Why Do Cats Sit With Their Back to You? (Not Why You Think!)

Why Do Cats Sit With Their Back to You

Nobody likes being ignored, but as cat parents, we sometimes don’t have a choice.

Cats have some funny quirks, and sitting with their backs to us is one of them. 

In a normal person-to-person interaction this would be a sign that we are being ignored, but what does it mean in a cat-to-human context?

In this article, we will explore this topic and find out what it means when our favorite feline friend is seemingly trying to tell us that we have somehow offended them.

I’m sure you’ve also had that feeling before; is their back all that we are worthy of? 

Is this really the case, or are there some cat behaviors that we are not aware of?

Let’s dive in and explore the often misunderstood world of curious cat behaviors! 

Why Does My Cat Sit On My Lap With Her Back to Me?

So, now that we know what your cat is doing, let’s look at why.

If you think that the back of your cat being turned towards you is a sign of displeasure then you can breathe a sigh of relief. The exact opposite is actually true! 

Cats actually often show their backs to one another as a sign of trust, and to set one another at ease.

This is their way of showing vulnerability and also asking you for affection. Basically, they are saying “Sorry to worry you, but could I have some attention?”. 

So you don’t have to worry if your cat is doing this to you as it is a way of showing acceptance, and is indeed good kitty etiquette. 

When you think about it, it is actually a very sweet way of asking for a little affection without being intrusive or disruptive.

So if your cat is sitting on you with his or her back to you, you need not worry. It is a sign that your cat likes you, and wants a little attention to tide them over.

Related Reasons why cats sleep in their carriers or other odd places!

How Do You Tell if a Cat Loves You?

Perhaps the easiest way to tell if your cat loves you is how often they sit on your lap, purr when they are around you, or if they knead you (make bread) with their paws when they are next to you.

All of these are signs that your cat really loves you, and that being around you is a pleasurable, relaxing experience. 

Now, that is not to say that your cat doesn’t love you if they don’t spend time with you in close proximity.

I think most cat owners have come across a cat that just doesn’t like being sociable with people, and that is also completely normal. 

While they may not show us much affection at times, just the fact that they stay with you is a sign that they really do care for you.

Cats are incredibly good at finding new owners, so if your cat really didn’t care for you, then don’t worry – they would have no qualms about moving on.

Most people think that food is the only reason that a cat stays around, but that is not the case.

Cats show their concern for you by being around, so don’t let the lack of perceived affection be a sign that they don’t love you.

Cats are as individual as people are. As far as their actions go, each cat will have their own personality and quirks, just as we as people do.

Why Does My Cat Lie Down Facing Away from Me?

Much like when a cat sits with you while facing away, lying down while facing away from you can also be a sign that they are very comfortable with being around you.

This is an endearing way of showing you that they trust you and that they know that they are safe to sleep next to you.

This vulnerability is a sign of trust and shows that your cat wants to reassure you that they are happy to be living with you, and as your kitty.

This is not to say that if your cat doesn’t like sleeping near you that they don’t trust you. 

Cats have behaviors that vary just as much as ours, and due to the fact that we are not cats, these behaviors can be mysterious to us. 

But again, you don’t need to worry if your cat prefers to sleep at your feet, or sleep away from you.

Cats are unpredictable, and they will eventually sleep where they feel most comfortable. 

If your cat used to sleep near you but doesn’t anymore, then you might be doing some things while you are asleep such as: 

  • Move around a lot (tossing and turning)
  • Snoring too loud 
  • Or even pushing them off the bed

Your cat probably doesn’t hold it against you as this is happening while you are asleep, but you can’t blame them for sleeping elsewhere.

Related Here’s why my cat sleeps at my bedroom doorway.

How Can You Tell if a Cat Has Imprinted on You?

Cat imprinting is simply a term used for describing a bond between you and your cat. More specifically, a strong bond from birth where they see you as their actual parent.

This is how cats tell you that you are their chosen person and their ‘go-to’ human. It also explains why some cats just have a strong bond with certain people.

This is a rewarding thing and makes us feel very special, but it also has a few responsibilities.

When your cat has imprinted on you, they will often come to you with any complaints.

Food is running low? Your cat will let you know.

Drinking water, while not empty, needs to be changed. Again, you will be told by your cat.

Time for a late night jaunt outside? Your cat will wake you to let you know.

But what imprinting also means is that they will often make themselves at home on your lap whenever they can. 

They will purr and sleep near or on you, whether you are watching TV or trying to work on your laptop. 

If your cat often rubs up against you, or gently ‘headbutts’ you, then you know that your cat is trying to let you know that you are loved and that you are part of the cool cat club.

In Summary: Why Does My Cat Sit With Its Back to Me?

We have gone over quite a few behaviors in this article, and this is because trying to explain why your cat sits with its back to you opens up many other questions. 

Cats can be difficult to understand when we try to understand them in a human context, but that is not the level at which our beloved pets operate.

If you have been searching to find out why your cat acts as it does, then that is already a good sign that you are a great cat owner.

If your cat could search your internet history then I’m sure they would approve of your cat-themed questions!


Image credits – Photo by Olivier Mary on Unsplash

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