Issue 13: October 09

Dear Fancy,

Can you help settle a bet? My roommate says our cat arches her back to look menacing. I say she just does it to stretch. Which of us is right?

Arch rivals Wade and John

Dear Arch Rivals,

You both deserve a plate of catnip and some chin scratches. When cats want to make themselves look larger and more intimidating—usually because they sense a threat—they arch their backs and raise the fur along their spinal columns. They might also do this in a less serious manner when playing or trying to initiate play.

Cats also arch their backs as part of a stretching routine, especially after a nap. You'll often see cats alternate making their backs concave and convex, to work the kinks out and maybe to help wake up. You humans should try this—though you won't get as dramatic an arch as cats do, since we have more vertebrae than you.




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