Behavior
Share this image

5 of My Favorite Cat Stretches

The Halloween-kitty stretch and front-leg extensions are always sweet, but what about those fanned toes? I can't stand it!

Angie Bailey  |  Oct 12th 2015


When a cat moves from one position to another, there’s usually a bit of stretching involved. I once read that we should follow our cat’s lead and stretch our bodies as soon as we emerge from sleep. I totally get it. Stretching our muscles means less injuries and enhanced flexibility — plus it just feels good! We’re spending all kinds of money on yoga classes, and cats have always had it figured out.

Not only do kitties get the physical benefits of stretching, they look ridiculously adorable while doing it. I don’t think we humans could even compete with that level of cute — not even in our most flattering yoga wear.

Here are five of my favorite cat stretches:

1. Front legs

Cats usually want us to bow to THEM.

Cats usually want us to bow to THEM. A cat stretches by Pixabay

To me, a cat in this position looks like she’s bowing, although we all know that’s a giant joke — I mean, cats don’t usually bow to humans. Isn’t it the other way around? Both fuzzy legs are stretched in front of the cat, and the butt pops into the air. Sometimes I run my hand along my cat’s back and up to the tip of the tail when she stretches this way.

A similar leg stretch happens when a cat walks away from a front-leg stretch and extends her back legs one at a time. I love it when the back leg stretches so intensely that it shakes a little bit. Go, kitty!

2. Halloween kitty

Not scary in the least! Photo: Shutterstock

Not scary in the least! A kitten stretches by Shutterstock

We’re all familiar with the arched-back stretch associated with Halloween kitties. I think what I like best about this one is that it’s usually accompanied by a slight peeky tongue and silly face. So much cute happening! Can you stand it?

3. Rolling

Trap! Photo: Shutterstock

Trap! Cat stretch Shutterstock

The glory of the full-on rolling stretch just can’t be beat. As I type this, my Saffy is stretch rolling in a giant sun puddle. It’s a total bonus when one of my cats illustrates the topic on which I’m writing. It’s like they know. They know.

These flexible felines seem to twist and extend nearly every part of their bodies. And then sometimes they freeze in mid-roll. I call this a trap because their bellies are typically exposed and just asking for a hand-rub or a full-on face huff! Most cats do not welcome this kind of contact while they’re in a vulnerable position. I call this “no fair.”

4. Toe fan

Fan! I command you!

I’m a cat-toe junkie. I can’t get enough of the sweet little paws and various paw-pad colors. During stretches, cats spread those toes into beautiful fans. Occasionally they’ll leave them fanned for a while, allowing me time to grab my camera and take 200 photos of cat feet. If a sleeping kitty isn’t already fanning her toes, I have no problem running a finger between the paw pads and inducing the fan. Hey, I do what I have to do … I told you I’m a junkie.

5. The reach

I want to touch you! Photo: Shutterstock

I want to touch you! A cat stretches on the floor Shutterstock

I’m an absolute sucker for this stretching move. My Cosmo does this all the time and I completely melt. Melt, I tell you! He’ll be sleeping near me and suddenly feel the need to stretch. He’ll extend one little paw in my direction and rest it on top of my body. He doesn’t care if he’s barely touching me with the tips of his toes, he just wants to have contact. After I officially melt into a pile of goo, I’m pretty much worthless for a while, because all I want to do is sit and look adoringly at my cat. I think that’s a fine way to pass the time, don’t you? Of course you do.

What are your favorite kinds of cat stretches? Tell us about them in the comments!

Read more by Angie Bailey:

About the Author: Angie Bailey is an eternal optimist with an adoration of all things silly. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, thinking about cats doing people things and The Smiths. Writes Catladyland, a cat humor blog, Texts from Mittens (originated right here on Catster) and authored whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, a silly book about cats wheeling and dealing online. Partner in a production company and writes and acts in comedy web series that features sketches and mockumentaries. Mother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food.