Why Cats Lie On Their Backs To Greet You And Other Feline Facts

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /

Cats’ standoffish nature and refusal to participate
in behavioral studies means that we know surprisingly little about what’s going on inside a kitty’s
mind. Luckily, we’re learning a little more each
day about our feline friends. Here’s a look at why exactly cats do some
of the adorably weird things they do. No one’s sure when cats first moved into our
homes and hearts, but the most commonly repeated piece of trivia is that it happened in ancient
Egypt around 4,000 years ago. They were considered sacred, treated like
royalty, and valued as an important part of the family. There’s other evidence that suggests cats
arrived well before then, with remains of a human and cat who were buried together dating
back 9,500 years. No one’s exactly sure when these mysterious
creatures showed up and volunteered their services, but we’re definitely not complaining. While we consider our feline friends to be
domesticated animals, that’s not exactly the case. When scientists took an up-close-and-personal
look at cats’ DNA, they discovered that cats are still pretty wild, at least on a genetic
level. Despite their name, domestic house cats still
share most of their DNA with their wild cousins. Unlike dogs, who have mostly grown out of
any wolf-like behavior, cats have kept their wild instincts, as well as their insistence
to be treated like royalty. Some things never change. If you’ve ever wondered if your cat has
a preferred paw, you’re not alone. Psychologists at Queen’s University Belfast
were also interested to see which paw the majority of cats used the most. Researchers gave 42 different cats separate
jars containing a bit of tuna, which the cats had to fish out in order to eat. Whichever paw the cat used to get their snack
revealed to researchers whether the animal was right-pawed or left-pawed. Out of the 21 male and 21 female felines participating
in the experiment, 20 of the males were deemed left-pawed, with one ambidextrous over-achiever. Interestingly enough, 20 of the females proved
to be right-pawed, and in true cat spirit, one female cat refused to conform to any human
societal expectations. Cats are notoriously picky eaters. Just when you think you’ve got them figured
out, they’ll almost definitely prove you wrong. That’s not just out of spite, however. Our feline friends are actually picky because
of the weird way their taste buds work. “She’s not allowed in the United States
because she only eats bald eagles.” Cats have always been carnivores, and feral
cats still rely on a heavily meat-based diet for survival. Their taste buds convey a huge amount of information,
including when something’s gone bad or been poisoned, and they also have two different
receptors in their tongues that can taste bitterness. How cats interpret other kinds of flavors
is still unclear, but one thing’s for sure, if they don’t like their dinner, they’ll absolutely
let you know. It’s estimated that about 1 to 5 percent of
cats suffer from a feline version of asthma, which is a lot like the asthma found in humans,
complete with breathing issues and coughing. While a multitude of factors are often at
play when a human develops asthma, the biggest cause for asthma in cats is, well, us. Human dandruff is cited as a major cause of
feline asthma, along with other irritants that humans bring into their homes, like cigarette
smoke. Some cats have such a powerful allergic reaction
to humans and their disgusting habits that they have to fight to breathe and could suffer
collapsed lungs or even broken ribs. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatories have been
shown to help, and asthmatic cats can usually have their conditions managed, even though
vets consider it incurable. The moral of the story? If you want to be a cat parent, you should
kick your bad habits first. It’s an argument for the ages: who’s smarter,
cats or dogs? As it turns out, on a biological level, cats
might have a slight edge on dogs. Just don’t tell them that, they’ll never
let the dogs live it down. With the wonders of modern science, researchers
have been able to measure the number of neurons present in the parts of cats’ and dogs’ brains
responsible for things like problem-solving and information processing. A cat has a staggering 300 million neurons
in the information-processing part of its brain, while a dog only has 160 million. Sorry, pups. While this means that cats are likely going
to be mentally quicker than dogs in many respects, where do they fall in comparison to humans? Part of humans’ processing power comes from
the folds that are on the surface of our brains. Lots of wrinkles on the brain means a larger
surface area, which subsequently means more processing power. Cats’ brains happen to be wrinkled like
human brains; in fact, they have a 90% similarity. They also have large and complex cerebral
structures, which govern decision-making, memory, advance planning, and reasoning skills. Their human-like brains means there’s a lot
going on in those tiny heads, and if cats ever found the time and motivation to care,
they could outsmart circles around any dog. So the next time you suspect Kitty is plotting
to install himself as the world’s next great supervillain, well, you might be right. If you’ve ever known an outdoor cat, you know
they have a tendency to disappear for a good, long while whenever they feel like it, leaving
you to wonder where in the world they’ve been all day, or week. To get to the bottom of this mystery, The
University of Illinois headed up a two-year research study that fit 42 cats with radio
trackers to monitor their every move. 23 of the cats, which were a mix of feral
cats and free-roaming, domesticated cats, were fitted with trackers that included vibration
sensors.These sensors gave a glimpse not just into where the cats were at any given moment,
but what they were doing. The cat with the biggest patch of kingdom
was a male feral who wasn’t named in the study, so we’ll just call him Stewie. Stewie’s “home territory” covered a whopping
1,351 acres that included everything from city streets and a college campus to fields. As far as researchers could tell, no one made
an active effort to feed Stewie, and he was left to his own devices to find his dinner,
as well as navigate his way through busy city streets and rural areas with dangers like
coyotes. Stewie was a special case, but even the free-roaming
