.

Why Do Most Cats Arch Their Back

Why Do Cats Arch Their Backs And Run Sideways

In general, cats arch themselves as a way to stretch, angle themselves as they are decending from a hop, or appear larger as a defensive tactic to their predator. Therefore, this can be used in multiple ways to benefit them depending on the scenario.

So, if you see your cat arching their back in this manner it may not always be an aggressive or defensive manoeuvre. It can be deceiving though because to the ingrained eye it can look aggressive and frightening.

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Why Do Cats Arch Their Backs And Do A Sideways Shuffle

Originally Answered: Why do cats arch their backs and do a sideways shuffle when theyre about to throw down? As others have said they are trying to make them selves look larger and more intimidating. The side few make them look bigger than they are. If they are turned sidways they have to walk sideways.

Why Do Cats Jump Sideways

Not all cats are naturally scaredy cats, so some might be more likely to jump sideways than others. But it seems that kittens which are learning to navigate the world might be most inclined to demonstrate their crab walk. This is because the world is a strange place and they must learn to differentiate what is safe and what is a potential threat.

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What Happens If A Cat Gets Stung By A Bee

Sideways Hopping Kitty

You should also closely inspect the site of the sting on your cat: Bees leave their stingers behind, while wasps and other flying insects keep their stingers intactand can therefore sting more than once. Typically a sting will result in a localized reaction, including mild swelling and tenderness.

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To Stretch In The Morning

After a long sleep, your cat may want to do some stretches. This often includes walking sideways with an arched back. This is a common behaviour that youll see your cat doing first thing in the morning or after a nap.

Stretching is how kittens loosen up their muscles and prepare for the day ahead. If your pet is especially flexible, you might even see them do a full backbend!

It Could Be A Sign Of Aggression To Come

While this isnt usually a sign of aggression, fear can lead to aggression. This is especially true if you dont listen to your cats body language.

For instance, this walk means to back off. If you were to scoop your cat up to comfort them, youd likely be scratched as they tried to escape your hold.

Or maybe a child has scared the cat by running and stomping through the house. If they run even closer, the cat might pounce and bite their ankle.

However, its much more likely that your cat will run away out of fear than it is that theyll lash out.

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Why Do Cats Torture Their Prey

Because humans look at hunting as either a sport or cruelty, we overlook the fact that the cat is a natural born hunter possessing a marvel of cunning and skill. Cats who have to live off their catch will kill and eat what they catch immediately. House cats, regardless of the fact that they are domesticated, may hunt but do not kill because they aren’t hungry. Most house cats are never trained by their cat mothers to hunt and kill swiftly, so the kill becomes a toy – it moved and was caught by the cat who now regards it as a play object.

Cats are intelligent and fascinating creatures who rarely do something without good reason, even if we don’t understand what that reason may be.

They Are Trying To Make Themselves Big

What Does It Mean When A Cat Arches Its Back And Walks Sideways

The reason cats will arch their back when theyre scared is to make themselves appear bigger. Many animals do this, from dogs to reptiles to puffer fish!

The idea is that larger animals are typically stronger. Predators may back down if they meet an animal larger than themselves, not wanting to get into a fight they cant win.

Your cats fur might stand on end as well, their tails becoming puffy. This is another way of making themselves appear larger.

This may feel especially important for a cat when facing something of their same size or larger, such as another cat, a dog, or a person.

Once the threat, real or imagined, is gone, your cat should go back to walking normally.

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When Your Cat Is Feeling Threatened

The general assumption that your cat is running sideways because it is feeling insecure is the first and, in most cases, correct assumption. This defensive stance is the hard-wired reaction to territorial invasion.

When your cat feels threatened that its territory is being invaded, its going to walk by sideways to look big and scary and let you know that its not easy prey. Dont approach a cat when its reacting to you this way youll get clawed and the cat may be traumatized if anything goes wrong.

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Is Going To Defend

First, and this is widely seen in many popular images in the fall, it is that of the fear aggressor.. In this classic Halloween pose, a cat arches its back and displays a piloerection as a way to look bigger when faced with danger. When a cat shows up like this, it is basically saying, “I’m scared of you, but I’m ready to defend myself if you come near.” The cat can also make it clear that it is ready to defend itself by doing things like growling, hissing, spitting, and showing its teeth. If you come across a cat displaying this physical state, the best response is to back off slowly and give the cat his space.

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Why Do Cats Arch Their Back Everything You Need To Know

Why do cats arch their back? Most likely, youve seen your cat strike this well-known Halloween pose. With the tail up and the back spread out, it is simply taking it all in. But why do cats backs arch?

Cats frequently act in quite amusing ways, such as clawing at us and licking our noses. The arching of cats backs, however, is among the most well-known and distinctive cat mannerisms.

These quick, tiny critters are incredibly adaptable and occasionally find themselves in amusing situations. Continue reading to learn more about why your cats back is arched.

Sideways Jumping Starts In Kittenhood

Cat trots with back arched

Is there a more joyful time in a cats life than kittenhood? Its a carefree phase in which his only responsibilities are growing up and learning about the world.

Under the protection of their mother, kittens are free to explore their surroundings and themselves. They spend a good chunk of this time playing with each other but all this fun has a more serious purpose.

Through play, kittens can learn how to interact with other cats, express their emotions clearly and handle different situations theyll encounter later in life. Playtime is the safest time to practice dealing with threats, defending themselves and fighting with intruders.

And thats why kittens are so frequently inclined to fluff themselves up, arch their backs and jump sideways.

As a precursor to play-fighting, sideways jumping is a youthful expression of good intentions. Adding a jump is a way for the kittens to signal that although they look like theyre ready to attack, nobodys actually mad at anyone else.

But its also just plain fun to jump around with your siblings. It turns an otherwise dull task practicing looking big and scary into an enjoyable play session that also provides an outlet for that limitless kitten energy.

Though most kittens jump sideways at some point, most grow out of the behavior as they get older. A cats need for play naturally decreases with age, so it makes sense that playful sideways jumping ebbs as well.

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