Why do cats wiggle there butts before pouncing? I know the answer, or I think I do, but before I put pen to paper I checked the excellent books that I have and I couldn’t find anything on this feline behavior. So, I am on my own.
Immediate preparation, mental and physical, for an effective pounce
I’ve seen the feline but wiggle in play with my cat. However, I have not seen this form of cat behavior in all my cats therefore not all cats wiggle their butt before pouncing. It’s an instinctive preparation immediately before jumping forwards. When I watch the behavior I’m drawn to the commonsense conclusion that it is no more than the cat psychologically and physically preparing for a pounce. The strong muscles of the cat’s hind legs are being flexed in preparation to apply maximum force and the cat’s mind is being focused and energized to commit to an effective pounce.
Human sportspeople show the same behavior
It’s a bit like the waggle in preparation for a golf swing. When golfers waggle their club immediately before swinging it to hit the ball they are preparing mentally and physically to strike the ball accurately with a good, rhythmical swing.
Track athletes jump up and down before setting off in a race. We also see it in tennis players at the net with the umpire before their match. As the umpire explains the rules, the competitors are jumping around, energizing themselves to start fast. The feline butt wiggle is getting the muscles ready to apply maximum force when leaping forwards.
Checking the ground
There may also be another reason. The cat is able to check the firmness of the ground on which he is resting before the legs push against it. This is another part of the preparation process before pouncing.
Another pre-pounce behavior
Another pre-pounce feline behavior is shifting their head from side to side before pouncing onto an object, normally a small landing area. When a cat shifts her point of view slightly it helps to obtain a more accurate three-dimensional view of the object onto which the cat is going to jump. This allows the cat to land more accurately.
These are my thoughts about cats wiggling their butts before pouncing. As mentioned, I have not referred to any books on this topic and neither have I researched the matter online. I would therefore welcome any comments on the subject from visitors who might have an alternative viewpoint.