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Why Do Cats Raise Their Butts? 7 Fascinating Reasons

Why Do Cats Raise Their Butts? 7 Fascinating Reasons

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My list of “odd but cute” cat behavior is quite a lengthy one! One of the funniest things on this list is cats raising their little booties up in the air. I’m sure you have seen your cat doing this so many times, you must have wondered Why do cats raise their butts in the first place?

Cats raise their butt up in the air when you pet them just how they like it; it’s their way of showing they’re very pleased and happy at that moment. Another reason for the butt-raising behavior is when a female cat is displaying the characteristic “I’m ready for mating” position – the lordosis pose.

There are other explanations for your cat’s elevated butt; it can be a way of communicating, marking their territory, or stretching. It’s also a common behavior in very young kittens!

If you’re interested in learning more about this interesting cat behavior, I suggest you keep on reading!

Why Do Cats Raise Their Butts?

cat walking outside

This raised bottom action is sometimes called elevator butt! It might be super cute, but it also may cause you to wonder about the reasons for cats doing this? Well, there are 7 potential answers, and they’re all thoroughly explained below!

Reason No 1: They Like How You’re Petting Them

Does your cat raise its butt up in the air when you scratch or pet them? If they do – then that means they absolutely love it! For cats, raising their butts when they’re enjoying being scratched is a natural reflex!

Cats may raise their hind quarters when you’re scratching them while they’re standing up. Our feline friends absolutely love having the base of their tail scratched. If your cats purr and meow while you’re doing so, it means you’re scratching the right spot!

They might even purr and meow while you’re doing this. Their purrs and meows are another clear sign they’re liking it.

Why Do Cats Like To Be Petted That Way?

Most cats enjoy being petted at the base of their tail. The base of the tail area has a lot of nerve endings, making the scratching sensation particularly pleasing. That’s why you’ll often see your cat come to you with its booty up, hoping to be scratched. Purring and meowing can be observed as well; another common sign your cat is pleased.

One of the most obvious reasons for your cat enjoying being petted here is that the base of a cat’s tail is very hard to reach for them, so if there’s an itch, the only way to get rid of it is to convince a human to give you some attention!

Reason No 2: They Want You To Scratch Them For A Bit

If you’re wondering Why is my cat’s butt in my face? The answer is usually simple: They want you to scratch them! Felines love butt scratches!

Your kitty knows exactly how to get what they want. If you don’t volunteer to scratch them, they will come and ask you to do it! So, how will a cat encourage you to start scratching them and maybe even cuddling a little bit?! They will simply put their butt up in the air!

If you’re laying down on your sofa and your cat puts their butt up in the air (and potentially in your face), then that’s a clear sign they want you to start petting them. Essentially, it’s your cat’s way of saying “Scratch my back pleeeease!”

Most cat owners (including me) simply can’t refuse their cat’s scratching request, so I’m sure you’ll start petting your cat as soon as they ask!

Reason No 3: Female Cat Displaying Lordosis

cat with butt in air walking outside

Why does my cat raise her rear end towards the sky at certain times? If you have a female cat, the most likely answer is that your cat is “in heat” (in her estrus cycle). This means the cat is fertile and has a natural urge to mate.

A body posture characterized by the lower part of the cat’s back pointing up and the rest of the cat’s body being low to the ground is known as lordosis. It indicates the female cat is ready for mating.

The first heat cycle for female cats can occur as early as 4 months of age, although it can sometimes take until around 10 months of age. The average age at which a kitten reaches sexual maturity is six months.

What Are Some Other Signs A Cat Is In Heat?

Some other signs your cat is in heat include:

• Excessive grooming

• Being more affectionate than usual

• Excessive vocalization (meowing or yowling louder and more often than usual)

• Constantly trying to leave the house (in an attempt to find a tomcat!)

If you notice your female cat showing any of the mentioned signs, as well as raising her butt up, then it’s safe to say your cat is in heat. If you don’t want a litter of kittens, you need to make sure your cat doesn’t get pregnant, so look into spaying your cat as soon as possible.

Reason No 4: It’s A Way Of Communicating

The first thing dogs do when they meet each other is sniff each other’s butts. It’s their way of getting to know each other, but you may not have noticed cats doing this.

Cats are not as famous for greeting each other with a butt sniff, but they still do it. If you pay attention to the interaction of two cats first getting to know each other, you might notice them with raised tails, allowing one another to sniff each other’s hindquarters. Of course, this happens only if the cats have decided to be friendly in their first interaction!

A cat’s rear end has scent glands that produce pheromones which communicate information about the cat to other cats. That’s why a cat sticks out their butt; it allows another cat to find out important things about them.

