When Your Cat Turns its Back to You, What’s he Saying?

Cats are often described as aloof loners; creatures that would rather be left alone than cuddled, pet, or otherwise attended to. They love turning their backs to us, which, in human-speak, is rudely and coldly dismissive. We tend to ascribe human emotions and behaviors to what cats do, when there are often very different reasons for similar behaviors. When a cat turns its back to you, it’s actually a sign of trust, and a huge compliment.

Chase cat turns its back

Chase turns his back to me all the time, but he still loves me

My cats do this all the time. At night, Chase will hop up on the bed, cuddle on me for awhile, and then go down toward my feet and make himself comfortable with his back to me. He’ll angle his ears at me if I say his name, or if I do more than turn over, but he keeps his back to me, even if he’s listening to what I’m doing.

Chase does this because he trusts me, not because he’s through with me and wants to go to sleep. Cats are both predator and prey, and as such, must always be on the lookout for potential danger. Allowing something to sneak up behind them is something cats simply don’t do. A cat turns its back to you because he knows that you’re not going to hurt him.

He might even feel like you’re a type of “protection” behind him.

When a cat turns its back to you, it’s one of the ultimate signs of love

Your cat’s instincts dictate that he position himself so he can see as much as possible. It’s not just so he can be on the lookout for danger, it’s also so he can be on the lookout for potential prey. He knows prey isn’t likely to come from you, either, so he turns his back to you, rather than to his surroundings.

Take heart, though. Your cat’s neck is flexible, and he’ll turn his head to look up at you, and into your eyes, with his best lovey-dovey look. So when a cat turns its back to you, know that you’re getting paid one of the highest compliments a cat can give.

2 Replies to “When Your Cat Turns its Back to You, What’s he Saying?”

  1. Bree Winters

    My cat turned its back on me when I took it to the Vet. She was very hurt, been mauled by some kind of predator at night. I left her with the Vet, and then she died, I did not get to give her her last kiss and hug. I have always thought that she was mad at me. Funney she did not cry when I put her in the cat carrier at all, like she ususally did when I would take her for her shots. So, I feel real bad and guilty, I would like to know if her turning her back to me ( your reasoning) would of still applied. Hope you respond. Sincerely Ms Bree Winters 7/3/2019

    Reply
  2. Honey Pace

    I asked the question because our cat got sick 3 weeks ago ~ from the beginning he ignored me ~ if I walked into the room where he was ~ he would go hide ~ yesterday they let us bring him home from the ICU at the LSU Vet School ~ I went into his little room to talk with him and pet him to tell him how much I love him ~ he was laying on his pallet and as soon as he saw me he painfully turned around ~ and ignored me ~ this broke my heart ~ we had him for 15 years ~ up until he got sick he slept with me ~ he would put his head on my shoulder and we would talk ~ he spoke Cat and I talked in Human ~ according to the sounds he made I would interpret it and answer accordingly ~ sometimes his sounds were pitiful and I would say sympathetic words ~ this was our routine ~ and suddenly one morning I wake up and he hate me??? Why???

    Reply

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