Cat Butt Wiggle Is Primarily Mental Preparation for a Pounce

I have just thought about the cat butt wiggle. In England we might call it “the cat bottom wiggle”. You don’t always see it. Some cats do it more than others and the cat in the video has variations on the theme.

I don’t recall seeing an explanation for this type of cat behaviour. The reason for it must be either physical or psychological (or perhaps both) and I have decided it is primarily a way to mentally prepare for a chase, attack or a pounce (on prey) because there is little physical benefit to it as far as I can see. However, there may be a physical element to it which is secondary. It may prime the muscles in the hind quarters in readiness for a explosive contraction which propels the cat forwards rapidly.

In respect of mental preparedness, I’m sure that there are many equivalent human forms of behaviour which are done the same reason. For example, when a person is about to embark on a difficult task employing considerable mental and physical exertion, sometimes he or she will take deep breaths or a single deep breath. Tennis players, bounce the ball before serving and golfers waggle the club before hitting a drive.

And so the domestic cat winds himself up mentally by wiggling his butt. He “girds his loins” (“to prepare [oneself] for action”1)to use an old-fashioned phrase.

What do you think 😉 ?

Note: (1) Free Dictionary definition.

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18 thoughts on “Cat Butt Wiggle Is Primarily Mental Preparation for a Pounce”

  1. yea its cute its like im coming to get you. Jasmin does that alot with still being young at i think 3-4 months old.

      • Yea i forgot what it was like to have a kitty in full active mode. She climbs up my legs those claws and teeth are very sharp. i dont mind though. its all part of the fun of being a kitty. I can see shes already made her name amongst the other cats has won them over too. None of them are unhappy anymore. Sumtimes tiger but they all get along now.

  2. LOL!
    I haven’t thought much about this in years.
    We always called it the “shimmy shake”.
    Most cats I’ve been with had/have it.
    It was carried over into my personal life too.
    When I felt a little “frisky” in a relationship, I did the “shimmy shake”.

    • lol – the ‘wind up’ – is kind of exactly what it is. I picture twisting a little key in the side of the cat and then letting go as it shoots accross the floor.

      But it is a sort of wind up – a get ready – a get my footing.

      Does Marvin pre-pounce bum wiggle? For some reason I can’t picture him doing it but that’s probably because all I have seen of him has been very laid back and relaxed – except of course in the action movie with the rug 🙂

  3. lol both our boyz do this before they pounce, I love it! It’s as if they are excited and winding up ready for action, yes just like tennis players bouncing the ball, or golfers waggling their club, a very apt description.


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