10 Reasons Why Maine Coons Lay On Their Backs

As a Maine Coon Cat owner, you might wonder why do Maine Coons lay on their backs?

Maine Coons rarely sleep while lying on their backs. If a cat is lying on its back, it is a sign of trust. By exposing their belly to you, your cat is telling you that they feel safe and comfortable in your presence. In some cases, however, your Maine Coon might choose to lay on its back so that it is easier to attack.

This is not as unusual a question as you might first think! In fact, cats often fall asleep in what we would consider being odd positions.

The question is, why though? After watching my own Maine Coon sleep on his back countless times, I decided to investigate whether this is a normal sleeping position.

Cats are complicated little creatures, and most cat behaviors have more than one reason behind them. In this article, we’ll look at all the possible meanings behind your Maine Coon lying on its back.

10 Reasons Why Maine Coons Lay On Their Backs

To start things off, let’s look at the ten main reasons why a Maine Coon might lay on its back.

The table below highlights 10 reasons why Maine Coons lay on their backs:

Why do Maine Coons lay on their backs?

For those of you who are interested in learning more about this fascinating subject, keeping reading, to discover more in-depth information relating to each reason:

1. Happy

A Maine Coon will often lay on its back when it is happy.

Most cats feel that lying on their back in a comfortable position, and they will lay like this when they are particularly content.

2. Trust

If your cat flops down and exposes its belly, it might be telling you that it trusts you deeply.

Cats’ bellies are softer and much more vulnerable than any other part of their body. If your cat is showing you its belly, it might be saying:

“I trust you enough to show my most vulnerable side.”

3. Aggression

While a cat laying on its back is usually a sign of contentment or trust, it can also be a sign of aggression.

If your cat’s ears are flattened while it is laying on its back, it could be agitated.

4. Playtime

A Maine Coon might also lay on its back when it wants to play.

If you put a feather toy near your cat while it is laying on its back, you will quickly find out whether or not it is in a playful mood.

5. Comfortable

Cats rarely choose to sleep with their vulnerable belly so exposed.

However, in some cases, you might find that your Maine Coon becomes so comfortable lying on its back that it can’t help but fall asleep.

6. Submission

Your cat might be showing you its belly as a sign of submission.

In this case, it means your cat trusts you and expects you to keep it safe and protected.

7. Defensive Position

While lying on their backs, cats can attack with all four sets of claws, making it a perfect defensive position.

If your cat is feeling threatened, it might roll onto its back as a way to attack.

8. Scratching

Cats can’t exactly reach behind and itch their back whenever they want.

As a result, your cat might simply roll onto its back and scratch any itches by rolling around.

9. Territorial

Cats are very possessive of their territory.

By lying on their backs and rolling around, cats can rub their scent glands over the floor, marking it as their territory.

10. Mating

In some cases, female cats lie on their backs as a signal that they are ready to mate.

I have a great video of my Maine Coon cat sleeping and laying on his back, which I will be uploading to the ‘Maine Coon Central’ Youtube channel. Click here to view it!

In the meantime, here is a short video of our Maine Coon upside down:

How To Read Your Maine Coon’s Body Language

As you can see, there are a daunting amount of reasons why Maine Coons lay on their backs.

It can be difficult at first to discern why your cat is behaving the way it is, so here are some tips to help you figure out what it means when your cat is laying on its back.

  • Dilated Pupils: Dilated pupils are often a sign that your cat is ready to attack. If your cats’ pupils are larger than usual, give it some personal space!
  • Cat’s Ears Flattened: If your cats’ ears are flattened against its head, it is a sign of aggression or fear. This is another signal that you should leave your cat alone. Pricked and alert ears could mean that your cat is wary, or it could be an indicator that your cat is in the mood to play.
  • Growing: This one may seem obvious, but if your cat is growling, it’s a sign that it is not in the mood for playtime or belly rubs!
  • Purring: Cats purr when they are content, so if your cat is purring while it is laying on its back, this is a sign it is in a good mood. However, this does not necessarily mean that your cat wants to be touched right now.

