Why do Cats Arch their Backs?

Why do Cats Arch their Backs

If you can understand a cat’s body-language you will feel much more connected with your pet than before. Do you want to know what it means when your cat is arching its back? Read further to find out. 

Cat’s have body languages as all animals have. Arching its back is part of his body language which is kind of difficult to understand. Cat’s have multiple positions of arching its back. They can arch like head and chest down but the tail up, the legs stretched back and body leaning forward and the aggressive one where their back is like an arch and tail up while the furs are standing. There can be multiple reasons as to why cats arch their backs. Well the reasons are—

  1. A cat arches its back to stretch its muscles after taking a nice nap.it activates all those muscles that were inactive due to sleep. Cats are far more flexible than humans. 
  2. When a cat feels threatened by any thing or any person or any other animal, it starts to arch its back as a way to show they are in attack mode. When the cat feels threatened its fur starts standing specially on the tail portion. Cats do that because it makes them look bigger and aggressive. He may even start to show his side profile to present a more aggressive body language to scare the threat away be it a thing, a human or an animal. His spine has more than 50 vertebrae which makes them so flexible while we humans have just 34 vertebrae. These vertebrae stays in the cat’s body in a loose position making them gain that smooth body flexibility. When your cat is arching its back with its fur standing up and he starts to grinding its teeth, hissing at something or someone he is scared of that thing or person and he wants it to go away. He is ready to attack and he is very alert. Cat’s are smaller than most of the predators out there so to survive in the cruel world it is their defensive technique. In this situation where its arching the back with aggressiveness they get very feisty and can attack anyone who tries to go near them.                              https://youtu.be/_0gtwpYdT9A 
  3. But cat’s also arch their back when they are engaged in any playful or fun activity. But they will not growl or hiss this time. Instead they will start hopping and pouncing on the someone they feel comfortable with or they feel safe around. 
  4. Cats are very sensitive creatures, so the rising of the tail and the arching may be due to the hormones or the stretching of the muscles or unhappiness. They sometimes get angry when someone trespasses their territory. Pain is another real factor to the cause of cat’s arching their backs. 
  5. But when a cat feels happy and content it starts to arch its back. When you pet your cat and he feels good he will start to arch their back and come near you purr sometimes. It is their body language to let you know that they are happy and fulfilled with your company. This may seem not usual but most cats feel utmost pleasure being petted between the back and the tail part. If your cat is standing up and you pet him at the right spot he will start arching and lifting his tail up. If you own your cat for a long time it will be easier for you to understand all those signs of his likes and dislikes. You will be aware where your cat likes to be rubbed and how he likes it. This is an important understanding when it comes to building a strong connection with your pet. 
  6. When you stroke your cat or pet him or rub him, he may think it’s time for his meal. Some young cats think petting as a sign that their owner is going to give them food. Some cats like to consume food after their petting session. They start arching their back for that reason also. 
  7. When a cat is in pain it starts to arch its back frequently. If your cat is arching its back portion due to any pain related cause them he will do it consistently. Whenever he feels the pain he will start arching its back as a reflex. Other causes of the arching back are not permanent but pain related causes are permanent. So, if you notice your cat doing this behaviour while walking around he could be having pain in his lower belly or abdomen or in his spine. As we don’t know the real cause of the pain it will be best to take your cat to a vet as soon as possible. There are many reasons that can cause pain in its lower bellybelly such as constipation or a hernia. It can also be as dangerous as tumour or it can be because of something he ate which is causing the pain just like us humans. There are several reasons that cause Spinal pain in cats well. Like when the spinal cord gets dislocated or the spinal cord swells up or infected. These reasons cause pain, resulting in the continuous arching of the back. In these cases always go to the vet first because your kitten’s life may be in danger. 
Why do Cats Arch their Backs

How to React to Cat’s Arched Back?

If you ever fall in a situation where  your cat is arching its back in an aggressive manner it is best for you to slowly get back from the cat. Mostly a cat arches its back in an angry way because it wants the threat to go away. If you try to go near him it may attack you. 

But when you see your cat is coming to you or sits in your lap and arches its back it means he feels nice and comfy around you and it wants you to pet him. From my personal experience do not try to do anything forcefully. Let the cat come to you then slowly and gently pet him. Cat’s do not take it very nicely when they are being forced. 

Now if you notice them coming toward you hopping and pouncing that means they are in a playful mood and want you to play with them. This can strengthen the bond between the owner and the pet. In this situation play with him a bit. It will make him more affectionate towards you. It will then trust you more and it may obey you. 

Well if you want to get out of a situation where a cat is arching its back and you feel threatened by it, just slowly move away from the cat. Because he is indicating that he does not want to be in that situation. They don’t want you near them at the moment so just leave him alone. That is the wisest thing you can do at that moment. Especially on halloween cats get scared of the costumes people wear and this can make them aggressive. 

Well there is another time that a cat shows his side profile making his back arched. This is called Sideways Hop. It usually starts when the cat stands on his four stretched legs showing his sides to you, and then it starts hopping towards you. Always know that Sideways hop is not an aggressive expression of a cat. He just wants to play. If you also want to play with him you can copy his moves in a non-violent manner. 

How to make your cat to stop this behavior?

Now, listen carefully we eat, sleep and do things that come naturally to us. Arching back comes naturally to cats. It’s their way of defence as well as playfulness. You should not suppress a natural urge by any means. It is not good for them. If you love your cat just let him have his natural behaviours. If you try to make him stop arching back it may start to get aggressive with you. It may attack you. 

When a cat gets scared it will naturally arch his back showing his aggressive side, it is because doing this makes them look a bit bigger and fierce and harmful. It often scares away their potential enemy. So this behaviour is a lifesaver for them. 

And when they play with you they arch their back to show that they want to be with you, isn’t that such a nice feeling when your pet loves you back. He will start pouncing and hopping on you and that will make you more joyous as you see your cat playful and happy. He will listen to you in this mood as he is saying he loves your company. 

How to React to Cat's Arched Back

From my personal experience, keep your environment as calm and  pleasant as possible. In consequence he will not become aggressive and as a natural result he will not arch his back being all defensive and fierce. 



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