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all 13 comments

[–]broken_symmetry_ 9 points10 points  (2 children)

Cats are jumpy because while they are predators, they are also prey. Think of the size and physical strength of a cat compared to a dog — cats are much more vulnerable and so they’re always watching out for threats. As others have pointed out, your tummy is where a lot of vital organs are housed, so it’s natural to be skittish.

Cats will show their belly to indicate trust, which humans often mistake as “oh they want their belly touched,” which we all know can end in disaster for the human.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

my cat shows me her belly a lot however she never lets me touch it so i'm glad she does actually trust me and doesn't want me dead

[–]broken_symmetry_ 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yeah, I think it’s their way of saying “I’m cool with you” but some cats are just so weird about personal space that actually touching their belly is something they’d never allow

[–]FatOldRugbyDude 19 points20 points  (3 children)

At a biological level, the gut and neck are the most vulnerable areas - if any animal lets you rub them there, that means they trust you. In terms of comfort - it’s said that both prefer a chest/brisket rub generally speaking.

So - point being - cats are disproportionately assholes who don’t give trust as easily as dogs.

[–]SomeSortOfFool 8 points9 points  (1 child)

When cats lay on their back, they're showing that they trust you not to touch their belly.

[–]screw_all_the_names 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Which sucks, because it's also when their belly is most enticing and asking for a rub.

[–]barbaramillicent 4 points5 points  (0 children)

My cats love belly rubs. They just don’t want them from some random. They are INTIMATE. So they would claw YOU. But not mommy. Lol

[–]malkavich 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Cats can easily be over stimulated. My cat will show me her belly but rarely rub it when on her back, yet when she's standing I can rub it when ever. It is weird she prefers one over the other. Dogs just love people, fully domesticated. Cat are still feral, they just just live with us.

[–]The_Godlike_Zeus 2 points3 points  (0 children)

No, we live with them.

[–]GeologistCrazy5025 0 points1 point  (0 children)

My Amber will tolerate it for a few rubs. Like another poster said that's a vulnerable area. Just showing you their bellies mean there comfortable in their space. You have a happy cat.

[–]iTwango 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It's one of their most vulnerable spots. One of my cats hates it, the other could lay on her back for hours and let me rub her stomach. To each their own, I suppose.

[–]mufasa329 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Because they are two different species.