Why do cats shake their rears before they attack?

Credits: Screenshot

You are sure to have noticed this in your cat: before pouncing on his prey, on a toy, or mercilessly leaping onto your lap, he wiggles his derriere. An expert explains why….

The predatory instinct in our beloved felines needs no further proof. Our ancestors were the first witnesses to this, around 8,000 year ago. It is likely that the domestication of cats was closely linked to the emergence of agriculture. Storing grains and cereals attracted rodents. Wild cats, attracted by this influx of rodents, thus took up residence near the homes of the first neolithic farmers.

At the time, cats preyed on mice, rats and field mice. Certainly, they still do so nowadays, but some of their prey has transformed into balls of wool or human leg bones, particularly for indoor cats. And for their attack approach, cats use a surprising hunting method.

Similar to a lion on the hunt, the cat stays lying down, fixing its gaze on its prey (your leg, for example). The next step consists of staring menacingly at their target, preparing for attack. The cat then shakes its hind quarters before pouncing. An original method that is worth a closer look!

Interviewed by a French online magazine, behavioural veterinarian Serge Belais explains this unusual method: “the cat is in reality trying to get support before pouncing. There is a whole sequence that takes place before the cat starts to shake their pelvis. First, the ears prick up, then they get into the “sphinx” position, lying flat and puffing out their fur”. Faced with another cat or a threat, the cat positions itself “to make himself bigger, to show that he is the biggest and the strongest. He then shakes his tail, which creates the movement of the pelvis. By doing so, it shows that he is ready to leap. This is the final phase prior to attack.”

By shaking the tail and the rear, your cat leans on his two hind legs to propel him forwards, using them a little like springs.

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