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I just learned something!

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I know how astonishing! Though I learn new things every day by reading, and observing my cats. Prowler and Wink have an open antagonistic streak going. Wink does not like Prowler period. She has put on weight since the kitten arrived, and she is angry (lashing tail) more vocal than I have ever seen her, and Prowler is relentless. At 14 weeks old, she wants to play. Wink wants to fight. When Prowler comes in the room now, Wink automatically rolls over on her belly. I mistakenly thought this was a show of submission. But I was wrong. It is a preparation for war. According to the book I am reading Cat Vs Cat- when a cat rolls over on it's belly it is to prepare for attack. All weapons are nearby, claws and teeth. That's why when my cats roll on their belly and I think they want a belly rub, I generally end up getting clawed and or bit. Lesson learned and filed, and passed on.......
post #2 of 22
My one cat Spirit rolls on her belly, trying to lure someone to dare pet it, she even trys to look cute and inncocent till you fall for it, then the teeth and the rabbit kicking start and before you know it you are bleeding and she is very proud.
post #3 of 22
I've always thought it was something like that, Hissy...rolling over to *me* is about submission, and at certain times rolling over to other cats, too, but when Si was a wee thing, he'd roll over to be able to fight the older (bigger) cats more successfully. Thankfully, they were playing more than fighting, but it's still "cute."

Best-
Michele
post #4 of 22
Aw I actually knew that! Wow I knew something before you MA... reading DOES pay off!
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Yes it does!
post #6 of 22
I have a cat actually who rolls on her back as soon as I acknowledge her and then I scrub her belly with my fingers and she purrs and stretches out and loves it. Cats are so different. The rest of my cats would probably bite me.
post #7 of 22
Oh wow that is good to know....Thank you...My poor scratched hands than you too
post #8 of 22
Thanks for the info!!!

Merlin has been rolling onto his back whenever Hans comes around. I had always thought that Merlin was trying to be submissive, and I couldn't understand why Hans would get so mad and then attack. What's funny is that when Merlin does it whenever mom and I are near him, it's because he wants some attention, and loves getting kisses on his tummy.

Anywho, thanks again for answer that question!
post #9 of 22
My two do that, but it's mainly Sophie!, and their pupils go large as well.

Thankfully it's just a playful fight but you always know when Sophies going to pounce on Rosie
post #10 of 22
When Dori does that she looks just SOOOOO cute! I always make a big fuss over her. When I walk over, if I immediately reach for her tummy she attacks, so I always put my hand down slowly and rub her head. She lets me pet her and then attacks me as I am walking away

Thanks for letting us know this MA!
post #11 of 22
So does this mean that a cat on its back is never being submissive? How would you know the difference?!

My kitten used to do this with my adult cat, Charlie. Charlie didn't really like my kitten although they were just starting to get along when Charlie was horribly killed.

I will always wonder now - was my kitten asking for a fight or trying to be submissive?
post #12 of 22
Thanks for the words of wisdom Hissy!
Eponine will 9 times out of 10 bite and rabbit kick me if she's on her back and I try to scratch her belly. BUT, she does have those moments of sweetness where, if I stop just early enough, she'll let me giver her a brief belly rub without bloodshed. I swear my cat (as could most cats) could be diagnosed with almost every personality disorder in the DSMV-IV!
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaspercat
So does this mean that a cat on its back is never being submissive? How would you know the difference?!

My kitten used to do this with my adult cat, Charlie. Charlie didn't really like my kitten although they were just starting to get along when Charlie was horribly killed.

I will always wonder now - was my kitten asking for a fight or trying to be submissive?

I am sorry about Charlie:-(.

