<iframe src="https://www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-PK9D66" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden" title="gtm-frame"></iframe>Why Does My Cat Show Their Belly? | Agria Pet Insurance
03330 30 10 00
Get a quote
My AccountGet a quote
Get a quote

Back to Guides and advice

Why does my cat show their belly when they see me?

When your cat sees you, do they roll onto their back and show their belly? If you’ve ever wondered why they do this, we look at the reasons, and the best response.
Why does my cat show their belly when they see me?

If your cat rolls onto its back and shows you its belly, you should feel honoured. Cats roll onto their backs to show they want a friendly relationship, and to strengthen bonds within the social group.

So if your cat does this for you, it shows they trust you, and feel comfortable and relaxed around you. In fact, they know they’re safe enough in your presence to expose their vulnerable areas, without the threat of being attacked.

Another way to make sure your cat is protected is with peace-of-mind cat insurance.

But while it can be perceived as an invitation to cuddle and snuggle when a cat rolls over on its back and shows its belly, that's not always the case. Cats show their owners trust through this behaviour, but can sometimes find it unpleasant to be patted or rubbed on the belly.

Should I pat or rub my cat on the belly?

Avoid patting your cat on its belly when it rolls around, as its tummy is sensitive. A belly pat could lead to scratching or biting from your cat.

Similarly, while some cats enjoy belly rubs, not all do. Try to pay attention to their body language, and respect their boundaries. If they seem at all defensive about their bellies, don’t go in for a belly rub.

Instead give it attention by talking.

The simple act of patting your cat's belly can be compared to a person extending their hand to greet you and you respond by kissing them. For the vast majority of people, this is far too intimate!

Are there other reasons why my cat shows their belly?

Demonstrations of comfort and trust aren’t the only reasons your cat might expose their belly. They might be having a good stretch as a way to relax and relieve tension, for example.

Similarly, they may be regulating their temperature. Cats’ bellies have less fur, so exposing their stomach can be a good way of cooling down - similar to sticking your feet out of the duvet.

Your cat may also be trying to get your attention. The more you get to know your cat, the better a feeling you’ll get for what they’re trying to tell you. Perhaps they want you to play? Maybe they want to be fed? If your cat wants your attention, it’s respectful to acknowledge it. Talk to them, and maybe even give them a treat.

How else does my cat show trust?

Cats also show trust through other behaviours, for example:

  • Head butting / bunting. Your cat may gently bump their heads against you as a sign of affection and trust.
  • Kneading. When cats knead with their paws - often against soft surfaces like blankets or your lap - it's a behaviour carried over from kittenhood. Kittens knead their mother’s belly to stimulate milk flow. As such, it’s an intimate act.
  • Following you around. If your cat follows you from room to room, they want to be near you. It's a sign that they feel secure in your presence.
  • Slow blinking. Cats often slow blink at their owners - also known as a ‘kitty kiss’ - which shows relaxation and trust.
  • Bringing you gifts. If your cat brings you ‘presents’, it can also be sign of trust. This might be something nice, such as toys. Or it might be something gross, like dead prey. But they're just sharing their hunting success with you, as they would with other members of their family.
  • Sleeping near you. Your cat choosing to sleep near you or on your bed shows they feel safe and comfortable with you.
  • Purring. While cats purr for numerous reasons - including when they're in pain or stressed - they also purr when they're content and comfortable, which can indicate trust.

Find out more about your cat’s behaviours. And if you’re wondering about their wellbeing, find out if your cat is happy, and what you can do about it if they’re not.

Previous article

Breathing difficulties in dogs

Next article

Outdoor rabbits in winter

Related guides and advice

Follow us

  • Cookie policy
  • Privacy Policy
  • UK tax policy
  • Terms and conditions
  • Modern slavery statement

For UK customers:
Agria Pet Insurance Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Financial Services Register Number 496160. Agria Pet Insurance Ltd is registered and incorporated in England and Wales with registered number 04258783. Registered office: First Floor, Blue Leanie, Walton Street, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP21 7QW. Agria insurance policies are underwritten by Agria Försäkring.

For Jersey customers:
Agria Pet Insurance Ltd is regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC). Ref: 0001498. Registered office: As detailed above.

For Guernsey customers:
Clegg Gifford Channel Islands Limited is licensed by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission. Ref: 2722221. Registered office: Admiral House, Place Du Commerce, St Peter Port, Guernsey GY1 2AT.

© 2024 Agria Pet Insurance Ltd. All Rights Reserved.