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There is a neighbourhood cat I know, that when it sees me, rolls around showing me it's belly, but every time I move to pet it (even if I move slowly) it runs away. I don't understand this behaviour? I thought showing me it's belly meant it was showing great trust!?
 

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Ah, the mysterious tummy roll.

I think the initial rolling can be seen as an expression of "I'm happy to see you, yay for company/attention" ... however, upon approaching a cat you don't know or that you haven't spent a lot of time building trust with, the cat may retract its happy pose and flee farther away; letting someone they don't know really well near their exposed stomach doesn't make for a wise cat, it's their vulnerable spot on their body. Often even when a cat trusts you the tummy roll can be deceiving... they'll look all happy at the scratches and then snare you in a teeth and claw trap. :???: It can take a long time for a cat to get over this initial reaction to being touched on their stomach, or even someone making a move to do so, sometimes they never overcome their instincts to protect their tummy.

If I were you, I'd work more on getting the cat to approach you and making a move on safer areas of their body first, probably their head, by the ears and under their chin. Talk softly and keep low to the ground, don't make eye contact, move slowly and maybe have some treats. The first time I got close enough to pet Blacky I had to be stretched out on my stomach, and even then I only brushed her whiskers...
 

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Oh yes, the tummy teasers. I know better nowadays.
 

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Milky allows tummy rubs but only tolerates a certain amount then rolls back over.

He usually allows more in the mornings when he greets me (and asks for breakfast!). He lays on his side, exposing his tummy then allows me to rub for a while, licks my hand then rolls back over and meows. I was so happy when he started letting us do this as it meant we gained his trust. :)
 
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