Ah, cats. These quirky creatures have many of us wrapped around their little paws. From loving head butts in the morning to kneading, they definitely are unique. Some of their behaviors are more interesting (and confusing) than others. Why does a cat raise their butt when a human offers pets? This is one of their most unusual behaviors. If you’ve ever wondered why your cat does this, you have come to the right place. 

It Feels Good!

Cats don’t tend to do anything they don’t want to do, and the same is true for getting pets. If they are enjoying a really great petting session, a cat might raise their butt in appreciation. There can be a few reasons for this positive display:

  • It gets the good spot even closer to your hand (many cats like being petted right at the end of their tails)
  • It raises the nerve endings to increase the pleasurable feeling even more
  • It increases pressure and enhances the petting session

They Trust You

Cats can definitely be temperamental when it comes to human interaction. Any time a person is able to break past this barrier, it warrants celebration. A cat raising their butt toward your hand when you pet them shows that they trust you. Cats are biologically hardwired to protect themselves in the wild. Because of this, they tend to live lives of solitude in nature. If a cat trusts you enough to not only let you into their personal space, but to show you they trust you? You’ve basically won the feline lottery.

She Is In Heat

If you have not altered your female kitty, this behavior could be a sign she is in heat. Female cats in heat will often raise their butt when they are ready to go on the prowl for a mate. If your cat is not spayed, you should not let her out of the house during this time unless you want a litter of kittens. 

We recommend spaying your pets to:

  • Prevent unwanted kittens
  • Reduce aggressive and destructive behavior 
  • Reduce unwanted spraying in the home

Feline Instinct

Even grown cats will sometimes revert back to instinctual behavior they exhibited with their mothers. This is especially true when they are bonding with their human. Sometimes a cat raising their butt is what they did to help their mother groom. The motion of your hand could remind your cat of his mom’s tongue, which instantly causes him to raise his backside. 

Smell Transfer

Cats recognize each other (and us) by scent. Raising the butt is your cat’s way of getting their anal glands closer to your nose so you can get a whiff of their pheromones. This is how cats introduce themselves to other cats. It is simply their way of saying “oh, hey. It’s me.” 

There is no one answer to why does a cat raise their butt when petted, but cats are complex creatures. The main reason is likely to just make sure you pet them right where they want. 

Whether you want to learn more about cat behavior or need specialty care, OVRS has something for you. Our Bloomfield Hills multi-specialty referral center is here when you need us, 24 hours a day. To learn more about our specialty services or to schedule an appointment, please call 248) 334-6877.