Cat owners are confused about what their pet wants, a new survey suggests. When a cat lies on its back what does it want?
A tummy rub?
WRONG! It's the head stroke. According to the survey by charity Cats Protection a cat lying on its back is saying it trusts you not to touch its belly. It is also giving someone permission to stroke its head.
Lying down, belly exposed: This is not an invitation for a belly rub. The cat is showing that it trusts you, and if you touch its belly, you are betraying that trust; that's why cats will often respond by grabbing your hand and wrist with their claws. Just give it a little pat on the head instead.
• The greeting – when the cat walks towards you with its tail up, it means it is saying hello
• The sign of trust – when the cat rolls on its back exposing its stomach it is showing it trusts you rather than wanting its belly rubbed.
• The leg rub – when the cats rubs its head and body against your legs it is saying you smell strange and is trying to mark you with its scent
• Flattened ears – when the cat flattens its ears it is frightened and needs somewhere to hide
• Licking of lips – while after eating this can just be it is cleaning itself, at other times it can be a sign of nausea or stress
• The slow blink – the cat will slowly close and open its eyes, turning its head to one side, meaning it is relaxed and is not feeling threatened