Cats can be surprisingly flexible. They twist and contort themselves into all sorts of odd positions. Sometimes it’s to try and squeeze themselves into some unusual place. It might be a box, a tunnel, the gap between the computer monitor and keyboard… Or sometimes they just do it for fun.
I’ve had the pleasure of knowing a great many cats, and I’ve seen them attempt many different positions. Some of them more successfully than others. There are still times that I wonder at the strange places cats get into and the way they bend their bodies to do so.
Luckily the cats have almost always been clever enough not to attempt any contortions that would put them in danger of injuring themselves. Although there was that one time that one of our foster kittens managed to tie himself in the handle of a laundry basket… Thankfully that story had a happy ending, but it certainly reminded me of how important it is to be careful what our kitties are able to play with.
But perhaps that’s a theme for another blog post.
From my observations cat contortionism is often an invitation. It’s a way of saying “rub my tummy!” Sampson and Elvis, for example, will often roll around to show their tummies more if my husband or I walk past whilst they are taking a cat nap.
It can also be an invitation to play, especially when aimed at another cat. This may involve a twisting of the body followed by waving one’s paws at the legs of a passing cat. If this other cat happens to be Lola the invitation will most likely be rebuffed with some well-chosen cat swears and perhaps a whack around the ear. If one or both of the cats involved is a kitten (and, as previously stated, the other is not Lola) there will almost certainly be hijinks to follow.
Are your cats contortionists? Do they contort more often for the purposes of sleep, to invite love, or to incite play?