A cat rolling around on its back is really not all that strange, but there are multiple reasons for this behavior.

While it can certainly be amusing and entertaining, you will want to know why your feline friend does this.

It could be completely harmless or a sign of a serious health problem.

1. Your Cat is Looking for Attention

One of the simplest and perhaps most common reasons for a cat rolling around on its back is that it wants attention. While these animals might have a reputation for being cold and/or distant, they crave interaction with people on a daily basis.

If you are not currently giving your cat enough attention, you might want to view this behavior as a sign that you should spend more time with them. Cats that do not get enough attention on a daily basis can end up manifesting all sorts of negative behaviors that you don’t want to deal with.

You could look at them rolling around on their back as an invitation to play, which you should definitely accept. Dedicating a little bit of time to play with your can each day will go a long way towards preserving its mental and physical health.

Scratching your cat’s belly for a minute or two could be all it takes to get them to stop. It usually doesn’t take much to satisfy a cat’s need for attention, as it doesn’t tend to be insatiable like a dog.

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2. A Release of Energy

Sometimes cats roll around on their backs as a way of releasing all of the energy they have stored up. Your pet will go crazy if they do not expend this energy somehow, and this is just one way of doing that.

Cats that do not get to go outside are more likely to exhibit strange behaviors in general. This is because they are not allowed to satisfy their natural hunting instincts. It is very important that you play with your cat on a daily basis. Get one of their favorite toys and watch them go crazy with joy.

cat on back

3. They are Scratching an Itch

It’s also possible that your cat went onto its back because they are trying to scratch an itch. This may be the only way they can do this. They may also just be stretching their muscles, as these animals tend to do from time to time. You know how good it can feel to stretch when your muscles are tense, and cats can experience the same pleasurable sensation.

4. It Means They are Very Relaxed

When a cat gets on its back and exposes its belly, it means that it is very relaxed and feels completely safe. This means that they feel secure in your presence. It is the kind of thing that wild or feral cats rarely do, as it means they a very vulnerable part of them is completely exposed.

If your cat relaxes this much in your presence, it definitely means that they trust you. This is the ultimate compliment that you could receive from your feline companion.

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5. Submissive Behavior

If you have multiple cats at home, one of them might get on their back as a way of signaling its submissive status to another. This is just their way of letting the alpha cat in the house know they realize their place. It is hierarchical behavior that is perfectly natural for these animals.

6. They are Reacting to Something They Love

It is not uncommon at all for cats to immediately act silly when they are around something they love. This could catnip or even just a new toy that they have taken a real shine to. This is often an expression of happiness and excitement over something very specific.

cute cat back

7. Mating Behavior

If your cat is not spayed or neutered, they could be rolling around on the floor this way for mating purposes. This is common for female cats in heat, or male cats that are reacting to a female’s pheromones.

Once a male cat senses that a female in the same house is in heat, they can get pretty crazy. This can manifest in lots of different ways, including rolling around on their back. It is also usually accompanied by tons of loud vocalization.

8. They are Marking their Territory

It is possible that your cat is rolling around on their back as a way of marking a certain area with their scent. This is basically their way of staking claim to the house. You may be the one who pays the bills, but they don’t care.

9. Health Problems

There is also the chance that your cat is exhibiting this amusing behavior because of some health problem. You will need to make sure that your cat is not actually having a seizure, as sometimes it can be rather hard to tell. Look for a loss of consciousness or shaking of certain areas of their body.

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Seizures can be either partial or involve the entire body, depending on what is causing them. This is often a very serious problem that needs to be addressed right away.


  • If you notice your cat rolling around on its back, it is probably because they want belly scratches or some play time.
  • Cats are loaded with energy that needs to be expended, and this is just one way for these animals to do this.
  • There is a possibility that your cat is just trying to scratch an itch on their back, or even stretch their muscles.
  • This is a sign that your cat is completely relaxed and feels at ease around you, which is always a good thing. You should take this as the compliment it is.
  • Cats that are in heat or responding to an in-heat female might roll around on their back, as well as many other seemingly odd things.
  • Make certain that your cat is just rolling around on their back and not actually having a seizure.
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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".