Why Do Cats Stretch When They See You

If you own a cat, there’s no way you haven’t seen it stretching. What if we tell you your little bud is trying to send you a message by doing that? 

Stretching in cats could mean a lot of things. It’s an interesting form of communication to show that a cat’s happy or wants attention from you. Not only with humans, but they also communicate with other cats like that. Similar to humans, It’s also their body’s way of recovering from a nap by loosening up their joints. 

Remember all those times when you wished for a cat translator? Your wish might be granted today. 

We’ll tell you 4 ways that can tell you exactly how your kitty’s feeling while stretching.

1. You make your cat feel comfortable 

Congratulations, you’ve earned a place in your cat’s good books!

How do we know?

Your cat probably stretched quite a few times in front of you to finally make you search it up. That is proof of how close of a bond you share with your kitty.

Cats that feel relaxed in your presence will try to tell you about it by stretching. What else you can figure out by the act is that your cat feels nice and warm in her surroundings because a cold cat will be tightly curled

Years ago, your cat’s ancestors didn’t have that privilege. They had to be alert at all times in case of any predator coming their way. 

So stretching was a BIG NO for them.

Assuming you don’t have any cat predators hiding in your bedroom, your cat can finally be himself in your presence. 

And let us tell you:

You’re a purr-fect cat parent by making your cat feel safe and secure with you. 

Stretching also helps cats with De-stressing. They don’t need a fidget spinner or bubble-popping toy because this simple trick does the job for them. A cat that stretches multiple times is just using his calming technique. The action increases blood flow in the body and decreases stress. 

2. Your cat wants your attention

Ever come back from a long day having your cat follow you all around the house? Did he also greet you with a big long stretch? 

See also  Bengal Cat Checklist

If your answer is yes, then you might want to hear this:

Your cat loves you and wants you to shower him with all your love. He probably stretched in front of you because he missed you and your cuddles. There’s a 99 percent chance that your cat expects a pet, scratch, or maybe even some cuddles from their favorite purr-son.

This is your sign to get up from that seat and give your kitty what they deserve. 

Don’t be surprised if your cat comes to you the same way every day now. Once your cat gets what it wants, he’ll know exactly what to do to get the same reaction from you.

You could Paw-sibly be signing up for a lifetime of clinginess.  

3. Stretching loosens up muscles

Have you ever heard of the term “catnap”? It refers to a short nap. What better animal for this word than a cat, right? 

According to research, cats sleep for 12-15 hours a day on average, but not in one go like humans. Instead, they like to take “catnaps” throughout the day. 

Interestingly, their brains shut off most of their body, and they go into a state of paralysis. That’s to prevent cats from acting all out during their sleep. Imagine seeing a cat sleepwalking. Crazy, right? Their paws or legs might still twitch or shake, but nothing more.

However, when they wake up, they need to return to moving. For that, they NEED to stretch. Stretching keeps their blood flowing and raises their blood pressure to normal. The stiff muscles from all that sleeping become active again, and the cat can pounce for that mouse again.

Since cats spend so much time napping, you might see them stretching a lot, especially if their sleeping spot is next to you. 

Next time, don’t think about it too much. Your cat could be stretching for the same reason as you after a good ol’ nap.

4. Stretching is a social gesture for cats 

Just as we say hello when we meet our friends, it would be rude of cats not to greet other cats, right?

See also  7 Steps to Train a Bengal Cat to Walk on a Leash

So they stretch to let their fellow cats know they’re comfortable with them being in their territory. If you’ve ever taken your cat to visit your friend’s place who also owns a cat, you might’ve seen this behavior. If your cat is not one of the friendly ones, you might never see this happen.

Another instance where you can see your kitty stretch is when they’re on heat. That phase is all about purring, kneading, and stretching. If you own a female cat, you know it can get crazy during that time. Stretching attracts male cats’ attention and lets them know of the “situation.”

Why does my cat stretch when I’m not around?

Now that you’ve got your answers, you should get the whole picture. 

If you see your cat stretching while walking by from a distance, you might wonder what that’s about. The reason for the same behavior (stretching) will be different this time. 

To feed up your cat knowledge, let’s dig down further.

There could be 2 reasons for it:

1. Hunting

Your cat, with its feline nature, is a predator that enjoys chasing for a meal. So there’s a chance your cat just hunted and preyed on some innocent bird or a rat, and the stretching is just a victory dance

You could be proud of their achievement or disgusted, but this celebration is in your cat’s blood. Cats of every size, even big cats, have exhibited this behavior.

2. Just woke up

As mentioned before, your cat may be stretching to keep moving after a nap.

How else can I know my cat is comfortable around me?

We can vouch for you as a good friend to your cat if you’re interested to know this. These 6 signs can tell if you both could be fur-iends fur-ever.

  1. Grooming
  2. Blinking
  3. Exposed Stomach 
  4. Purring 
  5. Rubbing 
  6. Play 

If you ticked off more than one of these behaviors your cat does with you, you’re doing a great job!

14 Unmistakable Signs Your Cat Really Loves You

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Nadine Oraby

My name is Nadine; I am a passionate writer and a pet lover. People usually call me by the nickname “Joy” because they think that I am a positive and joyful person who is a child at heart. My love for animals triggered me to create this blog. Articles are written by vets, pet experts, and me. Thanks for visiting. Your friend, Nadine!