Another way cats use their raised butts as communication tools is when they greet us humans. Sometimes, when you find your cat’s butt up in the air (and yes, sometimes right in your face), it’s just their way of saying hello!

Reason No 5: They’re Stretching

If your cat has just woken up from a nice long nap, there is a chance that their muscles will be a bit stiff from being in the same position for a long time. So how does a cat handle that? Just as we do; they stretch!

The most common cat-stretching pose is the one with their butt raised upwards, and the rest of their body lying close to the ground!

So if you and your cat sleep together and your cat’s booty ends up in your face, be patient – they may simply be stretching!

Reason No 6: They Are Marking Their Territory

Cats are notoriously territorial and they like to spread their scent onto whatever they consider to belong to them.

If your cat considers you as their territory, you will also get “marked” by the cat’s pheromones. Pheromones are chemicals that are undetectable to a human’s nose and they are released by scent glands found all over a cat’s body.

So How Are Pheromones And A Cat’s Raised Butt Connected?

A cat’s anal glands are scent glands that release pheromones. If a cat wants to mark you using their anal glands, all they have to do is raise their butt towards you!

There are also scent glands at the base of the cat’s tail so it’s convenient for cats to spread their pheromones onto you by raising their butt towards you while you’re petting them!

A cat may even come to you specifically for the purpose of marking you by rubbing against your leg, for example.

Don’t worry; most cats prefer marking their territory using other scent glands such as those on their paws or head (maybe cats know that using their anal glands for marking a person they like is not always very popular with the person!).

Reason No 7: Kittens Needing A Little Bit Of Help From Their Mother

Have you ever had a female cat give birth to an adorable litter of kittens? If you have, then you will know that newborn kittens cannot do much for themselves during those first few weeks. They are completely dependent on their mothers to do everything for them.

One task that the mother cats have is to lick their babies to help them get rid of waste products.

Until the kittens are 3 weeks old, they cannot urinate or defecate by themselves – they need a little bit of help from their mother. Essentially, the mother cat will lick her kittens’ butts in order to encourage them to poop and pee.

It may seem rather strange to us that kittens are stimulated to poop because of their mothers licking their little booties, but it’s a very interesting fact!

I’ve Never Seen My Cat Raise Their Butt, Should I Be Worried?

cat on table

You might have seen your friend’s cat raise their butt when they’re scratching them and now you’re confused: How come my cat never does this?

Let me reassure you that there is absolutely no reason for concern! Not all cats love having their spines or the base of their tails rubbed or petted. Your cat just might be one of them.

For example, if your cat doesn’t like having the area near its tail scratched, it might be due to the fact that there are so many sensitive nerve endings there and scratching causes your sensitive cat to be overstimulated or tickles them.

All cats are different and have different preferences, so don’t worry, your cat is perfectly normal and healthy!

My Cat Suddenly Hates Having Their Back Scratched – What Could Be The Reason?

If you know that your cat usually loves having their back scratched but suddenly they seem to hate it – that might cause some confusion or even worry for you.

Just like people, cats can experience problems with their spinal discs, and they may experience back discomfort or even pain when they’re touched. Pain along a cat’s back is something that needs to be taken seriously so it’s recommended that you visit the vet as soon as you start suspecting your cat is experiencing back pain.

Although it might sound odd, kidney issues are another problem that can also cause your cat to hate being scratched all of a sudden.

The best course of action is to take your cat to the veterinarian; your cat’s health is your number one priority as a pet owner. Both of these potential issues (spinal discs and kidney issues) are treatable, but they can also be serious health issues if not treated early enough.

In Conclusion

cat stretching by window

As cats cannot talk to us, they must resort to using body language as a way to express themselves. Cats cannot talk to other cats either, so they use body language with them as well!

For us cat owners to understand what our little ones want to tell us, we have to learn how to read their body language. One thing cats often display is their raised butt, but what does this cat behavior really mean?

The answer to why do cats raise their butts is simple: If you’re scratching them, they’re loving it. If you aren’t scratching them, they want you to start! It is also a way cats communicate with each other, how a mother cat helps her kittens, how cats stretch, a means of marking their territory and a common sign in a female cat displaying lordosis.

Try scratching your cat’s lower back and see if they’ll raise their butt up in the air. If they do so, congratulations! You give very good scratches! If your female cat is displaying the lordosis pose, keep a watchful eye on her and any male cats roaming your backyard!

There are several reasons cats put their bottoms in the air, but you can easily work out the reason behind their behavior based on the situation and any other signs they might give.

Our cats are truly amazing creatures and now that you know the reason behind one of their odd but cute behavior traits, you’re one step closer to understanding them!

Related Articles:

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• Cat Sideways Walk: 7 Reasons For This Funny Cat Behavior

• 6 Cat Sitting Positions Meaning + Other Cat Poses

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