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View Full Version : cats & butt-wiggling: why?


booklover
05-27-2003, 03:55 PM
As many cat-owners know, most domesticated felines are in the habit of wiggling their rear ends before pouncing on prey. Why do they do this? Balance? Excitement?

I've been wondering because my cat Max hardly ever engages in this activity but is a very effective hunter, while my mom's cat Julie will wiggle her butt until the cows come home but rarely succeeds in catching anything. If there's a negative correlation between butt-wiggling and prey-catching, why do they continue to do it?

Joe Mahma
05-27-2003, 04:06 PM
I've always assumed they were settling in their paws and claws to obtain the best traction for the upcoming leap.

meyer
05-27-2003, 04:09 PM
I've always wondered why many cats will go into a frenzy of grooming when you scratch their butt near the base of their tail. Maybe they have some weird butt language that we don't understand?

booklover
05-27-2003, 04:12 PM
meyer, I think that's because they have scent glands located at the base of their tails (also on their chins/cheeks). That's why they like being scratched in that area---you're basically stimulating their glands.

Sometimes, a cat that's either really excited or really stressed will exude a foul-smelling liquid from that area, so be careful about how much scratching you do down there.

Maastricht
05-27-2003, 04:30 PM
I think buttwiggling is an extended form of tailwagging, which is done by agitated, nervous cats.
Ever notice how a cat wags its tail when it is facing a choice or inner conflict (often a choice between two unpleasant alternatives? )
And how the wagging stops when the cat chooses one option over the other (runs away from my lap?)

cat bouncing on prey has to make a choice between or bouncing now (but maybe she did't yet get close enough) or waiting longer (but then the prey might flee).

Tough choice, hence inner conflict, hence tailwiggling, hence Birdie flying away and going "prrrt!"at little Kitty.

Hanna
05-27-2003, 04:34 PM
And if your cat is dragging it's butt on the floor, that may mean it needs to have it's anal glands expressed - just like a dog. Could mean worms, too, but Bo my indoor cat had a bout with clogged anal glands last year.

The butt wiggling is bizarre, my cats do it too. Sometimes for fun I pretend to be a cat (like when I'm playing with them), and they usually ignore me *until* I start wiggling my butt like they do. Then they take notice and usually pounce at me first.

Hail Ants
05-27-2003, 04:43 PM
I'd have to go with Joe Mahma, they're making sure they have a solid grip so they pounce successfully.

There was a cat-butt-scratching thread a while ago. Apparently they have a lot of nerve endings there.

StarvingButStrong
05-27-2003, 07:54 PM
I figure it's done for the same reason golfers waggle their hips before swinging: making sure your feet are well planted and your hips sockets are loose and primed for action.

j.c.
05-27-2003, 08:28 PM
You are so silly. The reason for feline butt wiggling is evolution - the modern housecat's ancestor was a Spanish dancer.

80sHairMetalMaven
05-28-2003, 12:39 AM
LOL
I was wondering when SOMEBODY was gonna ask this question.
I don't have a clue either...other than the fact that Buttercup (the affection whore) LOVES to have her butt scratched. Even when I am shamelessly manipulating her love of butt-scratching for an evil purpose (cleaning her butt with a warm wet washcloth and removing dingleberries),she doesn't seem to care. She just wants it scratched.:D

IDBB