It’s almost surreal: cats stretch so much and their flexibility is amazing. After a long nap, after playing outside, even when asking for your attention. Seeing all the stretching, a new cat owner might think their cat has problems with its muscle systems. But not to worry.

According to experts, there’s no need to worry. As with humans, it’s only natural for cats to stretch constantly and so flexibly. There are a few theories as to why they stretch as often as they do, as shown below.

It’s the body’s natural response after sleep

In humans, stretching is a natural response after sleep. Almost automatically, one feels like contorting their body and stretching out to the maximum. According to research, the body triggers this activity automatically after sleep because it improves blood flow.

The same applies to cats. As any cat owner would know, our feline friends like napping quite a lot. Some can go up to 16 hours a day. All those hours spent immobile can greatly affect blood flow, so the cat has to stretch the moment it wakes up.

It’s a detoxification method

There’s a bit of science to a cat’s endless stretching too. According to experts, stretching triggers detoxification, the process by which dangerous toxins are let from the body. When they stretch, the body’s movement triggers more blood and lymph circulation.

Both processes are essential in guiding toxins out of the body. Just like with humans, cats need to eject toxins out of their bodies to stay healthy. One can say that cats are lucky to clean their bodies while feeling great.

Stretching keeps them ready for action

When they stay asleep for so long, cats wake up feeling stiff and uncomfortable. The feeling also comes after playing outside for a while. The body responds by triggering stretching, which indirectly causes the body’s muscles to flex.

The process boosts the body’s blood pressure, elongates muscle fibers and makes the cat as agile as before it went to sleep. Cats need this agility for their movement, speed and comfort.

It’s a sign of affection

According to cat behavior experts, stretching is also a way for cats to show affection to their owners. Cats that feel comfortable around people tend to stretch out and show their bellies, or even their paws.

It feels great for the cat too, but the cat feels even better knowing you’re looking at it. So yes, reach out and grab it when it stretches in front of you; it definitely wanted you to hold it.

Your cat wants something

Sometimes, cats stretch for the simplest of reasons. Ultimately, one of the reasons your cat may be stretching is that it needs something. It could be food, a nap, a rub or a moment of rest.

Many cat owners report lots of stretching when their cats want food or something to drink. Others stretch after prancing around for hours; it’s a sign that it’s time to rest. So, don’t get too worried; your cat’s stretching isn’t a bad sign. There is something going on underneath, something that’s not dangerous.