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Why Cats Arch Their Backs

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why cats arch their backs

Party Marty here! Your favorite blogging cat! Do you know what day it is????? It’s Friday!  Woo hoo! My favorite day of the week! Of course, every day is my favorite, especially when it involves napping. You know me…so little to do and so much time to do it!

While you have been busy preparing for the weekend, I have been busy preparing my post for today. I saw something on Facebook recently about why cats arch their backs. To be honest, I never really thought about it, I just do it. However, there are a few reasons that cause us to engage in this behavior.

First of all, be aware that our backs are quite flexible, and we can curve it into a pretty tight arch. Impressive, huh?  Ever seen your dog do that? I think not!  However…on to the reasons why cats arch their backs:

Defense Mode

If you are a fan of Halloween, you know that the black cat with its arched back is a popular symbol at that time of year. It’s our classic Halloween pose. It’s our way of making ourselves look bigger when confronted with danger. When we strike this pose, we are essentially screaming to the world, “Yes, I am afraid of you, but I will defend myself if necessary.”  Throw in some hissing, growling, spitting and teeth baring, and you have the makings of a frightening scene. Don’t come any closer!

Play Pose

We also arch our backs when playing. Obviously missing will be the aforementioned growling, hissing, and spitting. Instead, we may replace that with hopping and pouncing…. sometimes directed towards another cat or to a person with whom we feel comfortable.

Simple Stretch

And then cats sometimes just arch their backs as a means of stretching…. just like you humans do. Of course, we are far more flexible than you are…so please don’t try this arched back move at home!

The take away here?  A cat’s arched back can mean, “Get back!” “I’m ready to play!” or “Ahhh…that feels good!” Learn our language and we will get along great! 

Thanks to for this helpful information!


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