Why do cats stand on their hind legs? Do you have a cat or a little bear? Sometimes cats like to stand on their hind legs, and if you have seen one of your cats doing that, you may wonder why.

The main reason cats are standing on their hind legs is to appear more dangerous and tall than they really are; they do this when they confront a possible enemy or feel that they are in danger. Cats do stand on their hind legs also to reach something higher up that can be a treat, request to be petted, or in some case cats stand up on their hind legs to request something from their owners.

Let’s see all the options.

Why do cats stand on their hind legs? - Pinterest Pin


So your cat suddenly becomes a little bear. Bears like to stand on their hind legs while they are roaring and growling. When it happens, it is a clear sign of being in trouble. We are not that much in trouble if a cat decides to emulate a bear, but I am sure they want to look as dangerous as a big angry bear.

Why do cats stand on their hind leg?


If a cat is upset or hears or smells something he doesn’t like, he may go straight up on his hind leg, ready to confront and scare off anyone who dares to approach him. Sometimes they may go on their hind legs even if in the room there isn’t anyone.

In this case, if they look upset or are growling as well, they may have heard something they did not like. It doesn’t matter if you did not hear it. They can hear better. If he stands up like that and looks upset and seems that you are the target, do not approach if you do not want to get some scratches or bites.


Sometimes cats want to reach your hand because they want you to pet them, or maybe you are giving them a treat, and in this case, cats can stand for very long on their hind legs! They are suddenly acrobats. It is common to see cats do that in case they want to get something and they are pretty good doing it.


Sometimes cats stand on their hind legs, reaching with the front paws toward you; when they do this, they want to be picked up or want a hug. It is not very common for cats to do that; my cats do not do it. But looking around on Youtube, I have seen cats doing it. They are brilliant cats emulating humans.

If you look at it, they go on their hind legs and wait for you to pick them up, adorable, and at the same time, amazing that cats can get to this point.


Cats playing with each other can bring them in the most awkward positions and funny postures. This includes standing on hind lets when cats are ready to jump on another cat, just before they can stand briefly on this position. Or if they want to scare the other cat off. In this case, it is for fun, and there is no intention to attack anyone.


Have you ever seen your cat trying to look beyond a barrier or something that is on the other side of something? Maybe he is just trying to look at what is on top of the bed or couch. Curiosity killed the cat, but it also makes cat standing on their hind legs and does other things that get them in trouble.


Some cats have a medical condition that makes them stand on their back legs. If they can’t use the front paws or any other medical reason that makes them special needs cats, you may see a cat standing on their back legs like a kangaroo. Cats with special needs or problems with the front paws learn really well to use the hind legs.


Some short legs cats have the habit of standing on their hind legs because it is effortless to stand in that position and practical. The gravity center is located toward the back.

There are several cats breeds with short legs, and possibly you are familiar with the Munchkin cat. However, there are other breeds with short legs, like Skookum Cat, Napoleon Cat, Minskin Cat, Lambkin Cat, and more.


Some cats like to stand on their hind legs and move the front legs like praying while looking at their owner. When cats do this, they want something from their owner.

This is a fun posture for a cat and not very common; there is a famous YouTube video or more than one showing cats doing this weird thing. Sometimes they want food, but some others do not clear why they are doing the begging position.

It seems that they are chasing the air or trying to remove something in front of them. Either way, cats doing this are standing on their in hind legs. They are really weird and, at the same time, funny when they are making this move.

Why do cats stand on their hind legs? If you have more tips on this subject, write it in the comments below.


Here some related questions to ” Why do cats stand on their hind legs?” and related answers:

  • How do I train my cat to stand on his hind legs?

With a lot of patience and… treats! If you want to teach your cat to stand on his back legs and sometimes walk on them, try using a treat as a sort of carrot to train them to move.

  • Why do cats stand up when you pet them?

Cats liking the rubbing on certain spots may want more and thus raise or stand to increase the pressure and the rubbing. When cats do, that means that they want more, and you are supposed to pet them more and better.

  • Why does my cat sit upright?

This is not something you see every day, but cats may sit like humans at times. I think my cat has done it only 2 times since when he is with me. He was totally sitting on his, but with the back legs opened up and the front legs relaxed on the side, he was sitting against the pillow. He looked like someone standing at the side of the pool, enjoying the sun. He was cleaning himself, and in the middle of the procedure, he started to dope off.

Cats sit like this for grooming purposes, relaxing purposes, and ultimately because they want to make you smile! (the last one is my opinion!)


Why do cats stand on their hind legs? I hope this article was useful, if you want to add anything or want please leave it in the comments below.