cats that technically had homes wandered about 4.9 acres over the course of the study. However, researchers discovered that all of
the cats favored being close to buildings. If there’s one thing cats have in common with
toddlers, it’s their obsession with boxes. A box provides cats with a place to hide and
ambush passing ankles, as well as the security of being inside an enclosed space. When researchers in the Netherlands studied
the benefits of giving cats boxes to hide in, they found that cats with boxes adjusted
much more easily to new surroundings and were far less stressed than cats without boxes. Essentially, hiding out in a box is a cat’s
way of resolving conflict. It’s much more efficient for a cat to hide
from their problems than it is for them to fight. That makes sense, but what’s up with a cat’s
tendency to sit in other weird places, like in the bathroom sink, or in bowls, or on top
of the highest shelf? Well, there’s actually a physical explanation. Cats have a comfortable temperature range
of between 86 and 97 degrees Fahrenheit, which is much warmer than what humans prefer. That means cats tend to seek out sunny spots
on the floor, as well as tiny, confined spaces to soak up any warmth they can. Cats don’t just sleep a lot, they sleep all
over the place. You might find Captain Fuzzy-Butt catching
a nap in a window, in a chair upstairs, under your bed, on top of your kitchen cabinets,
and in various other random places. Why do cats feel the need switch up their
napping spot so often? According to experts at Catster, part of the
reason is seasonal. The windowsill that Fuzzy-Butt loves in the
summertime isn’t as nice in the winter months, so he goes elsewhere until the long, sunny
afternoons come back. Other experts say part of the reason is likely
instinctual. Cats in the wild tend to sleep in different
places for safety, varying their routine to ensure they aren’t easy targets for predators. As any owner of multiple cats knows, when
there’s more than one of them in the house, cats tend to get pretty territorial. You’ll likely find that the highest perch
on the cat tree is the napping domain of the dominant, or oldest, cat. Some cats might share their space, but they
probably won’t be too happy about it. According to Senior Cat Wellness, we may play
a part in a cat’s sleeping arrangements, as sleeping with humans is a cat’s way of
bonding with them. If your cat goes from bed to bed, they probably
just want to bond a little bit with everyone! Changes in mood or the family dynamic also
influence a cat’s behavior. Household chaos or grief over a lost friend
might make your cat withdraw from his old, favorite places. If you haven’t figured it out by now, cats
are complicated creatures. Admit it: you talk to your cat, and your cat
talks back to you, in her own special way, of course. Cats have a whole bunch of ways to communicate
with us, and it’s up to humans to pay enough attention to their facial cues and body language
to be able to understand what they’re saying. While they’re known for their meows, a lot
of people don’t realize that cats don’t meow to communicate with any other animal,
only humans. While kittens meow at their mothers, adult
cats that live together don’t usually meow at each other, and studies of feral cat colonies
have found that adult cats in feline company are usually pretty quiet. Meowing is how your cat communicates with
you in a way they think you’ll understand, and if you pay close attention, you probably
will. For example, meows that mean, “Give me food,
human” will definitely sound different than meows that mean, “Please sit and give me cuddles.” A 2003 Cornell University study had cat owners
listen to recordings of various cats and try and decipher what the felines wanted based
on the sounds they were making. However, the participants were only able to
distinguish the specific wants of their own cats’ meows. So while there probably isn’t some universal
cat-language our feline friends are trying to teach us, they have trained us to recognize
their own, specific commands. That’s right: your innocent-looking cat
has mastered the skill of manipulation, and you’ve been his test subject all along. There’s nothing cuter than a cat flopping
over to show you her belly, and according to experts, that adorable little move is your
cat’s way of letting you know that she’s super happy to see you. By showing off her most vulnerable bits and
putting herself in the most vulnerable position, your cat is proving to you that she’s happy,
relaxed, and feels completely and totally safe in your company. Awww. According to Senior Cat Wellness, cats that
sleep on their backs also feel the same sense of security around their people. If your kitty is prone to flopping over and
exposing her belly while taking a cat nap, she’s just letting you know that you’re
a pretty okay human in her book. That’s a high compliment coming from a cat. Even the most marginal of cat people know
that cats purr when they’re happy. They make their signature noise using some
sort of respiratory magic that happens within their diaphragm and larynx, but just how they
do it remains one of the most baffling mysteries of modern science. However, don’t always assume your cat is
purring simply because she’s content. Cats sometimes purr when they want us to keep
petting them, or keep sitting down so they’ll have a warm lap to lay on. It could be that your cat’s purr isn’t
an expression of happiness, but more of a dignified request, or command. Cats are also known to purr when they’re injured
or scared, and researchers think that it has something to do with a purrs’ healing power. Most domestic cats purr at a frequency of
26 hertz, which just so happens to be the same frequency that’s been found to promote
healing in bones and other body tissues. When cats are injured, they’ll likely try
to help themselves heal or comfort themselves by using the reverberation of their own purr. This is also why cats will often curl up with
injured animal friends and purr; they’re just trying to help. Purring is also something that dying cats
have been observed doing, presumably to console themselves, and maybe to console their owners,
too. Yeah, that’s not heartbreaking at all. Who else could use a good purr right now? Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Grunge videos about cool animal
facts are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the
bell so you don’t miss a single one!

