How to pet a cat?

Although it may seem impossible, most domestic feline guardians do not know how to pet a cat. Many are surprised to observe that their feline reacts in an «unexpected» way by biting or scratching right in the middle of a relaxing session. However, many have been warned without knowing it.

How should you pet a cat?

The domestic cat (Felis silvestris catus) is, like other wild cats, a solitary animal. However, domestication has significantly promoted the social behavior of this species. That means that a cat can be more or less tolerant, depending on genetics, socialization and experiences.

We must also know that cats dislike excessive manipulation, therefore, learning to interpret feline language is key if we want to know our cat better, identify its tolerance threshold and have appropriate expectations when interacting with it.

Some of the signs that a cat is happy are:

  • Relaxed body posture
  • Ears erect
  • Tail and head raised
  • Walk safely
  • Cola «vibrating»

When you identify these body postures you will know that your cat is relaxed, receptive and ready to be petted. However, you must also provide him with confidence by offering him a relaxed environment, using a high-pitched and soft tone of voice or making slow and progressive approaches.

Likewise, it will be essential to let the cat take the initiative when starting a petting session. We will continue to pay attention to his body language to notice any signs of displeasure and we will let the cat leave, that is, let him decide himself when to end the petting session. We will never exceed, but will always respect His limits.

Now that you know how to pet a cat, next we are going to explain where cats like to be petted.

Where to pet a cat?

Since you already know some basic premises, we will explain how to pet a cat correctly, showing you what are usually the favorite areas of the felines’ body. Even so, you should reserve some time each day to get to know him better, since each cat has its own preferences.

How to pet your cat is easier than you think. We will start by offering long, soft caresses that favor the hair, never against the grain. The ideal is to always follow the same direction and avoid patting, hitting or pinching him, even if the intention is good. In these first sessions we must be as careful and affectionate as possible.

We will start with the head, «combing» the top of the head and the nape of the neck with the fingertips. We can also massage the upper and middle area of ​​the back , starting with the scapulae and ending near the thoracic vertebrae. Likewise, we can gently scratch the cheeks and the bottom of the chin, although these areas may be reserved for those closest to us.

To be more technical and specific, we also have to know where not to pet a catWe will avoid petting the belly, tail, paws or pads. They usually don’t like these areas and it is very likely that we will observe signs of displeasure when touching them. If the cat ignores them, it may begin to increase the intensity of the warnings by scratching or biting.

Some of the signs of an angry cat are:

  • Tense body posture
  • Ears back
  • bristly tail
  • Queue giving «bumps» or very fast queue
  • Fast movements
  • bristling mantle
  • arched body
  • Open mouth
  • Bufidos
  • Growling

If we observe any of the aforementioned signs we will stop immediately. However, we must keep in mind that it is never advisable for the cat to show them. Therefore, the ideal is that little by little we identify what the cat’s tolerance limit is and that we never try to exceed it.

In our petting sessions we will always try to provide a positive experience, paying close attention to the cat’s well-being and its body language.

How to pet a cat to make it fall asleep?

Many people wonder how to pet a baby cat so that it relaxes and falls asleep peacefully. Let us remember that sleep is one of the most important habits for felines, especially in their early stages, since correct learning and well-being depend on it.

Where to caress a cat to make it fall asleep is easy and simple, since the ideal is to provide it with soft, long caresses . In addition, we must provide breaks so that the body stops being stimulated and can begin to rest, until we finally stop . Heat, silence or soft music are also key for the feline to fall asleep.

How to pet a surly cat?

Many people wonder how to get a cat to let itself be petted . However, as we have mentioned previously, one of the keys to making this routine positive and respectful is to allow the feline itself to start and finish it.

Under no circumstances should we punish or scold a cat that does not want to be petted. In fact, if we observe that our cat allows itself to be petted less, appears aggressive, scared or rejects manipulation, we should suspect that there is a problem related to stress.

Nor should we touch the cat when it is relaxed, asleep or distracted, because when the cat does not want to be petted and we force it, we are creating a situation of unnecessary stress. Nor will we make sudden movements or withdraw our hand suddenly.

Now, where to pet a shy or scared cat ? In this type of cats or other cats with aggressive problems, manipulation should always be gentle, positive and gradual. We will avoid «forbidden zones» and use positive reinforcement to make the situation positive. To do this we can reinforce with our voice, using a » very good » or offering cat treats.

In more serious cases, it may be necessary to consult with the veterinarian for management guidelines and the option of using appeasing pheromones to improve the well-being of the feline within the home. It is important to highlight that stress, especially when we talk about chronic stress, can even affect the health of the individual.

At this point in the article you already know how to pet a cat, whether it’s unruly, to make it fall asleep or for the simple fact of giving it some extra cuddles. Now, do you know how to pet a stray cat? Keep reading!

How to pet a stray cat?

To begin with, we must differentiate the two types of «stray cats» that exist:

  • Feral cats : they have never been socialized with humans. They will never accept coexistence and contact with people.
  • Abandoned cats : that have belonged to a family. Yes, they can relate in a positive way.

We will start by letting the cat sniff our hand so that it can identify us and, in this way, feel more comfortable in our presence. If he does not show interest, we will not force the situation and we will look for a more favorable time to interact with him. Once again we will look at his body language.

If we see positive signs, for example that he rubs against us or that he demands attention, then we can try to pet him with caution, gentleness and slow movements . Likewise, be careful if we identify a slight purr, although it is generally a sign of well-being and pleasure, it can also mean that the cat is not completely comfortable.

Benefits of petting a cat

To finish this article about how and where to pet a cat, we should mention the various benefits of interacting with and petting a feline. According to various studies petting a cat positively affects our state of health, reducing the risk of heart attack by 30% .

Likewise, the impact on our body is surprising. People who pet cats regularly report better communication, greater ability to concentrate, and more commitment. They also claim that it impacts mood and reduces anxiety .

So, there are many reasons why we should pet our cats, both for our well-being and for theirs. If you want to know them, don’t miss this video from our YouTube channel about the benefits of petting your cat.