Petting a cat is so calming and relaxing. However, while we may enjoy petting our cats, we have to make it a positive moment for them too. In this article, we will teach you how to pet a cat properly.
Creating a strong bond
As you know, cats are quite independent creatures. With that being said, we know that you want to build a strong connection with your cat. Petting is a great way to do that. Petting your cat is a the perfect way to show them that you want to create a strong bond with them and show your love.
For cats, when their owner cuddles with them, it is the equivalent of the mutual licking that cats do to each other.
Do not pet a cat forcefully
You should never force your cat to be petted. It’s fine that you want to cuddle with your cat. However, keep in mind that petting your cat is a moment that the both of you are sharing together. Forcing cuddles on your cat will only put your cat off.
If a cat doesn’t know you, introduce yourself before you pet it. To do this, hold out your hand and let them feel it and sniff it. Let them decide whether or not they want to cuddle with you. If they come closer, rub their head against your fingers, or even meow, it should be alright to pet them. If the cat doesn’t respond, give up and try again at a different time.
If it’s your cat, they know you, so no introductions are necessary. Start by petting them a little. If your cat agrees to continue, they will rub against you. Otherwise, they will go away and you’ll have to wait until they agrees to start cuddling again.
How does a cat show that they want to be cuddled?
It’s also possible for your cat to be the one asking for cuddles. They might show this by coming closer and putting their head against you. They might also nudge your with their head. If they do this, this shows that they want to be pet.
This behavior shows you that your little hairball wants cuddles. If this is the case, even if you don’t have time for it, don’t neglect them! This would be very frustrating for your companion who, in revenge, might not want to be petted for a long time after that!
If you don’t have the time to engage in this cuddle time, give your cat a few pats to show that you’ve received their message and are responding favorably. This shows that you’re ignoring them, you simply have other things to do.
Tips on how to pet your cat
Now that you know how to tell whether or not a cat wants to be petted, we will give you a few tips on how to pet a cat properly.
Areas to focus on
Your cat enjoys cuddling in specific areas. If you are unsure where to start, you can run your hand over your cat’s back to pet them. This is the perfect area to pet a cat that you don’t know well.
If you have a close relationship with your cat, you can try petting the underside of their chin. You’ll most likely get a deep purr in response. You can vary the stroking in this area by running your finger where their jaw meets their skull. Kitties love this! They might press their head against your finger to show you that they like it.
Another popular area for cats is their ears. There are two parts of their ears that you should focus on: between their ears and behind them. If you do it right, you’ll hear your cat purr and your pet will press their head against your hand to show you that you’re one of their own.
To vary the movements, you can also caress the cheeks of your little feline. Run your thumb gently over the area just behind the whiskers. However, be careful not to touch the whiskers directly. Cats don’t really like that.
If you have a lot of time to pet your cat, you can pet them from their forehead to their tail. Remember to keep stroking in the same direction. Cats don’t like when strokes roll back the hair. Your pet may also get frustrated if you change the direction of the cuddle, even if you don’t curl the hair. If your cat likes it a certain way, why change?
Are there any areas to avoid?
If your cat has already shown that they liked getting petted everywhere, there are no areas to avoid. However, they might not like getting petted in areas where they are hurting.
If you’re petting a cat for the first time, don’t touch their paws or belly. These are areas reserved for very close friends only. This is especially the case for their belly, which is a very vulnerable area.
Your cat is in control
Cats like to stay in control, even when it comes to friendly exchanges. Your cat is the one who decides where they prefer to be petted. For example, your cat might reach out to your hand or use their head to lead your hand to where they want.
Your cat will also decide how long they want the cuddles to last. Research has shown that a cuddle session requested by a cat lasts longer than one initiated by a human.
Does my cat like getting petted?
You might ask yourself this from time to time. However, while cats are complex animals, they are very articulate and will let you know if you are doing it right.
If your cat purrs, they are happy. If they also move their hips or their head, it means that they are really in your caresses. The louder your cat purrs, the happier they are.
Even if your cat enjoyed getting petted at first, they have the right to change their mind. If they want to leave because they are fed up with cuddles, do not force them to stay. You would be spoiling the special moment that you were sharing. If you force your cat to stay, they might stratch you or bite you to show that it is enough.
If your cat doesn’t like the way that you are cuddling him at all, you may notice that their ears are low, their tail is moving side to side, or they are moving around a lot. They might also growl. If that is the case, it’s best to leave your cat alone. Otherwise, they might scratch you or bite you.
Some cat don’t like getting petted
Does your cat walk away when you want to cuddle with them? This doesn’t necessarily mean that your cat doesn’t love and appreciate you. Some cats just don’t like being petted.
This is usually the case for cats who have not had a lot of interaction with humans while they were still kittens. Being close and affectionate with humans is learned. It is not innate. When kittens are 2 to 7 weeks old, they learn how to interact with humans. If they were not exposed to humans at a young age, it’s more likely that your cat will not appreciate being pet. Do not force it upon them.
Some cats do not like being touched but let their owners pet them to please them. If your cat wants to leave while you are petting them, you should not keep forcing it upon your cat. Let your cat relax.
Most importantly, you need to respect your cat so that the experience is positive for the both of you.
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