100 thoughts on “Why Cats Lie On Their Backs To Greet You And Other Feline Facts

  1. I feel like my bengal was a lion in a past life and is being punished for being a dick… Despite being in a house filled with aggressive dog breeds he remains the alpha…

  2. 1 "oh shit, your cat can talk"

    2 "no, i think he meant lay on their back"

    1 "oh, well maybe that talking cat could teach him some English"

    2 "Sigh"

  3. My sweet baby died in my arms this past weekend. He was purring a lot in the days leading up to his passing, and I remember thinking of it as a sign that the end was coming. I'm so happy he's not in pain anymore. Requiescat in pace, Marcello. You were best cat.

  4. My cats are brothers – When one can't find the other, they start wailing (you know – that horrible sound cats make when you give them bathes) and they don't stop until the other turns up. Then they boop noses.

    So if cats only meow to get their humans' attention, then mine are even more incomprehensible than I thought.

  5. @Grunge I got 4. One old at 17 being the OG(girl), one is a cat from under the van across the street(she’s two or three we think), the last two are 1 and are brothers. Ronin who I call Mr. Chungus(because we was my first boy cat in a while) and Ozzy who I call Mr Floofus for obvious reasons if you saw him. Chungus and Floofus love me and hang with me all the time and a lot of times if I leave a room I’ll hear Chungus’ fat feet slapping the floor as he runs to rub on me. Van cat like my dad and mom but I was always her favorite and because I didn’t know snuggling was bad to them I scared her but she’s liking me again and same with the old cat.

  6. My cat use to meow a lot before he took a dump. It felt like he was telling me it was about to smell bad in the house.

  7. My cats act a lot like dogs, spare an obese one we found at the hospice my grandmother was at, she's our royal kitty

  8. They created a language to communicate ? When I tell my cat to stop what ever evil deeds he's doing he always argue by meowing slowly and waiting. If I dont reply "No", he will continue what he was doing. Sometimes the argument can take time, but i always have the last word ! When it's done he usually do a quick few high pitch meow and run away. I thought I was crazy to think we were talking but seems like I'm not after all!

  9. and all this stupid people braging about dogs being more clever than cats …. it was already a stupid argument to start, like it's could ever be an argument to say you better have this or this animal because he is more clever than this one, now they seems even more stupid ^^

  10. I have three cats. The younger one is a little above 1 year old, we rescued her from the street and she doesnt really commit to use the boxes or use the rest of the house as a big big litterbox..

  11. Me scrolling down through the comments if someone commented a time stamp of "this is what you came for".

  12. I've taught my cat to do "what's up" move with his had. And it wasn't hard, I was just doing it my self, every time I say hello to him, and he learned from me.

  13. You forgot to talk about the slow blink and head bumps. My kitties have always given head bumps to show love and trust. I had my 20 year old cat pass away in December and he used to always give head bumps. He had the best purr too.

  14. My cat, named Fat Boi, always comes into my room and flops on his side on the floor and starts purring when I lay down with him and pet him. I figured he was happy, but this video has made me love him even more!
    He's such a sweet boy, I'm lucky he just showed up at the house one day!

  15. So we aren't gonna talk about the clip of, " A street cat named Bob." That movie is amazing and based on a true story!

  16. The purring one makes so much sense! I was super sick once and my cat came up and sat with me and when she purred it actually felt better

  17. My cat love veggies more than meat if I give her a plate of veggies and meat she will go and eat the veggies before the meat and so does her babies

  18. god there is so much misinformation in this video.. I really wish YT would do something about these lazy "top 10" videos

  19. I really wish we could further explore how humans impact a species evolution. I find it fascinating that dogs changed so much even before human intention, yet cats have remained virtually unchanged.

