Imagine you are a cat owner, you would not only share your shelter, your food to them, but also expect for mutual connection between two sides, would you? Cats are known as independent pets and not really sociable, they do not interact much with people, except feeding time (of course, not all, we would emphasize on a majority of them). There is an adorable cat lying in front of you, without thinking, you wanna catch him, stroke and cuddle in your lap, but when you come a little bit closer, just touching his fur, he has already disappeared right away, does it sound familiar? If yes, let’s think twice, do cats really like to be petted? We hope this article may help you somehow
Cat Behaviour Researched by Dr. Sarah Ellis
If you have one or two cats at home, through practice times by times, you will have your own answer if your feline friends love to be petted or not, and specific “when and where” you should touch them. Here, in general, we would like to share from our common practical experiences and from one experiment researched by Dr. Sarah Ellis (University of Lincoln) on 54 different cats.
At first, it was conducted on 34 cats between 6 months and 12 years old. Researchers observed and analyzed cats’ behavior while being petted by their owner in comparison with a stranger by video record. 08 particular spots include chin and cheeks, the area end of the back (on the haunches), areas between eyes and ears, top of the head, back of the neck, top of the back, middle of the back, and the chest and throat, nearly a half of them still stayed. Secondly, the other 20 cats between one and 12 years old are on the stage together with their owners only. This time, stroking spots are limited only at top of the head, the back, and the tail, and with the result of 17 cats which were still remaining. All positive and negative reaction from the cat side is well noted as well.
Based on their verbal and visual response, surprisingly, the 1st case study showed cats seemed to prefer petting treat from a stranger more than their owners. Very interesting! The researchers suggested that maybe these cats were not used to getting well with the way their owners stroked them (it was different from the way they pet them daily as it was in an experiment with strict standard). When being stroked by strangers, cats showed more negative behaviors when they touched near the tail. It means, they didn’t like this so much. And both types of research indicated that owners should stroke the cheeks and chin or between eyes and ear areas, avoid the tail area. Of course, one study with only more than 50 units may not bring you great belief but somehow you will have an idea for which area of a strange cat you had better touch first.
Now, let’s have a closer look at answering 4W1H questions
Why do cats love to cuddle?
Don’t misunderstand that cats are singular individuals that do not care about human affection at all. Petting reminds cats of their mothers “who” lick and rub them in a grooming session. Though petting cannot be compared with treatment from their mothers, the movements are considered similarly. The second reason may result from mixing human and cat scent which cats enjoy
Where do cats like to be petted?
As a general guideline, most cats will take pleasure in being touched in peri-oral and temporal gland areas. Below ones are considered as “safe zone”:
- Right behind the ears
- Under Their Chins, both Sides of Cheeks
- Neck and Shoulder
Safe zone(Green for petting cats without being bit
Original Picture (Easy for you to compare)
Which signs of enjoyment and depression of your cats you can recognize?
In this case, reading cat body language and vocalization is what we should do.
|Licking or leaning head/ body towards your hand.||Biting, scratching your hands with their paws|
|Sitting patiently with high lifting head.||Standing hair|
|Purring very loudly.||Thrashing and thumping tail|
|Keeping straight-up tail or curled tail at the end/ Waving their tail softly while keeping it up||Excessive blinking|
|Holding ears facing forwards||Flattening ears to the sides or holding backward|
|Having a relaxing facial look||Growling or hissing|
Where to Pet a Cat? - FAVORITE PLACES and TIPS. You can watch this video for your clear perusal.
How should you pet your cats properly?
Let them control the play! Don’t force or push anything since your cats are decision-makers and you play as a follower in the game. Your feline friends will decide to depend on their mood if they need to be petted or not, react somehow to give you a hint where you should stroke them (right here, right there) and time length for it.
In case this is the first place the first time you have met each other, try not to start first, let the cats approach you. Start slowly with gentle pets first and see how they respond. Don’t forget the safe zone and pay attention to their signs mentioned above.
Mind the frequency as well. Sometimes is good, too often it may cause annoying and no limitation is not intolerable.
It is different for each cat but there is a common thing that you should avoid belly area. When cats are lying on their back with four legs up, it means they totally trust you, but it also might be a trap. Some owners misunderstand the signal, touch the lovely white tummy and get some immediate scratches or even bites. You could probably blame it on the cat, but what's likely happening here is that we are not just petting them the correct way. Together with belly area, tail and legs/paws zones are considered as dangerous ones, try not to touch them unless you are sure that your cats really enjoy it.
What tips for petting?
Pet your furry friends on different enjoyable spots like variable massage therapies we have, don’t apply for only one position on a daily basis to make your valuable guests satisfied. Sometimes, you may have them on the try-and-error test, but be careful. When you try “full-body set” petting, head-to-tail movement is recommended, not vice versa.
Pet cat from head to tail or you will face this situation
Don’t overdo petting. Cats are top sensitive pets everyone knows it. Wrong petting may lead to overstimulation for your cats and stressful reaction.
And the bottom line we have to accept is that some cats don’t like petting at all. They prefer to take part in a grooming party with their friends or even stay alone sitting in a room filled with their souls more than tolerant to be stroked by their owners. They are not willing to have close proximity to humans, but they are tolerating. It sounds sad, but it is true!
Thus, we could say that though cats are variable in personality, some can enjoy being petted while some others feel annoyed, it is also subjected to your technique. Generally, for now, you have some ideas to teach your children how to touch a kitty. To conclude, we would like to quote from Mr. Ian Stone from Simpawtico Dog Training “If your voice is King, touch is Queen”. These words mention dogs but we do think it is totally the same for cats. Your skillful hands could deep your lovely cats into sleep actually, believe it! If you have any questions or just would like to share your stories with us, please feel free to comment below.