Cat Behaviour

Why do cats flop?

Tabby cat laying on table and looking up

Many of you may have seen your cat roll over on their side as you approach them, and if you’re as curious as us, you might be asking yourself, why do cats flop?

It has been 6 years since we brought Coco, our Bengal cat, home and she has settled into her happy new house. That’s great news, as we’ve invested a lot into making sure that she has a happy cat life! However, after a few months of getting to trust us, something strange happened – Coco walked up to me, brushed against my leg and then – flopped! Hmm, it’s not what I was expecting.

What is flopping?

Flopping is when a cat lays down or drops into an awkward position, with its legs sprawled out and its head turned to one side.

Why do cats flop?

Flopping is something that cats will do when they feel completely comfortable and safe. This means that your cat trusts you wholeheartedly! You can think of it as a cat version of ‘giving you the keys to their hearts’.

Cats also flop when they spend time with their owners because, in the animal world, flopping is a sign of trust. A cat will only flop in a situation where they are completely relaxed.

Grey scottish cat laying in grass

There are many other reasons for this behaviour, including when a cat wants to be petted or stroked. However, the main reason why cats flop is because it’s what they would do in the wild.

When a cat flops (rolls on their side or back), they expose their most vulnerable area (their belly). Cats are aware of this, and this should be seen as a sign that your cat is comfortable with placing their safety in your hands.

Now that you know why cats flop, be sure to give them a fuss and a couple of treats when they come over, brush up against you and flop! If you find that they are leaving behind lots of fur, make sure you get the right grooming tools!

Do not forget to check out our other articles about cats and their different behaviours.

About the author

Kacper Jednorowicz

Hi, I'm Kacper! I have a four-year-old female Bengal cat, called Coco. She's an active and friendly indoor cat that lives with us in the UK, but also enjoys several hours a day in the garden. Just like any responsible and loving cat owner, I want to ensure that she's a happy and healthy cat! My articles cover guides and reviews based on professional vet advice, our own experiences with Coco and plenty of research!

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Meow Guide's Coco
Our furry friend is a four-year-old Bengal girl called Coco – she’s crazy, has plenty of energy and is VERY noisy! More about us.