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Why Do Cats Wiggle Their Butts Before They Pounce?

  • Post category:Behavior
  • Post last modified:April 13, 2020
  • Reading time:5 mins read
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If you are a cat parent, then you already know that one of the cutest quirks our cats have is the ol’ pouncing butt wiggle. Have you wondered why do cats wiggle their butts before they pounce?

It’s cute, it’s interesting, and sometimes it makes you spit out your coffee when you watch your cat engage in this type of behavior. So why do cats wiggle their butts right before they’re about to pounce?

Simply put, a cat will wiggle their butt before pouncing as a way to get ready for the attack shot.

It’s Part of Their Overall Body Language

Why do cats wiggle their butts before they pounce

The body language our cats use on a daily basis actually plays a powerful role in cat-to-cat and cat-to-human communication. Much of the butt wiggling has a lot to do with your cat’s tail. 

If the tail lowers itself slightly and begins to lash back and forth, it usually means that your feline companion is about to wiggle their butt.

Why Does Your Cat Pounce?

Pouncing is an intuitive hunting instinct among both domestic cats and their wild counterparts. Tigers and lions that are out in the wild have to hunt to survive, and pouncing on their prey helps them to successfully kill their dinner.

Now obviously, your domesticated cat at home does not need to hunt for survival. Still, it is in their DNA so that’s why your four-legged friend will wiggle their butt right before they attempt to pounce on that toy mouse you bought for them. 

What they are doing is simply perfecting their hunting skills. Regardless, it’s one of the cutest things you will ever see your cat do.

Try This Experiment With Your Cat

The next time you see your cat playing around with a jingling ball or a furry toy mouse, watch what your cat does after it starts the infamous butt wiggle. 

Your feline companion will pounce on that “thing” which has their attention and then kick-flip the toy in the air. This is usually done with the intention of catching the toy in their mouth. 

What happens next is usually a combination of shaking the “thing” to make sure it’s dead and dropping it on the ground in front of them. This process is usually repeated over and over again until your cat is satisfied.. Or “catisfied”. 

What your cat is doing with its toy is the exact same thing it would do if it were out in the wild trying to survive. 

The Shake Before the Pounce

This is the funniest part about this whole concept simply because it’s so gosh darn cute to watch. But did you know that pouncing actually helps your cat dash towards its prey?

When your cat is about ready to attack its “prey”, aka cheap mouse toy, it will hunker down first and get a solid balance with its paws. And then it will go in for the kill by using both front and back paws to dart at the toy mouse. 

The wiggling motion is just to help your cat get some balance before it goes in to make its move. 

Final Thoughts

Our feline companions do some pretty hilarious things on a daily basis. Most of the time though, our cats are not doing these funny things just to get you to laugh.

Feline behavior is so instinctive that it’s ingrained deeply into their DNA. But that doesn’t stop me from laughing or almost spitting out my coffee when I see this type of behavior. What about you?