You shouldn’t be squeamish about looking at your cat’s bottom. It seems that some people are. I got the idea for this short post from Jo Singer’s post about cat tail body language. In her article she quotes a cat owner who said he didn’t like looking at his cat’s bottom when his cat approached him with his tail up. Little did he realise that his cat was greeting him warmly. He should have been delighted but sadly he was disappointed so he had unfortunately turned something pleasant into something unpleasant.
I won’t mention names but when I was in the USA about 4 years ago sitting at the kitchen table about to eat, the lady of the house made sure that her cat did not present his rear-end towards me. She was obviously sensitive about me seeing that item of cat anatomy, which was nice of her, but I wasn’t in any way concerned. It didn’t bother me at all. All of a cat’s anatomy is the same to me because it is all part of a cat.
Cats can have a habit of presenting their bottom to us. For example, often when my cat sleeps next to me he will face away from me and place his rear-end against me to feel the warmth. In my experience, the domestic cat nearly always does this. They don’t like having their face near to our face or they don’t like facing us in close proximity when resting near to us. The consequence of this is that while they are adjusting themselves and getting into position you are presented with their bum.
Another occasion when a cat might have a tendency to present his bum to you is when you stroke him down his back. A lot of cats will raise up their rear-end keeping their tail erect, pointing towards the ceiling, which puts their rear-ended in full view. The scientific explanation for this is that a cat believes he is being groomed by his mother and, behaving like a young kitten – almost a newborn kitten – he presents his rectum to his mother to lick as well in order to stimulate defecation. I know that sounds rather gruesome and if you are the sort of person who doesn’t like looking at your cat’s bum you will find that description somewhat unpleasant.
However, if you like things natural then it won’t bother you at all and surely nothing natural to do with our domestic companion should bother us in the slightest. Of course, the point is that everything a cat does is entirely natural and therefore we should like it all.
Humans do have a tendency sometimes to find it difficult to live in the real world. A lot of people spend their entire lives trying to fly over it all. They distance themselves from reality and they do this in all manner of different ways. Clearly, a lot of us find reality rather hard to deal with on a day-to-day basis.
When it comes to being a guardian of a domestic cat it is not a good idea to shun reality because we are living with a creature which behaves entirely naturally and very much in the real world. A cat’s behavior is supremely honest. What you see, is what he is. A good cat caretaker will be very familiar with all aspects of a cat’s external anatomy and a cat’s bodily functions and love them all equally. Well not quite equally (I’m thinking of the cat litter tray).