If you’ve not heard a Maine Coon purring sound before, take a quick look at the video of ‘Pippin’, our Maine Coon cat. He’s purring so loudly!

Things To Avoid

If your Maine Coon trusts you enough to show you its belly, here are some things you should avoid doing so you do not break that trust.

1. Personal Space

Everyone has a personal space bubble, but it seems cats are even more finicky than humans when it comes to personal space.

If your cat trusts you enough to show you its belly, you should not break that trust by invading its personal space.

If your cat seems agitated when you get too close, back off until you are a safe distance away.

2. Sitting Above Your Cat

If you sit above your cat and bend your head over its body, your cat is bound to feel threatened.

Instead, you should lower your body so that you are on the same level.

This will make your cat feel more comfortable.

3. Rubbing Cat’s Belly

You will probably be tempted to rub your cat’s belly right away, but your cat will see this as a breach of its trust in you.

You should first check if your cat wants to be touched by giving it your hand to sniff.

If your cat seems okay with head pets, you can venture further by gently touching its belly.

Do Maine Coons Like Belly Rubs?

Not all cats like to have their bellies rubbed, but some cats love them!

If you want to find out if your cat enjoys belly rubs, you should take it slow.

Start by gauging whether or not your cat is in a good mood. Reach your hand out and let your cat sniff it before gently rubbing its head or giving it some chin scratches.

If your cat seems to enjoy this, you can try rubbing its belly.

If your cat twitches away, lashes out, growls, or flattens its ears, however, it’s time to back off. You can always try again another day, but make sure you are always respecting your cat’s personal space.

Signs That Your Maine Coon Trusts You

Your cat laying on its belly is one sign that it trusts you, but it’s not the only one! Cats show their affection in many subtle ways.

One of these signs of trust is through slow blinking.

This is when your cat slowly closes one or both eyes while looking at you. This is your cat’s way of saying “I trust you enough to have my eyes closed when I’m around you.”

Another sign your cat trusts you is physical affection. If your cat rubs up against you or head butts you, this is an obvious display of your cat’s love for you.

Cats will also show trust through kneading, or “kitten biscuits.”

If your cat kneads your leg or a blanket near you, it is showing you that it is very happy.

Kittens knead their mothers’ bellies to stimulate milk flow, and kneading as an adult is a display of that happiness they felt during kittenhood.

Finally, cats show trust through wanting to be around you.

By following you from room to room, or curling up next to you to sleep, your cat is showing that it loves being around you.

There are countless ways cats can show their trust and love for their owners, and these are just a few.

By monitoring your cat’s body language, we’re sure you’ll be able to find more signs of your cat’s trust!


Many cat owners wonder “Why do Maine Coons lay on their backs?” and are overwhelmed to discover all of the different possible reasons.

However, once you learn to interpret your cat’s body language, you will only deepen your bond with your furry companion.

While a lot of people assume that a cat will lay on its back to sleep, there are many other Maine Coon sleeping positions that your cat will prefer sleeping on its back.

Typically, a cat will lay on its back when it trusts you, when it is agitated, or when it is playful.

While some cats like belly rubs, you should take your time to gauge whether or not your cat wants to have its belly touched while it is laying on its back.

1. Maine Coon Sleeping Habits

Maine Coons need a lot of sleep, which they get throughout the day. On average, a Maine Coon needs about 16 hours of sleep every day.

2. Where Do Maine Coons Like to Sleep?

Maine Coons are notorious for finding all sorts of odd places and positions for sleeping. While many cats enjoy hidden places, like underneath the bed, others prefer sleeping on the couch or the floor.

Maine Coon Central

Hello! My name is Katrina Stewardson, and I’m a self-confessed CRAZY CAT LADY! I've been in love with the Maine Coon cat breed ever since we welcomed an adorable male Maine Coon kitten into our home 9 years ago. We called him 'Pippin', but he also goes by the name ‘Pipsteroo’! Our enormous, kind-hearted cat genuinely thinks he's a dog and has convinced me that cats are Man's True Best Friend!

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