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does he really want a belly scratch?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hello! I am very happy to have adopted my first kitty about two weeks ago. Being a first time owner, there are some things I'm not exactly sure about. After petting Bogie for a big, he always rolls over to expose his belly and looks expectantly at me. When I try and rub his belly, however, he bats at my hands and tries to nip. I'm not sure if he's playing/ enjoying it or telling me to bug off. Help! Thanks.
post #2 of 7
My 7month old kitten silas used to do the same thing. Right now he just wants to play all the time. As he gets older he will calm down and really let you pet his cute belly. But, Silas still sometimes goes into attack mode unexpectedly. lol
post #3 of 7
Its good that your kitty is exposing his belly to you - thats a sign of trust. Thank you for adopting Bogie and giving him a good life.
post #4 of 7
I agree it is a sign of trust. Keep in mind that some cats like their tummies rubbed but others will bite and scratch if you touch their tummy. So, even if it looks really inviting, since Bogie nips at you when you rub his tummy I wouldn't do it any more.

Of my 6 cats, only one likes her tummy rubbed. The others will show their tummies and I really want to give a good rub, but I know that they really don't want their tummies messed with despite the display!
post #5 of 7
Cat's tummies are very sensitive areas, as well as a vulnerable area. Sometimes when cats are overstimulated, either on the tummy or just with petting, their skin gets so sensitive it can actually hurt. That's why some cats seem to enjoy pets and then suddenly attack. Watch kitty for signs of being annoyed - tail twitching, eyes dialated, ears turned to the side or back. If he does these things, back off. He's trying to tell you he's had enough.

Try petting him on the chest when he offers his tummy to you. This isn't quite as sensitive as the belly, and I know my Trent LOVES getting his chest scritched.
post #6 of 7
I just wanted to add this, as I thought it was interesting reading, and I've never found another site that quiet spells it out like this.

It's not completely related to your problem, but it dabbles a little bit into understanding what to do when a cat does that. It's an article from here on aggression, but even though your cat isn't trying to kill you, it IS telling you, "I don't trust you down there, so back off lady!"

Asim does the same thing at times, sometimes he likes belly rubs other's not. He's a very playful cat, he's always been very gentle when he does "bite" or use his paws on me. But when I can tell he's starting to get out of hand with the belly rub aggression and he has my hand wrapped up in his paws and his mouth gently on my hand I just say "alright Asim, no more, this isn't fun." He just looks up at me and then lets me go, and I find something un Asim related to do for a while.

post #7 of 7
We've had our guys for 6 weeks now and I started a technique with them that seems to be working (I had to learn the hard way - I let my other kitties do whatever they wanted and I wound up scratched to pieces while they were playing). When they show their belly and do that hand grabby-gentle biting thing, I slowly pull my hand away, look them right in the eye and say softly but firmly "Hands are for loving, not biting!" and they actually STOP! Who knew? I've been doing this since the day we brought them home and while they still get nutso, this approach does work (well, MOST of the time. )
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