or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › He rolled on his back when confronted
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

He rolled on his back when confronted

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have been introducing my cat Luna with a new kitten, Sherman. They haven't had any major tussles, a little bit of hissing/growling (barely) and Luna has kinda batted at him a few times.

But right now, they are together, staring at each other (they have been having a lot of staring contests) and Shermie is making this noise that might be what you call a chatter, but i've never actually heard one so I don't know. It sounds like it's coming from his throat and his mouth stays closed when he makes this sound. There was one time where Luna approached him quickly and he rolled completely on his back with his paws in the air. What does that mean? From what I've read a chatter is what cats use to lull their pray into a false sense of calmness. And I would *think* that rolling on your back is a sign of submission...I'm so confused. Shermie also is doing a lot of circling around Luna, maybe trying to get a better look at her or...I don't know what. He hasn't swatted or anything at her. Oh and Luna does let sherman get close enough to sniff her nose w/o pawing at him...

Lastly, should I take their behavior as a sign they *might* get along or not? Or is it too soon to tell?
EDIT: Another thing Luna does is run at Sherman when he's hiding under something bat at him once (never hitting him) and then walk away like nothing happened...wierd
post #2 of 7
The rolling over on his back is saying "I dont want to fight you, but if it comes down to it, I will and will use all 4's" ............... according to the feline Behavorist I have consulted with.

The low sound with the mouth closed sounds like growling .......

The staring each other is a sign of confrontation.

I do not think they are ready to be left alone together. They will have to work things out and come to an understanding and they must have contact in order to do this, but make sure you have measures in place in case it turns ugly.

Have you used any introduction techniques?
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Pami View Post

Have you used any introduction techniques?
Yes I have. I kept them separated for a while, and switched the rooms they were in so they could smell each other. They had started eating out of each other's food dishes, drinking out of the same water dishes (Not at the same time) and using each other's litterbox. I introduced them through a cat carrier door and also through the crack of a door. I've let Luna have the entire house at night, keeping Shermie in the bathroom. During the day, Shermie got the downstairs (my bedroom and a bathroom) and Luna got the two top floors (the living room and the office on the top floor and bathrooms. Then when we got home I switched and let Luna have the downstairs and SHermie the upstairs. They've both been getting a lot of pet time and treats and play time. I have Feliway spray (no difuser yet) and I put vanilla extract under their chins when they meet. Luna has smelled all of Shermie's bedding and vice versa. aaaand...i think that's about it. Oh, I"ve been in the room all the times they've been together.

I really want to divide my time equally between the two, but I have housework and other stuff to do at home so it's kind hard to keep changing rooms. Shermie's already slipped out a few times so I thought let them meet "in cat" =)
post #4 of 7
I have to disagree with Pami, sorry Pami. Rolling over on their backs is very submissive, this is exposing their most vulnerable areas, throat and belly. A low grumble growl is a vocal communication of acceptance but slowly and respect the boundaries. The ticking sound is more often heard in the action of the hunt, but sometimes is also vocal communication within play, chase, but it is a very aware aggressive noise, not necessarily negative.
post #5 of 7
The rolling on his back could actually mean many things, but you have to take it into context as to what was happening when it occurred.

This is from Kerry a Behavorist that visited TCS back in June and answered some questions..

This charming posture is used to display friendship, love and trust, but don't touch....most kitties do not like their belly rubbed. Unlike dogs this is a very sensitive area, rubbing their belly can easily lead to overstimulation and result in the claws and teeth coming out.

On another note, when cats get to playing too rough, to show they are getting serious and to warn the other; a cat will roll over on its back to expose and show its wonderful array of weapons, the claws and teeth and express the fact they are ready to be used. So this posture can be used to express a serious warning or to express the trust they feel toward a particular person or animal. I hope this answers your question.
Below is also her web site you can visit .......

Visit CatPsych.com
post #6 of 7
I would think he was being submissive...my 2 youngest are having issues right now and the one being picked on is always doing that when the other one gets an attitude with him.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks all for your advice! The sound he's making does not sound like growling, though he has done that a couple times. It sounds almost like a chirp. The vet says that that's a sound they make when they're excited (like when they're watching birds and trying to be quiet but something just slips out.)

So an update: they are still wary of each other sometimes, but other times Sherman tries to play with Luna. I don't think she's quite decided that she wants to play yet, because that's when she bats at him. Though she is not doing anything aggressive towards him w/o being provoked. Last night they even ate next to each otherr for a little while. That is until Shermie kept trying to steal nibbles out of Luna's bowl (even though he still had food of his own) so I had to move her bowl away. But I think progress is going on!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › He rolled on his back when confronted