Why do cats wiggle their butts before they pounce? If you have a cat, you may have seen this funny posture your cat takes when he is about to attack, specifically this funny wiggling while pointing the target of their attack. So, why they do it?

Cats wiggle their butts before pouncing because they prepare themselves for a successful and precise jump on their prey. They wiggle the butt to better position the rear leg, test the ground and find a proper position to make a successful jump. It is a preparation to make their jump perfect. The wiggle helps cats understand if their muscles are ready to jump, if the ground is solid, and to calculate the exact effort needed to reach the target. What looks funny to humans is vital for cats.

Let’s examine all the possible reasons.

Why do cats wiggle their butts before they pounce?


What for us is a funny thing to look at, cats depend on it for their survival. Sure is that if we see a cat wiggling their butt and pointing at our feet, hands, or other parts of our body, we know that we are in trouble and that we can expect attacks to take place.

We all have observed cats, especially kittens, performing this show; one of my cats does this in the morning around the bed, targeting anything that moves, hand, feet, leg, and so on. It really makes me smile.

Let’s see in details why cats do it:


Cats are very patient hunters. They may stalk preys for a long time before making a move, but it is exact and to the point when they make a move. Wiggling their butt makes the cat able to position their paws perfectly to perform a jump. It seems that they are estimating the pressure they have to place on their legs and paw to reach their target.


The last thing you need to happen when you are hunting is to miss your target because you jumped from a fragile surface. This would be a disaster in your cat’s view. At that point, the prey has spotted the cat and would run away. It would spoil the surprise factor, and a cat may have to start hunting all over again.


It is a bit like a runner or an athlete before starting the competition. They have to warm up and be ready for the actual competition. Cats do the same; they warm-up and prepare themselves fully before performing the final jump. Cats are very good at preparation and can be very effective in reaching their target.

  • PLAY

Cats do this also because of excitement and play. They seem aware that you are not a pray when they jump on you. By playing in this way, they are also practicing hunting. Kittens are practicing this every day, especially in their crazy times, running back and forth through the day. In fact, we see funny wiggling during cat playtime.

Even if the butt wiggling is for cat preparation for hunting, it is really entertaining for us. It is the best part of living with cats; they make us smile. The action of pouncing and stalking in hunting is natural in cats. In the wild can be even more evident.


Here some related questions to “Why do cats wiggle their butts before they pounce?” and related answers:

  • Why do cats pounce on you?

Cats can pounce at you from time to time. Mainly when they do it, it is because of play. Rarely do they do it because of aggression. Kittens use to pounce a lot through the day to nearly anything, can be a toy, can be your feet, can be your hand. Grown-up cats can still have this playful mood and can do it when playing or chasing a bug through the house.

  • Why does my cat pounce on me at night?

Cats may feel lonely at night and may want to find someone to play with; therefore, if their favorite humans are sleeping, they may start to pounce on you to wake you up and have a playmate. They usually want to play; they are not trying to harm you. They may not realize that their litter claws and teeth are painful at times.

  • Can cat pounce because they are upset?

Cats may pounce on things or people because of agitation or because they are upset. I they are annoyed about something, cats can pounce and attack the source of the annoyance. You can see that they are not playing because they usually growl, meow, their tail is moving too much, and look not happy at all.

If this is the case, it is better not to annoy your cat any longer or remove the annoyance source in the environment.

  • What helps a cat leap and pounce?

We already saw how the butt and rear legs’ wiggling could help a cat adjust and find a proper balance for a good leap. When cats are preparing to leap and pounce, they are usually wiggling and lowering the front legs, leaving the butt higher; they usually use all 4 legs to give power to their jump.


Why do cats wiggle their butts before they pounce? I hope you found all your answers. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below.

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