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.
Cats stand on their hind legs to appear more dangerous and tall than they are when they confront a possible enemy or feel in danger. Cats also stand on their hind legs to reach something higher up, curiosity, request to be petted or ask for something from their owners.
Let’s see all the options.
WHY DO CATS STAND ON THEIR HIND LEGS?
So your cat suddenly becomes a little bear. Bears like to stand on their hind legs while roaring and growling. When it happens, it is a clear sign of being in trouble. Of course, 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.
Here are some of the main reasons for cats standing on their hind legs:
1. THEY WANT TO SCARE OTHERS
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 there isn’t anyone in the room.
In this case, if they look upset or growling, they may have heard something they did not like.
2. THEY WANT TO REACH SOMETHING
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 at doing it.
3. THEY WANT YOU TO PICK HIM UP
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 hugged.
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.
4. THEY ARE PLAYING
Cats playing with each other can bring them into the most awkward positions and funny postures. This includes standing on hind legs when cats are ready to jump on another cat, just before they can stand briefly in 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 kills the cat, but it also makes the cat stand on their hind legs and does other things that get them in trouble.
6. MEDICAL CONDITION
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 to use the hind legs well.
7. THEY ARE A SPECIFIC CAT BREED
Some short legs cats have the habit of standing on their hind legs because standing in that position is effortless and practical. The gravity center is located toward the back.
There are several cat breeds with short legs, and you are possibly familiar with the Munchkin cat. However, other breeds have 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. But, of course, when cats do this, they want something.
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.
They seem to be chasing the air or trying to remove something in front of them. Either way, cats doing this are standing on their hind legs. They are really weird and, at the same time, funny when they are making this move.
In some cases, cats may stand up on their hind legs as part of a hunting strategy, particularly if they are trying to get a better view of their prey or prepare for a pounce.
Cats may stand up on their hind legs as part of a stretching routine, mainly if they have been lying down for an extended period.
WHY DO CATS STAND ON THEIR HIND LEGS AND WAVE THEIR PAWS?
Cats may stand on their hind legs and wave their paws as part of playful behavior. This could be an invitation to play or a way for the cat to initiate playtime with their owner or other cats.
They may also stand on their hind legs and wave their paws as part of a hunting strategy, particularly if they are trying to mimic the movements of prey or prepare for a pounce.
Some cats may stand on their hind legs and wave their paws to get their owner’s attention. This could be a way of asking for food, water or being let outside.
In addition, they may also stand up on their hind legs and stretch their paws as part of their regular stretching routine. Again, this is a natural behavior that helps to keep their muscles and joints flexible.
WHY CATS STANDS ON THEIR HIND LEGS TO POOP?
It is not common for cats to stand on their hind legs to poop. Typically, cats squat down to defecate in their litter box or outside. If your cat is standing on its hind legs to poop, it could be a sign of an underlying medical issue, such as arthritis or a digestive problem, making it difficult for your cat to assume a normal position.
Take your cat to the vet to rule out any health issues and ensure it is comfortable and defecates normally.
Your vet may also be able to offer advice on litter box placement and management to encourage normal elimination behavior.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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 or stand on the hind legs.
Why do cats stand up when you pet them?
Cats like the rubbing on certain spots and may want more and thus raise or stand to increase the pressure and the rubbing. When cats do, they want more, and you are supposed to pet them more and better.
Why does my cat sit upright?
Cats can sit upright to view their surroundings better, express excitement or anticipation, or rest comfortably.
Sitting upright can also allow your cat to stretch muscles and relieve tension. Sometimes, cats may also sit upright to communicate with their owners or other cats.
For example, if your cat is sitting upright and staring at you, it could be a sign that they want attention or are trying to convey a message.