Why do cats put their butt in your face? Decoding that strange butt-bumping behavior

Bumping butts is a common attribute of a healthy kitty, even if it seems to make no sense to us sensible humans. But why do cats lift their butts like that and where does it come from?

Does your cat lift its butt when you pet it? What's behind this weird behavior?
Does your cat lift its butt when you pet it? What's behind this weird behavior?  © Unsplash / Christin Hume

It's well-known that you can tell a lot from a cat's posture and body language. Considering that they can't really speak, it's probably for the best – you do need some form of communication, after all.

One of the more bizarre examples is your cat lifting its butt when you pet it, sometimes sticking it right in your face.

As usual, the TAG24 cat guide is here to solve a mystery.

We're diving into why cats lift their backside when you pet them. Is it a sign of affection, a weird cat-joke, or something else entirely?

Here's why cats do that strange butt bump.

Why does my cat put its butt in my face?

If your four-legged friend has developed the habit of raising its butt into the air, with its tail like a flag pole reaching towards the sky, there's really nothing to worry about. That doesn't, however, mean that there are no reasons behind it. Let's check out a few.

Cats lift their butt up to get to know each other

Everyone knows that dogs like to sniff each other's behinds, while also exhibiting some odd humping habits, but not everyone knows that a cat's butt-lifting behavior is rather similar. It's a sign of affection and a method of communication.

The anal area of a cat is covered with numerous scent glands that reveal a lot. From giving insight into a cat's mood, age, and gender, to serving as a greeting, a cat with a raised back and an upright bum has but one message for its audience: Come get to know me!

So, if you have been patting your kitty and it has raised its hind, then it's likely due to a desire for your cat to communicate its affection or enjoyment of the pats.

Cats show their butt when in heat

A cat will raise its bottom as a sexual response when it is in heat. It's a sign to kind-of say "Hey, you, I'm down to mate!", poking its butt into the sky and waiting for a male cat to oblige. Before you get freaked out, this is unlikely to explain why your kitty has been doing this during petting sessions.

While a cat will show its butt when in heat, it's not likely to be triggered during a cuddle, and more likely to be triggered by the presence of a male cat in the immediate vicinity. Don't worry, there's no funny business going on!

Cats raise their backs towards their caring mother

Young cats will lift their back up when getting licked clean by their mother.
Young cats will lift their back up when getting licked clean by their mother.  © 123RF / Sbworld8

A cat's habit of stretching its back upwards when it is being touched further back is often likely due to an instinctive behavior developed during childhood. When a kitten is still being cared for by its mother, it will raise its butt into the air to allow grooming.

You have to remember that cat mothers will clean their children by licking them, and that includes everywhere from top to bottom – literally. As a result, if you stroke your cat on the rump, you will unconsciously imitate that behavior and trigger an instinctive response within any cat.

Cats will instinctively lift their butt when you pet them, and there's nothing weird about it

It might make you laugh or cringe, and it might be a bit bizarre, but there truly is nothing to worry about when your cat lifts its butt. That's its way to communicate with you. Alternatively, they might be in heat, or perhaps they're just simply a little over-stimulated. No matter the reason, there's nothing to concern yourself with.

Instead, realize that your kitty is rather sensitive down the tail-end of its back, and be cautious when you pat it there. If it sticks its rear-end in your face, it probably wants some petting there, but if it doesn't, don't you go making assumptions!

Cover photo: Unsplash / Christin Hume

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