Has your cat ever jumped up into your lap, rubbed his face against you, purred, then turned around so his hindquarters were facing you? As if that’s not enough, he will raise his tail and it’s almost as if he’s actually presenting his backside to you. Do you feel insulted or disgusted? You shouldn’t. What your cat is doing is actually very polite in terms of feline etiquette.
When two cats greet each other they depend on scent as a valuable communication tool. They start by engaging in nose-to-nose sniffing. If the cats are familiar with each other they then engage in a little flank sniffing or even flank rubbing. Finally, one cat will turn around to present his backside for some anal sniffing. Yes, in our world that is totally gross, but in the animal world, that’s an area of concentrated scent that tells “the sniffer” much information about the cat being sniffed. For a cat to present his anal area for sniffing is considered very polite.
What Should You Do?
So when your cat turns around and presents his backside to you, he’s actually displaying his proper feline manners. Now, what should you do in response? Relax, you certainly aren’t expected to do you-know-what. All you have to do is pet your cat along the back or wherever he prefers most as an affectionate gesture.
Why Your Cat Sits With His Back Toward You
When your cat settles down next to you, instead of looking at you the way a dog may do, your kitty may sit or curl up with his back facing you. Is this his way of ignoring you? Not at all. This posture is actually a sign of trust. He knows you aren’t a threat so he’s free to turn his back so he can oversee what’s going on in the room.
Become Familiar With How Cats Display Affection and Trust
What may seem insulting or strange in our world may actually be a sign of trust or a display of affection. Be careful you don’t view your cat through the lens of how people interact with each other, or even how your dog interacts with you. Cats are very affectionate and they show their affection in many different ways. Allow your cat to be a cat.