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Why Does My Cat Roll Over When I Pet Him? (Belly Rub?)

If your cat is rolling over when you pet it, you may be wondering why it does this and if its normal…

Why Does My Cat Roll Over When I Pet Him?

Your cat may roll over when you pet it because it wants to play, wants you to keep going, or most importantly, becaue it loves you. Howver, it can be confusing because it is unlikely to want its exposed belly rubbed.

So, now you know. But, is it a good sign if it rolls over? Whey do some cats expose their belly then attack if you stroke it? Can you teach your cat to roll over on demand? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…

3 top reasons why your cat rolls over when petted:

Why does my cat roll over when i pet him?

A ginger cat rolled over on the floor.

Earlier I briefly mentioned some reasons why your cat may roll over when you pet it. Therefore, in this section, I will explain more about each one:

01. Wants to play

If your cat rolls over and bats at you playfully while you are petting her it could be a sign she wants to play. Cat owners will quickly learn the difference between an irritated swipe and a playful one. If your kitty is rolling back and forth and waving her paws try dangling a toy for her and see her response.

02. Loves you

Cats show affection in many ways, some of them very subtle, some of them more obvious to us. Running up to you, or near you, and flopping down on the ground to roll around is one of the ways your cat will show they love you. It’s also a sign they would like some attention and affection in return, especially if they’re showing off their belly.

03. Wants you to keep going

One of the main reasons your cat will roll over when being petted is that they are enjoying the interaction a great deal. They will become very relaxed and happy. To show you this, and to demonstrate trust, your cat will roll over and expose his or her belly.

This does not mean your cat wants you to pet their belly! The belly is a very vulnerable spot, exposing it is a dangerous proposition. Even if your cat trusts you enough to show you his belly, he usually is not comfortable having you pet him there.

Is it a good sign if your cat rolls over in front of you?

It’s definitely a good sign when your cat rolls over in front of you. It means they are comfortable enough with you to expose their vulnerable parts. The soft belly is a spot they will fiercely protect during a fight or flight situation. Your cat rolling over in front of you means they feel you are not a threat to them. It is also a sure sign of affection.

Do cats roll over because they like their belly rubbed?

Cats are unlikley to roll ovr to invite you to rub theri belly. Most cats don’t like to have their belly touched at all. Besides being a vulnerable spot in any animal, let alone a critter as small as a house cat, bellies are very sensitive.

Your cat may be ticklish! Another reason cats may not like their bellies touched is that they may just be too sensitive with all those hair follicles in soft skin.

Cats usually prefer to be touched on the chin and cheeks. They have scent glands in the chin and cheeks that they use to mark both territory and colony members. Scent is the main way cats identify one another. You are a member of your cat’s colony and petting on the chin and cheeks makes them feel secure as they blend their scent with yours.

Why do cats roll on their back when they see you?

Cats roll on their back when they see you to express excitement at your presence and to ask for attention.

Why does my cat expose its belly then attack me if I pet it?

Your cat may be exposing his sensitive, vulnerable belly to you to show you a mixture of enjoyment and trust. If you suddenly move from this enjoyable interaction and “attack” (as he sees it) his soft belly he will usually defend himself and/or run away.

If he’s enjoying the cheek rubs you are giving him so much that he rolls over and stretches his belly out just keep rubbing in the same spot and watch for body language. Your kitty may stretch out further and rub his cheek on your hand. He may tense up or his tale may twitch, showing that he’s done being touched for now.

Why does my cat roll over at the door when I unlock it?

Why does my cat follow me to bed?

Opening a bedroom door.

If your cat is rolling over when you unlock the door, it is on the ground to show you how excited it is that you’ve finally come home.

It’ll definitely want some attention as soon as possible. Maybe she’s excited you’re there to feed her. Maybe she wants to play for a bit or sit down for a cuddle after missing you while you were gone.

Can you teach your cat to roll over on demand?

Some cats can be taught all kinds of tricks. You can search for ways to teach your cat tricks on the internet.

Rolling over is one of the more difficult things to teach your cat because they have to expose their belly to do it. Teaching your cat to roll over on-demand must be taught in stages. First kitty must learn to crouch down on command, then learn to flop over on command.

An incentive to learn the trick is required. If your cat loves food and treats it will be easier to teach them to do tricks by enticing them with their favorite yummy snack.

Why is my female cat rolling around and meowing?

If your female cat is intact (not spayed), and she shows an increase in rolling and meowing a little more than once a month it could be because she’s in heat during those times.

When your cat is in heat she will likely become very affectionate and show it by rubbing against you more than usual, purring, and rolling around on the floor more than usual. She will also typically meow a lot.

A female cat’s heat usually lasts 4 to 10 days and occurs every 18 to 24 days for the duration of the breeding season (about February through September if you are in the Northern Hemisphere). Also, indoor cats may continue coming into heat year-round.

Why does my cat roll over then bite me?

Your cat may roll over and bite you because it feels discomfort. Remember, your cat is exposing his sensitive, vulnerable belly to you to show you a mixture of enjoyment and trust. If you suddenly move from this enjoyable interaction and “attack” (as it sees it) its soft belly it will usually defend itself and/or run away.

If your cat rolled over while you were petting its head, then continue to pet where it found the petting to be pleasurable. Tell it how much you love it back and rub its cheeks and chin, or wherever it likes best to be petted.

How can you train your cat to accept belly rubs?

If you really want to try to teach your cat that belly rubs are safe, and see in the process if he finds them enjoyable once he gets over the “Defend! Attack!” instinct to protect his belly, there are a couple of things you can try.

01. Pet its “flank”

One of these is to keep petting where he likes, then with your second hand, gently pet his flank near his belly. If he accepts this interaction gradually move the second hand toward his belly (over multiple interactions). Go slowly and gently and don’t pet in the undesired spot for long, a few seconds.

02. Use treats

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If your cat loves treats you can also briefly touch his belly, then offer a treat. Repeat a few times then take a break.

Lindsey Browlingdon