February 19, 2010 at 2:36 pm , by Rachel Shippy
The first time my cat, Winks (right), hopped on the coffee table and flopped over to flaunt his polka-dotted belly, I completely melted. And the sweet look he gave me (cat owners, you know the look I’m talking about)… so cute.
But once I was done aww-ing and my voice returned to a normal human pitch, I began to wonder why he did it. After all, I hadn’t given him a treat or even whistled in his direction. It turns out that this was just his way of showing he trusts me. Cats show their affection in many different ways and the belly-up move is one version. However, don’t mistake it for an invitation to rub your cat’s stomach—you could find yourself on the business end of a scratch attack. In your cat’s mind, your hands-on response might seem like a violation of his trust. So the next time your cat goes belly-up, don’t dive right in. Test the waters and show him you care by gently petting and monitoring the response. If his ears flatten, abort mission!