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Why Do Cats Raise Their Butts in the Air?

why do cats raise their butts in the air

When you stroke your cat down her back does she suddenly go into elevator butt position lowering her front end and raising up her hind quarters? If so, that’s a very common position meant as a friendly gesture and an invitation to continue scratching or petting her in that location.

You’ve Hit the Spot

Although elevator butt may seem rather insulting to us, it’s actually the cat’s very positive response to the fact that you’ve hit just the right spot when petting her. Typically, that spot is at the base of her tail. Not all cats enjoy being scratched or petted along the spine or at the tail base, but if yours does, you’ve probably witnessed that elevator going up.

Intact Cat Behavior

When intact females display elevator butt it has a much more specific meaning. The position, known as lordosis, is how the female shows the male she’s ready for mating. With intact cats in lordosis, the tail position will be different than plain old elevator butt. The tail will be off to the side in preparation for entry by the male. The female may also tread with her hind paws.

If your intact cat is displaying true lordosis it means she’s in estrus so it’s very important to make sure you keep your indoors. When in estrus females are noticeably more affectionate and vocal. You’ll probably be presented with the lordosis position just about every time you pet her.

quote from dr. haug



You may even notice one or two unfamiliar cats hanging around outside the window as well. These are intact males who are well aware of the fact that there’s a mating opportunity nearby. Be extra careful about not letting your female cat outdoors and then contact your veterinarian about having the cat spayed as soon as the heat cycle is over.

  If you have a question about your cat’s behavior, you can find information in the articles on our website as well as in Pam’s books. If you have a question regarding your cat’s health, please contact your veterinarian. This article is not intended as a replacement for your cat’s veterinary care.