When kittens are 'playing' they are actually practising the skills they need to survive in the big outdoors - fighting for territory, hunting, and killing prey. Your kitten was actually 'playing' and trying to encourage Charlie to play with him, so he could practise his cat survival skills. Kittens do this with each other and as they grow older even adult cats will 'entice' a friendly housemate to 'wrestle' with them in this same way. Lying on their backs does give smaller cats a advantage against bigger cats since as Hissy noted, all four claws and teeth are available as weapons. I don't think I have ever seen this position used for submission - that is generally the cat crouching low to the ground with its paws under its body and its eyes carfully watching the other cat. It isn't so much 'submission' rather a way to avoid being attacked by making itself not look so threatening.
Kathryn
post #14 of 22
That is quite interesting and good to know. My 3 kitties play rough a lot and it is usually our 6 month old Lewis who initiates it....practicing his cat skills. I noticed the other day, Wallace, who is huge, was totally covering Lewis and just standing there straddled on top, locked in place, biting at Lewis neck, and Lewis on his back...I thought it was submission....he was ready for a fight! I watched carefully, ready to intervene, as it did scare me a bit but then it just ended and that was that. However, Lewis in particular LOVES belly rubs as does Wallace. Wallace will roll over, meow and invite you to a tummy scratch but only for a short while on the belly and Lewis will totally spraul on his back, legs totally stretched out and you can pet and gently scratch his belly for a long time. He falls asleep like this, it is so cute. He puts his head back and purrs most loudly. Cat behavior is so interesting. It really does help to know all their ways of communication....I think it makes cat ownership so much more enjoyable. I've learned so much on the site too. I just love my kitties!
post #15 of 22
Having grown up with cats and dogs, that's something I knew, after observing several dogs misinterpreting the cats' behavior. Flat out on their backs, cats can use the "rabbit kick" to its fullest extent.
post #16 of 22
But when they roll over and over it's still to get attention right? Mine rolls on his back but isn't in a fighting mode when he does it.
post #17 of 22
Mine rolls on his back when he is hungry. He doesn't fight, so when he is on his back, I know he wants food.
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
Ok I did some more research, and this is what I found out. If the cat's head is flat on the floor and he or she is on the belly, it is safe to belly rub, but do it to long you can stimulate the cat and cause it to attack you. If the head is up and off the floor and the eyes are narrowed back off, kitty wants war-
post #19 of 22
As an afterthought - when a cat rolls over on its back and presents its tummy, it can be a sign of affection and trust ("I'm revealing my most vulnerable side"), but that doesn't necessarily mean an invitation to rub the cat's belly. Some people will be allowed to, and others will be bitten or scratched. I guess that's something you have to find out the hard way.
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
As an afterthought - when a cat rolls over on its back and presents its tummy, it can be a sign of affection and trust ("I'm revealing my most vulnerable side"), but that doesn't necessarily mean an invitation to rub the cat's belly. Some people will be allowed to, and others will be bitten or scratched. I guess that's something you have to find out the hard way.
Mine does it when I first greet him after I get home, he does it to some friends too, but not all.
post #21 of 22
Dushka will lie back in my arms, with her head back and legs splayed, inviting me (and only me) to rub her. She is doing this in my siggie. The others are more dignified, though will sometimes lie back with heads on the floor when I am petting them. But sometimes it will turn into rough play and then I have to stop quickly. Dushka will always lie on the floor with claws ready when Persil wants to play.
post #22 of 22
You know I actually read this somewhere, because my alpha cat will always do that to the others & I was wondering if there was a change in rank happening, but no Jordan is still King of the house. Then I have Levi who will roll over on his belly so I can scratch his chest. He acts just like a dog when he does this, he even squirms around with this look of bliss on his face, but no belly rubbing because that causes him to want to play. I am sort of wondering about Levi & his playing lately. His play is becoming increasingly assertive bordering on aggresive. They have always played kind of ruff, but lately he's taken to jumping on Jordan's back & biting his neck (yes all three boys are neutered.) So I'm starting to wonder if I should buy a Feliway refill (I have the plug in but haven't refilled it lately) to try & calm him down a little.
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