How Petting A Cat Benefits Humans
Having a cat in your life that you can pet and snuggle can be very beneficial for us humans. In fact, a good petting session will produce more serotonin in your body, which in turn will make you feel happy. Your cat will be happy, too, so its a win-win for both of you! Not only that, but your anxiety and stress may decrease.
Anything that gets your kitty purring is also good for both you and them. How? Research published in 1997 found that if your cat purrs at 18 Hertz and louder , you may have improved joint mobility as well as healthier bones and muscles. Since most cats tend to purr at 20 Hz all the way up to 140 Hz, you should always be able to reap those health benefits whenever you give your kitty a good petting.
But wait, theres more! You may have a 30 percent decreased chance of having a stroke and heart disease with a cat in your life. This again goes back to how cats can give you an endorphin boost that gives stress the boot. That means a healthier heart. If you needed another reason to go pet your cat, you now have a whole host of them.
Where Cats Like To Be Pet
As you may have already known, cats have receptors all over their bodies. If overdone, cats may get overstimulated which then leads to restlessness and petting-induced aggression. This is why some cats like to be touched in certain areas and in specific manners.
Most cats love being touched around their facial glands, including under their chin, the base of their ears, and around their cheeks. Avoid their whiskers, paws, tails, and underbellies. Every cat is different so its important to learn where your cat likes to be petted.
My Cat Suddenly Doesnt Want To Be Petted
Has your cat used to enjoy petting but suddenly doesnt? Does she recoil when you try to pet them now, maybe even hissing at you or biting when you try to touch her? Your cat may be in pain.
Any change of behavior can indicate a health problem. In fact, a change in a cats behavior is one of the many signs of pain in cats. Your cat may be reacting to a general sense of illness-induced discomfort, or she may be experiencing pain in a specific spot where you were trying to pet her.
If your cat suddenly tries to avoid petting or reacts to petting in an aggressive way, its time to call your veterinarian.
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Why Cats Like To Be Pet
Most cats are relatively social animals that communicate with other cats by nuzzling, rubbing, and grooming one another. These actions send pheromones to other cats that help them identify each other and communicate. Cats prefer to communicate with humans on their own terms. They know we are not cats, but they sometimes communicate with us as if we were.
Many cats’ love of physical touch comes from kittenhood. Mother cats lick and groom their kittens to nurture them and keep them clean. The love hormone oxytocin surges in the mother and kittens during these actions, making the experience pleasant and comforting. Petting from humans mimics the sensation of being groomed and can provide the same pleasurable experience.
Bunting is one way cats show love to you. Petting is a way to return that love. Cats also enjoy petting because it feels really good to them. However, some cats prefer to be pet very little or at all.
When To Stop Petting A Cat
Even if you hit all the right notes, so to speak, your cat might not always be in the mood to be petted. This is their right, and you should respect it. If your cat walks away from your petting session, then let them do so. Chasing them and further petting them could lead to biting and scratching. This is due to whats called overstimulation, or excess petting. Overstimulation can turn even the most docile cats temporarily mean.
When your cat is being petted, they will exhibit signs of enjoying it. When you pet a cat near its tail, he or she will start to wiggle and may even drop down on the floor. Face pets will elicit hand rubs as well as whisker rotation. Your cat will purr especially hard if theyre in the mood to get a nice chin scratching.
Once your cat no longer purrs or rubs up against you while being petted, you should stop what youre doing. There are also signs of overstimulation to be on the lookout for, and these also tell you when to stop. Your cat may tense up, have rippled fur, or stare directly at you. Their ears might slightly flatten, and their tail might move rapidly. Give your cat space if theyre overstimulated and try petting them later.
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The Advantages Of Kitty Zzs
Allowing your cat to sleep with you on the bed can also have benefits for you and your meow mate. It.
- Reduces stress Petting a sleeping cat has been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce anxiety, depression, and stress.
- Strengthens the bond Cats who sleep with their humans are closer to them. This comfortable snuggle helps them feel more trust and safety with their owners.
- Its warm For those who get cold easily, a cat in the bed is the perfect feet warmer.
- Good company Whenever you are lonely, having a cat as a companion is the perfect feel-good friendship.
Being Petted In The Wrong Place
Once you have determined the cat is OK with being touched, you will need to find out where you do so. There are parts of their body where cats will tolerate being touched more than others. They are:
- Part of the neck
- Base of their tail
If you start slowly and pet the cat in these areas, you should find that the cat will tell you whether or not they enjoy being pet there. One common mistake is when the cat shows their belly to you. It may seem like the cat wants to be petted there, but this is not the case. While exposing their belly might indicate they feel comfortable near you, they usually find this spot feeling too vulnerable.
It is possible you might find your cat doesn’t like being touched on their back or some other specific area. This is less likely, as cats generally tolerate being touched on their back. We should look at some other reasons a cat doesn’t like being pet there if this is the case.
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Finding Your Cats Spots
Why Do Cats Like To Go Out At Night
Nighttime can be a great time for hunting! Cats can see well in the dark. Their pupils become very large and their eyes glow. A cats whiskers can help them in the dark also. In order to get through small spaces, a cat will use their whiskers to see if the rest of their body will fit. Cats have 24 whiskers, 12 on each side, when the whiskers are forward a cat is curious and when their whiskers are back they are often scared.
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Where Do Cats Like To Be Pet
According to Dr. Koski, in general, most cats enjoy being petted on their head. When Im getting to know a cat, I start with the forehead and cheeks first, Dr. Koski said. If you offer a hand and a cat is open to petting, theyll often rub up against your hand with their head that may be a green light for further petting.
I also find that many cats also enjoy being petted on their backs, near their shoulders, Dr. Koski added.
