My cat will fall over onto his front left shoulder, seemingly on purpose, is he in danger of hurting himself?

Sometimes when i approach him and other times unprovoked he will "plop" down onto his front left shoulder, kind of hard, and then roll onto his back. What is that all about? I worry he is hurting himself.

Asked by Member 1014484 on Dec 7th 2011 Tagged fallsdown, shoulder, dangerous in Other Behavior & Training
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Izadore (Izzie)

If he only does this when he is approached by someone, a human or another animal, this is cat-speak for "I'm submissive". If he is walking along and suddenly collapses, you need to take him to his vet because he's either got joint, muscle, balance or neurological issues. If he doesn't seem to be able to control this behavior, and, as I said, he just collapses when there's no one around, it's not normal and he could hurt himself if he falls off something. Have him checked at the vet just to be sure there's nothing going on.

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 12/8/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I agree with Izzie that if he's doing it intentionally, it's a submissive gesture. Ralphie does the same thing, and it seems to mean two different things. When he just does it randomly next to one of us, it means he wants a belly rub and a massage. He'll roll from side to side while getting a rubdown and purring and rubbing his head against us.

The other time he does it when he knows he's "in trouble". When he gets overstimulated and wants to play, he sometimes jumps up and nips one of his humans, just as he might do when playing with his cat brother. Unfortunately, he seems to forget that we're not fur-covered and those little nips hurt! Whenever he does this, we pick him up and put him in his room for a few minutes to give him time to settle down. When one of us gets up and approaches him to pick him up, he always flops down on the floor and rolls around on his back. It seems to mean "I'm sorry" or "look how cute I am", and he goes all limp and cuddly when he's picked up.

Member 1046384 answered on 12/8/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer