Do Cats Like To Be Petted? – A Cat Owner’s Guide
If you like to give hugs and cuddles and are looking for a pet, people will usually tell you to get a dog. A cat is often one of the last few, fluffy creatures recommended by people, but maybe they just don't know better. Do cats like to be petted? Yes! As long as you pet them the right way, of course. Cats are independent and clever creatures, but that does not mean they cannot be affectionate. Sometimes, they can actually be quite needy. In this article, I’ll give you the facts on whether cats like being petted and the right way to pet cats.
Why Do Some Cat Not Like to Be Petted?
Human interaction is not something cats are naturally drawn to, unlike dogs. Humans domesticated dogs thousands of years earlier than cats. And, even today, domestic cats are still wired to think like the brains of their wild ancestors. Wildcats are solitary and have more complex social skills, which your feline friend may exhibit from time to time.
How does this affect cats, and how do cats like to be pet? Human interaction is something cats have to get used to, especially in the early stages of their life, usually between two to seven weeks old. When you get a puppy, they’re probably eager to play and cuddle right away. With a kitten, both of you will need to practice a little patience and trust before you can give each other hugs.
How Cats Show They Love You
“How do cats like to be pet?” is probably a better question than “do cats like to bet?”. There are signs to remember when you can approach your cat and when to step back. Also, there are zones of a cat's body that you are better off avoiding unless you want them to get their claws out.
Before you go up to a cat for a petting and cuddling session, watch out for these signs. A cat may probably be the first to approach you if you are lucky.
- Tail is upright
- The tail is gently waving from to side side
- Ears are pricked and pointed upwards
- Relaxed posture
- Kneading you with their front paws
If a cat is exhibiting those signs, they are in quite a good mood! Feel free to get close to your feline buddy. However, if you see any of these signs, you should back off.
- Swishing, thrashing or thumping tail
- Ears flattening to the sides or rotating backward
- Turning their head away from you
- Rippling or twitching back
- Biting or swiping your hand with their paw
Don't worry; it's not you—maybe! Even the friendliest cats have days when they just want to be left alone. Can you relate?
If you see any of those signs, the cat may be feeling tense. Do not provoke them or assume you can soothe them by further attempts at petting or stroking. Your cat will eventually come to you when they are ready for all the petting and cuddling.
How to Pet a Cat
Now that we have established do cats like to be pet, we can move on to, “where do cats like to be pet?” People who have barely interacted with cats may assume they are like dogs who love tickling behind the ears or belly rubs. Let’s see if that is true.
The chin and neck are some of the safest and sweetest spots for stroking a cat. They may even rub their chin and neck against you to get your attention.
Cats enjoy scratching and petting between and behind the ears. Be sure to use gentle pressure. If their eyes begin to close and their backs arch, then you are doing a good job!
A cat’s back is a safe zone, but you have to stroke it correctly. Start from the back of the cat’s head and down to the base of the tail. However, be sure not to touch the tail! Keep stroking and petting in one direction.
The sides of a cat are fine to pet as well, especially if a cat is lying on its side. Although, you should only try this when your cat is lying beside you on your lap, or else you may give accidental belly rubs.
As I said before, a cat’s tail is something you need to avoid when petting a cat. This is important to remember if there are any children around. They may be tempted to touch a kitty’s swaying tail.
I also mentioned belly rubs are a bad idea. While a cat's belly may seem so soft and tempting to pet, you should stay away from it as much as possible. A cat's belly is its most vulnerable spot, and they know it! If you see a cat sleeping on its back, legs in the air, and belly exposed, this means they are in full relaxation and trust mode. They are sure there is no one near who will harm their most vulnerable area. Do not break that trust!
Are you thinking of giving kitty a high five? Maybe not. A cat's paws are very sensitive, so avoid rubbing them.
Do not be put off by people saying cats are no good for petting and cuddling. They have probably never had a friendly cat approach them for much-need scratches and strokes. I hope that this blog has not only answered your question of “do cats like to be pet?” but has encouraged you to be a wiser friend to your cat. Knowing when they are in the mood to be petted is a step closer to being true pals, and knowing their safe zones and off-limits zones is even better.
Cats make lovely pets. They are sweet and cuddly. They also are playful. So, if you are thinking of something to help you feel calm and relax, get a pet cat.