Why Does My Cat Raise His Bum When I Pet Him?

If you have a cat whom you love and cuddle, you must have encountered a very specific and unusual behaviour.

Every time you pet or scratch your cat’s back, does he or she raise their bum? I know I have one cat in particular who is a prolific bum-raiser!

Why Does My Cat Raise His Bum When I Pet Him?

Well, interestingly, cats respond to petting or scratching by elevating their bum for the simple fact that you have hit the right spot.

Did you know that this loving behaviour is called “elevator butt.”

You may not find every cat responding to petting like that because not all the cats like being scratched along the spine or at the tail.

However, if your cat repeats this behaviour when your pet them, you should know all the possible reasons.

Plus, it’s important to understand your cat’s behaviour, as this can strengthen your relationship.

So, Why Do Cats Raise Their Bum When Scratched?

Cats like it when you pet them along the spine and at the tail.

In response, they instinctively raise their bums. It may be a sign of approval that you should continue petting.

Your Cat Trusts You

Cats don’t get comfortable with everyone. They have a very small list of people they feel comfortable with.

If your cat lifts its back and rears when you pet it, it is a sign of approval.

As mentioned, cats raise their bum to show that they trust you and would appreciate you continuing to love and fuss them.

A cat that doesn’t trust you is very unlikely to let you pet them so intimately, let alone raise their cute little bum for you!

Your Cat Likes The Spot You Are Petting

Despite popular opinion, cats do actually love to cuddle. They love the sensation of being fussed by their nearest and dearest.

But just like dogs, or any other animals for that matter, they will have their favourite spots for petting.

The spine and base of the tail is a popular petting spot for most kitties.

So, when you pet your cat, they might raise their back to tell you that you have hit the right spot.

Raising the spine can also help them get a better sensation on their nerves as you scratch them.

By raising their bum, they are encouraging you to repeat the same again and again. And you’re sure to get a headbutt if you stop!

While it is true that most cats like being petted in this way, some cats don’t like being petted in this area.

If your cat pulls away or hisses, don’t be discouraged. Instead, you should find some other area where they like to be petted such as on the ears or under the chin.

Your Female Cat Is In Heat

If you have a female cat who is not spayed, she might be elevating her bum to for a very different reason.

A female kitty might elevate her butt if she is in heat as elevating the bum means inviting male cats for mating.

Elevating the bum is the most obvious sign to confirm that the cat is in heat.

Please remember the importance of spaying and neutering your cats. There are a lot of unwanted kittens in the world, so neutering your pets can help to prevent more abandoned kitties.

Neutering can also help to prevent health issues later in life.

If you do want your female cat to have a litter, be sure to speak to your vet first.

Your Cat Learned This Behaviour As A Kitten

Did you know that your cat may have actually retained this bum-raising behaviour from kittenhood?

Mother cats lick and groom their litter as the little ones are unable to do so for themselves.

When the mother cat licks the back and rears, the kittens raise their bums and tails to help the mother clean the area.

When cats leave their mother, we become their new fur-mums and dads. And although your cat isn’t expecting you to clean their bum, they have retained this behaviour from their previous parental relationship.

Your Cat Wants You To Help Scratch An Itch

The back and rear are difficult places to reach – especially for older cats or those with mobility issues.

While they may rub their body against you or the wall to help relieve an itch, they will be grateful of a good scratch in the area.

If you happen to rub the back or rear, it may be both relaxing and relieving.

Cats will express their approval and elevate their bum to encourage you to keep petting or rubbing.

Just like us, a gentle massage will make your kitty feel good.

Why Doesn’t My Cat Like Me Petting Their Back?

Why Does My Cat Raise His Bum When I Pet Him?

Petting a cat on the back, rear, or near the tail base is soothing for most felines, but, as mentioned, not all will be a fan. Let’s look at why this might be the case:

Your Cat Is Unsure

If you’ve only just got your cat, you may still be bonding. And, as such, your cat may feel too vulnerable to allow you to scratch their back and rear.

That’s totally fine – you can pet them in other areas where they are more comfortable while you earn their trust.

Not all cats have the best start in life, so some cats may be reluctant to allow you pet them in certain places, or at all, if they have been abused or neglected.

Take it slow with your kitty and show them they can trust you. Don’t push them to do something they’re uncomfortable with.

After your anxious cat lets you pet them, why not reward them with a treat?

You’re Being Too Rough

Cats are very sensitive, and the back and rear areas are full of nerve endings.

If you’re petting or tickling too hard, your cat may find it difficult and may become irritated.

Therefore, if your cat refuses to be petted there, you should respect that.

Your Cat Is In Pain

If your cat normally likes being petted on the back or rear, but all of a sudden, becomes irritated, it’s important to find out why.

Can you see any cuts or lesions in the area that might be causing your kitty some distress? Do they have any flea bites?

If there’s nothing obvious to the eye, it could be that your cat has suffered an injury or is experiencing arthritis.

In either case, it’s important to take your cat to the vet as soon as possible for expert advice and treatment.

Final Thoughts

Cats are very particular about what they like and don’t like.

Many cats, but not all, love being petted along the spine and at the base of their tail and will response by lifting their bum in the air to show you how much they are enjoying themselves.

But remember, some cats won’t enjoy this at all – and this can be for a variety of reasons. I’m sure your cat will appreciate being scratched in a different area instead.

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