Your Cats Got the Wiggles


© Sarah Cheriton-Jones | Bigstock

Ever wonder what inspires your cat to lift her rump, wiggle it back and forth in place, eyes black with excitement, and then pounce? It may well be an instinctive hunting behavior she shares with lions, tigers, and jaguars even though domesticated cats split off from their big cousins eons ago.

John Hutchinson, an evolutionary biomechanics professor at the Royal Veterinary College in London, suggests it comes down to coordinated locomotion preparing for the “rapid neural commands needed for the pounce.” Vision, sense of self in space, and muscle stretching occurring simultaneously during the wiggling insure that everything is in sync prior to springing to action. Given the amount of time devoted to pre-pounce wiggling, it may also well be that readying for the hunt is your cat’s way of building on anticipated pleasure.


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