Why Do Cats Run Sideways? Body Language and Reasons Explained

Cats are fascinating creatures. They have the ability to do some pretty strange things, such as running sideways, why is that?

In this blog post, we will take a look at why cats run sideways and why they do other peculiar behaviors. We’ll analyze body language and explore why cats do what they do!

Why Do Cats Run Sideways?

Did you know that cats run sideways for a reason?

Cats mostly show this type of behavior when they want to play with their human friend. Though it may sound weird for some cat owners, this is totally safe and nothing to worry about.

The cat’s tail often straightens out while running and acts as an axis point so it does not swivel from side to side with each step. When the cat is feeling happy, that time their tail becomes straight.

In addition to this, the cat’s spine curves slightly back when it runs which also helps keep its spine stabilized during movement. There are many theories about why cats run this way- some say it is because of how predators chase their prey, others say that it is because of how cats hunt.

Why Does My Cat Run Sideways When They are Playing?

Cats are very active and playful creatures.

They love to run around, jump on furniture, attack their owner’s feet or anything else they can get their paws on.

Sometimes they will even roll over onto the ground in a play bow before pouncing back up to continue playing with you.

Cats also have a unique way of getting your attention: running sideways! It’s not always easy to understand why cats do this but there are many theories as to what it might mean when your cat is running at you sideways.

The most popular theory is that it mimics the behavior of prey animals like rabbits who would run away from predators by zigzagging across the ground quickly.

Some people believe that cats may be imitating another animal trying to escape from a predator.

Cats Can Run Sideways When They Try To Avoid Something

Cats are known for their graceful and elegant movement, but when they start to run away from something the situation can turn into a comedy of errors.

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Instead of running in a straight line, cats will often make sudden turns and twists as if they’re trying to get away from an imaginary pursuer. This behavior is called “fear-induced zigzagging” or “escape loping.”

It’s thought that this strange motion may be due to the cat being descended from desert animals like camels who learned to escape predators by running in a zigzag pattern across sand dunes.

There’s no one definitive answer as it relates to why cats do this, though there are several hypotheses about what causes them to behave this way- such as the cat seeing the person chasing them as a predator.

Why Do Cats Run Sideways when they want to seek your attention?

Cats are known for being mysterious, but one thing we know is that when they want your attention, they will run sideways.

This isn’t a cat’s only way of expressing their desire to be petted though- sometimes cats will rub against you or purr in order to tell you how much they love you!

If your cat starts running sideways and it doesn’t stop after giving them a few pets, then it might just mean they’re hungry. Keep an eye on the time between meals and see if this helps determine what might be going on with them.

Cats also tend to run sideways when playing as well so don’t worry too much about it- just make sure there isn’t anything wrong before trying to figure out why your cat has started running at you sideways.

Why Do Cats Turn Their Head Sideways?

You might wonder if your cat is talking to you when they turn their head sideways and make a sound.

In reality, it’s just an involuntary reflex from the ear muscles that let cats hear better near one side of their body.

Cat’s effective visual area is broader than humans. The area of the peripheral vision in cats is 30 degrees bottom whereas in the case of humans it is 20 degrees up.

When cats look at something to the right or left, they have no idea what’s going on in those areas unless something moves into this blind spot, which may be very upsetting for them! Cats are more likely to get upset about things like seeing humans walking by behind them as opposed to getting startled at sounds coming from the front.

The sideways head turn is a cat’s way of compensating for this blind spot and helps them to see better when they’re walking around.

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Why Does My Kitten Walk Sideways?

Many people have wondered why their kitten walks sideways, but the truth is that it’s because they’re trying to do what comes naturally.

When a feline moves on all fours, it does so with its front legs and back legs moving in opposite directions.

If this doesn’t make sense to you, imagine walking down an aisle of a grocery store one foot at a time. Every step would be backwards than forwards, instead of just forward on your right leg then left leg like we humans tend to do when we walk upright.

The reason your kitten sometimes walks sideways though is that they are searching for food or chasing something around the house and want to move as quickly as possible while still using every limb available- which means both sets of legs!

What does it mean when cats arch their back and walk sideways?

Cats arching their backs and walking sideways is a display of dominance.

It’s the natural “fight or flight” mechanism and often occurs when cats think that they are being threatened, scared, or anxious.

Cats who are docile and friendly will not typically show these signs in response to outside threats because it can be seen as a sign of submission rather than a defense tactic.

Some animal experts also say it may be due to something like pain, or discomfort from arthritis or spinal stenosis which puts pressure on the lower spine.

It could also be compulsive behavior caused by boredom or overstimulation from household noises such as children fighting, TV shows playing loudly in adjacent rooms, etc.

A good first step would be to consult with your veterinarian who can rule out any potential medical problem that should be investigated for causing chronic arched backs and sideways walking paths in cats.

If your vet finds nothing wrong, consider consulting with a professional animal behavior

What Does It Mean When A Cat Hops Sideways?

When a cat hops sideways, it can mean one of three things.

The first means they want to play and will chase you if you do not pay attention to them.

The second means more frequently that they found food, but also comes with the warning if they have their nose in the air or are looking far into the distance- beware because something is chasing after them!

Lastly, some cats hop when rejecting food offered by their owner because it’s dry (or could be any other reason).

When a cat hops towards you and is not being aggressive, this means they want to play or be petted.

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So when your feline friend approaches you pawing at the ground and poking their head forward, don’t think too much of it.

Go ahead and try giving them some love!

In fact, every animal wants to be loved unconditionally- no matter how different from us they are or whether or not we can communicate with them.

Why Do Cats Puff Up?

Cats usually puff up their fur to express a bad mood or if they feel threatened.

In humans, we show anger, sorrow, fear and frustration by dilating our pupils. Puffing the fur could serve as a form of broadening that expression.

This is not the only sign of agitation in cats as yowling or meowing is also common when it occurs.

This vocalization may be loud to signal threats outside the home but some believe it also serves as an attention-seeking behavior with families and pets inside the home to get more defensive resources from its human guardian (e.g., food) or for comforting (kneading).

The sound of louder screaming may also denote pain when contrasted with sounds quieter than meows or yowls.

Puffing up a cat may also be used as an appeasement gesture when it’s submissive to the other.

Final Thoughts

Cats are very communicative creatures, but we may not always know what they’re trying to tell us.

It’s important for cat parents to learn how their cats communicate and keep an eye out for these signals of a playful mood so you don’t miss the opportunity to play with your feline friend!

If you’ve noticed that your kitty is showing any of these behaviors while it approaches or rubs its face on you, take this as a sign that she wants some attention from her human companion.

Is there anything else your cat does when he’s in the mood for playtime? Let us know in the comments below!

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Immad Amir

Immad has a black Labrador who is his first child. With no prior experience of how to take care of his pooch, Immad started researching about what dogs love to eat. This blog is a journal of all the research Immad has done regarding a pet's diet.
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