Have you noticed your cat standing up on its hind legs? 

There are several possible reasons for this, and you’ll want to know what they are. The more you understand about your cat’s behavior, the easier it will be to care for them.

Your Cat’s Posture

There is actually quite a bit that you can learn from your cat’s posture. It can tell you how they are feeling at any given moment. The more attention you pay to their posture, the more you will know about how to respond to them.

For example, a cat with a stiff body and tail pointed upward is very tense and possibly aggressive. There are numerous explanations when it comes to a cat standing on its legs. When you learn more about these explanations, you’ll know more or less what to do.

Why Your Cat Is Standing Up On Its Legs?

It could be various different reasons but among the most common are: your kitty is trying to intimidate a predator, asking for food, petting or attention, playing, or just being curious. There is definitely nothing to worry about.

But let’s find out about all the possible reasons in detail.

1. They Are Trying to Intimidate a Predator

When your cat gets up on its hind legs, it might be trying to intimidate and scare off a perceived threat or predator. These animals might do this when they encounter another animal or even a new toy that you get them.

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This is a very old instinct cats have that goes back many years. When they make themselves big, it is usually to scare off other animals. You might notice them doing this when you take them for a walk outside.

2. They’re Trying to Get Food

Your cat might get on its hind legs and stretch its body out when it is trying to get food it sees in your hand. This is basically their way of saying “gimme!” It is important that you don’t give in to their strange but adorable behavior though. This will only encourage your cat to keep begging for food. Even if you feed your pet with a good cat food sometimes it can beg for some treats.

They may also do this if they are a little hungry and want a treat to tide them over between meals. This is fairly common with cats who have owners that lavish treats on them all the time. This is just another reason to limit the number of treats you give your cat each day. The last thing you want is for them to become overweight.

kitten and dog stand

3. Trying to Get Your Attention

Another possible reason that your cat is standing up on its legs is that it wants to get your attention. Some cats are needier than others, and they can exhibit all sorts of odd behaviors when vying for their owner’s attention at home.

It is important that you play and interact with your cat on a regular basis to avoid them acting out, which can take many different forms. These animals need to be stimulated physically and mentally each day. A lack of either type of stimulation can lead to nothing but bad things.

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4. Your Cat is Excited to See You

If you notice your cat stand on its legs when you come through the front door, they might just be excited. This most likely means that your kitty is very happy to see you, which you should take as a big compliment.

Those who have a very close bond with their cat often notice this type of behavior in them. This is definitely a sign that they have nothing but positive feelings about you. It is something that you do not want to discourage in your cat.

5. They Are Just Curious

A curious kitty can behave in all sorts of ways that can seem strange to their owner. If they encounter something they don’t understand, they might stand up on their legs. Cats most likely do this to get a better look at something. While it might not actually help your cat understand what it is seeing, it may just feel like the natural thing to do at the time.

6. It Wants to Be Petted

Kitties want to be petted just like any other domesticated animal, and standing up on their hind legs might be your cat’s way of asking for this. You will certainly want to oblige them each time. This will help strengthen the bond you have with your cat. It will also help your cat to trust you.

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When Should I Be Concerned?

If you notice any signs of illness accompany your cat’s change in posture, you should get them to the vet right away. This includes vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargic behavior. Standing on their hind legs could be due to a neurological problem, but this is not likely.

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Some cats that get older and experience cognitive decline can start acting in odd ways. This might be standing on their hind legs, or chasing their own tail. It is difficult to tell whether or not this is the case without getting a bunch of different tests done on them.

You should keep in mind that your cat standing on its legs is usually not a cause for concern. You will, however, need to keep this option in mind. There are all sorts of different medical conditions that could cause your cat to do this.


  • Cats will often stand on their hind legs when they are trying to intimidate or scare away a predator.
  • There is a lot that you can learn from your cat’s posture, so you’ll need to keep that in mind.
  • It is possible that your cat is standing on its legs to get food. This is likely the case if you have food in your hand or it is used to getting treats on a regular basis.
  • If you think that your cat is doing this to get treats, you shouldn’t reinforce the behavior.
  • It’s also a possibility that your cat is standing on its hind legs because it is just excited to see you.
  • When your cat really wants to be petted, it might stand on its legs. You should definitely give it some head scratches if this is the case.
  • If you notice any signs of illness accompany this behavior in your cat, you should get them to the vet right away.
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Hi! I'm Anna and I´m a certified cynologist (KAU, ACW). Expert, blue cross volunteer, owner of Chinese crested kennel "Salvador Dali" and breedless friend called Fenya. "I can't imagine my life without dogs and I totally support the idea #AdoptDontShop".