My cat often sits on my lap with its back facing toward me. Is my pet just looking out, or is there some other reason why it does this?
From the Editors of The Daily Cat
The behavior that you describe is one of the most misinterpreted actions among felines. We tend to personify our cats, which isn’t always a bad thing. They can be like best friends and family members, providing support and companionship. In this case, however, human and cat actions differ.
When a person you’re trying to interact with sits with his or her back facing you, it’s usually a negative sign. That individual does not want to deal with you. As Pam Johnson-Bennett, author of the book Starting from Scratch: How to Correct Behavior Problems in Your Adult Cat, shares, for felines it’s a whole other signal.
Johnson-Bennett explains that cats sitting in this manner are revealing that they fully trust you. No cat in its right mind would sit that way if it thought you had ill intentions. The position represents the near ultimate faith that you won’t attack.
She adds, though, that cats are still hardwired to be predators. As a result, they like to sit so that all of their senses can detect what’s going on in the surrounding environment. Sitting in that position, your cat can smell someone or something else approaching. It can see at least 180 degrees of action. It can also hear incoming sounds better.
The next time your cat
sits with its back facing toward you, don’t consider it to be rude. It’s
actually the kitty version of a compliment.