  20. As soon as we walk in the door, our cats run to their favorite claw post and start their clawing routine. We love it. They’re obviously happy to see us, as us them.

  21. The brain analysis seems a tad shallow. Surface area and counts of neurons, specifically.
    The African Elephant has more neurons than a human, and while smart, there is nothing to indicate they are smarter than humans. I'd like to hear a bit more about this thing with surface area, as that would mean that animals that are bigger, which typically have bigger brains, are smarter. This does not seem to hold up if you compare corvids' intelligence with, well, a lot of larger animals.

    Last thing, what is your source on the cat neuron count? Wikipedia gives a much larger number than 300,000 at ~760,000, while putting dogs at not 160,000, but 2.253e+12, an order of magnitudes greater.

    I'm inclined to believe this video is highly unreliable. Please stop spreading lies on the internet, there is enough to sift through already.

  22. cats are too smart and fickle, makes them less adorable to be around when they refuse to participate in any kind of activity… I prefer dogs for their dumb goofy looking personality, it makes seem adorable and they are always eager to participate. ^^

  23. My cat always lays on her back, shows her belly and purs whenever i come down in the morning. It's so cute knowing the meaning now!

  24. If my cat is so smart why did she forget to put ammo on the gun she used to threaten me when I touched her belly?

  25. I have a really high heat tolerance of 145 degrees farenheit and my comfort zone is 105 degrees Fahrenheit because of my abnormally strong bones and barely any meat on my body I'm 21 and 115 pounds fyi my 2 cats are my 3 legged tiger thunder and her little sister storm the lion a little 1 week old orphaned cub

  26. Meh. My cats meow at each other. Taco meows to instigate Nacho. And they both meow when trying to find each other.

  27. One of my cats will go out of her way to drag you to the family room, flop over on the carpet, and wait until you rub her belly
    If you don’t rub her belly she’ll keep getting up and flopping over again until you do

  28. One of my kitties has asthma. He's always had it, though. We saved him from a storage locker. We found him wheezing and he remains wheezing to this day. None of my other cats (i have three) have any issues

  29. Whenever I get home from work or school and my cat hears me talking to my mom she comes down and loudly meows in a whiny way and tries to herd me till I go up to my room and cuddle her.

  30. People may think dogs are smarter because they will, sit, stay, shake your hand, etc… But cats could do that but they just don’t even care… that’s my cats!

  31. +Grunge … come on guys, did you read any papers at all? I've seen all the documentaries you're taking your info from.

  32. Domestication means that, throughout the generations, the animal has learned to coexist with humans. Usually there's a mutual benefit to this, like shelter, food and care for the animal and a companion for the human.
    It doesn't mean that the animal doesn't have wild instincts anymore. So cats are very much domesticated.
    There's only a few species of small felines that are still wild.

  33. When I was broken hearted mama kitty would climb on me and sniff my face and chest and she rubbed herself all over me and Sit on my lap as long as I cried. 😖😭💔🐱 ❤️

  34. This video brought to you by people who have clearly never been around cats.

    To be fair I only knew all this because my ex was suuuuuuper close to her cat and they could have full conversations with him only making motions and her talking normally. Anyone saying animals are stupid are sincerely underestimating them

  35. The neuron fact is pretty questionable. Dogs have about twice the neuron density of cats so traditionally dogs are actually probably smarter.

  36. My mom's cat refuses to eat wet food. She only likes meow mix and the milk flavored temptations. She also drinks from my dog's water dish even though she had her own water in an identical dish.

  37. I am a chronic pain patient (I have several chronic diagnoses, most also come with pain. In bones, muscles, nerves or skin) and am on extremely heavy pain meds. My life expectancy isn't high and I was given a terrible prognosis. However, I spent a lot of time with a friend's cuddly cat in the beginning of the year and noticed something weird: it was as if my doc had upped my meds. I could suddenly stay awake longer, fall asleep easier, relax while in pain and things that are normally excruciatingly painful for me now took way longer to hit the "omg I am dying" level. I am convinced this is a result of the purring. I decided to adopt a cat of my own and I am experiencing exactly the same things, even though he is exhausting me. I think I am creating more endorphins as a result of the purring, something that is very difficult for my brain normally.

    I have researched this a bit and also found a clip on My cat from hell where a veteran with chronic pain had the exact same experience. I also have a friend with PTSD who has less attacks and less anxiety from being with her cat. I wish they did more research on cats! They're amazing creatures and I think there is much more to them than most people give them credit for. I personally like their -relative – independence and the fact you have to earn their trust and respect. Plus, they're very cuddle-friendly :D. I bless myself lucky every day for being a cat mom!

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