Have you ever noticed your cute cat stretching its legs up and down? Can you explain why they’re acting this way? Cats, like people, communicate and express their moods and feelings through body language. There are a variety of reasons why do cats stretch so much, according to some animal specialists. This article will show you some examples of cats stretching before delving into what’s going on and why they’re doing it.
Table of Contents
What is cat stretching behavior?
Cat stretching behavior involves extending their neck, limbs, and back to the full length while stiffening them. Normally, there are 4 types of stretching found in cats.
If they’re standing, they might extend their forelimbs forward, stretch out their toes, and lift their rear ends. Their back and forelimbs are properly extended, and it reminds us of a yoga position! When cats stretch their back legs from a standing position, they are merely lengthening their muscles. They could perform this by lifting each limb off the ground or stretching diagonally opposed legs into a full stretch.
When walking, a cat also stretches his back legs. He’ll take small steps forward, stretching one or more legs with each step. Cats will bend their backs and appear to be standing on tiptoe while extending their legs if they wish to stretch all four limbs at the same time.
In case cats are resting with their bellies in contact with the floor, they may extend their forelimbs out in front of them and stretch out their necks before laying down on the surface. When cats lie on their side and extend all four limbs at the same time, it appears to be the most relaxing stretch.
Cats, on the other hand, have the potential to over-extend when stretching. And it’s been proven that this is one of the most common causes of nerve damage in cats.
Why do cats stretch so much?
Stretching is good for cats’ health
Stretching is crucial in cats, other animals, and even humans for boosting blood flow and controlling stiffness after a period of inactivity. Our brains immobilize most muscles to prevent our bodies from moving while we sleep. As a result, blood does not circulate well. Stretching can help enhance blood flow and get muscles ready to move in this situation. Furthermore, toxins build up in our muscles whilst we sleep, and stretching stimulates circulation, which helps to drain them out.
In the case of cats, they sleep for 12 to 16 hours per day and take multiple naps throughout the day. Likewise, they do not act out in dreams, but their paws and legs may twitch or shiver. Humans and other animals sleep less than cats, therefore their muscles aren’t stretched as much. Cat usually take several stretching sessions to re-activate their muscles and bodies.
Additionally, cats are predators and prey at the same time. As a result, they must be prepared to pounce on any mouse or treat that crosses their path, as well as defend themselves against enemies. Stretching extends the muscle fibers of cats to their maximum length, preserving and improving their ability to attack if necessary.
It is a means of communication
Why do cats stretch so much? Cat stretching can be a form of communication. We can interpret it in a variety of ways depending on the situation. To begin with, cat stretching may signal that they are at ease and relaxed, especially when done in front of you. They want to express how safe they feel when they’re with you. Stretching is also a sign that they are attracting their owners’ attention. They will stretch out at your feet and extend their claws to make touch with whatever portion of your body is nearest to them.
The greeting of feline animals is another probable cause for stretching. This is an indication of a contented and sociable cat. The fourth justification is that during the breeding season, female cats lengthen their bodies to indicate that they are in the reproductive cycle. In other words, they are willing to accept and match with males. Calling, purring, rolling, squirming, and head rubbing are common behaviors associated with stretching.
Stretching is a result of the kittenhood period
Stretching is reminiscent of kittenhood when kittens are born blind and deaf and rely solely on their feline mothers for survival. They can only navigate to their mother’s teat by smelling and using their senses. They expand their toes to show claws, then alternately lift their paws and press down on their mothers’ mammary glands. This encourages milk to be released.
It’s not surprising that cats may retain this natural kneading activity until maturity because it provides them with a pleasant sensation. It’s possible that they’ll utilize it as a coping mechanism. Or when they have golden moments that remind them of how happy they were while they were sucking. So, consider yourself lucky if your cat does this in front of you or while you’re petting him.
Why do cats stretch so much? Your cat is no exception when it comes to stretching. Stretching is beneficial to the health and well-being of cats. It encourages flexibility, improves posture, and relieves tension.