The best thing you can do is pay attention to your cats body language when youre petting her. This will help you determine 1) if shes in the mood to be pet and 2) where her favorite and not-so-favorite places are for being pet.
What Is The Best Way To Pet A Cat
The best way to pet a cat is when your cat wants to be petted. Ive found that cats are friendliest around mealtimes, when you come home, and when they are going down or just coming out of a nap. Start with light petting at the back of the neck, around the face, and chin. These are the most popular places where cats like to be petted.
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Do Cats Like To Be Petted
A few years ago, the journal Frontiers in Psychology confirmed what pet parents already knew: that positive interaction with animals reduces stress in humans. This is great news for your health and longevity, but if you have a cat, you may wonder if the feeling is mutual. Do cats like to be petted? Do cats like to be held as much as we like to hold them?
If you do it correctly, the answer is yes. Many cats, despite the common and persistent myth that they are aloof, welcome affection from their people. In fact, petting and holding your cat helps build a loving relationship between the two of you.
Where Not To Pet Your Cat
Just as there are common places that cats typically like to be petted, there are also places most cats do not approve of being rubbed or stroked. Unlike their canine counterparts, this area is the belly. When cats lay on their back and expose their underside, they are putting themselves in an exposed and vulnerable position. A very relaxed, trusting, and calm cat may have no qualms about letting you gently rub their belly. Many cats, however, are not as trusting and will bite or scratch with their back legs if you pet them here. Some cats may expose their bellies and look like they want a belly rub, but they might quickly change their minds if you try. Consider the belly off limits for most cats, especially those that you dont know well. Stick to the above mentioned areas that most cats enjoy and find the ones that your cat loves most. Another area to be careful around is the back and inside of the hind legs. Many cats consider this a sensitive area and dont enjoy being pet here.
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How Do Cats Like To Be Petted
Cats can be a little standoffish when it comes to physical affection, but that doesn’t mean that petting your cat isn’t a part of your bond. There are plenty of cats that are cuddly or that at least enjoy an occasional pat or scratch. Whether your feline friend is very social or tends to keep to herself, here are some tips on how to pet a cat.
Most Cats Dont Like Belly Rubs
While you can usually find a way to pet even the most aloof cat with patience, and perseverance, you are likely to find that even the friendliest cats dont like when you rub their belly. They will usually take the opportunity to shred your arm and had with its claws. Some cats will even hold your hand with their front claws and do a bunny kick with their back legs which can quickly cause considerable damage to your arm. This action will make most children cry, so we recommend teaching the child to avoid the belly at all times.
The belly is where your cat is most vulnerable, and it is likely a sensitive area to the touch. Its also highly defendable, unlike its back.
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How To Stroke A Cat And Interact With Them
Finding the best, or the right place to stroke a cat is very important. While there is no perfect spot to pet a cat, follow these rules to help you find the best place to pet any cat.
Some cats will love nothing more than to spend hours on your lap being stroked, whilst others may prefer only the briefest of chin tickles. Some cats may also enjoy your company and being near to you, but prefer to rest a slight distance away, rather than to be on your knee. Whats important is to figure out your cats preferences, and then respect them.
Lots of cats will enjoy interacting with people, but some may quickly become over stimulated during petting, or find some forms of touch unpleasant or overwhelming. This can lead to your cat merely tolerating rather than enjoying interactions with you, or in some cases, behaving aggressively . These signals are essentially your cat asking you to stop, or at least change how you are interacting with them.
Why Catsand Not Dogswon The Internet
But it doesnt seem that cat people alone admire this independence. Its cats, not dogs, that have long since conquered the World Wide Web, inspiring the LOLCat craze and helping turn Buzzfeed into a media empire.
Clearly that viral sensation isnt driven by pet-type allegiance according to Goslings study, just 11.5% of respondents identified as cat people, while self-professed dog people make up nearly half.
Its hard to say exactly why cats are so enduringly hilarious, but something about their attitude is clearly ripe for spoofing.
Dogs go viral too, of course. But the exceptions prove the rule. No one shares YouTubes of how obedient or friendly or guilty-looking they are those are expected of them. They mainly go viral only when theyre doing something virtuoso, like warbling I love you.
Dogs have to do something super-smart to attract attention. Cats, though, just have to be the captions write themselves. The universal fun that seems to come from imagining a cats thoughts hints at a grudging respect for the fact that they appear to be thinking anything at all. Dog-shaming, by comparison, is a one-note joke playing on dopey dog naughtiness. Cats have a much richer range of ambitions and emotions for LOLCat-maker to exploit.
Feature image is by Flickr user cloudzilla. The image has been cropped and sharpened.
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Some Cats Like To Be Petted On Their Necks And Shoulders
Each of my other cats has their preferences, too. Some prefer the deep tissue massage I give them on their necks and shoulders each evening while Im feeding them. They will sit perfectly still, all four paws on the ground, lowering their head and sinking into every rubbing movement. Ill move my fingers and thumb together in a motion that reminds me of a cat kneading their favorite bed or blanket. Im of course very careful not to rub too hard. I apply just the right amount of pressure to make them happy. This seems to be the only time when theyll tolerate my petting and massage techniques.
Miss Kittys favorite spot has always been on her neck right above her shoulders. Its rare that shell allow me to scratch up and down, and side to side, for as long as Id like. Its usually a quick stroke or two and then shes off and running to be with the other cats or to groom herself. I guess she feels like she needs to lick my scent off after I pet her.
Does Breed Matter What About Age
Don’t be alarmed if your cat resists physical attention. It may just be part of her personality or upbringing. If a kitten isn’t socialized with humans at an early age, she may be reluctant to accept affection. She may also need more coaxing if you adopt her as an adult and don’t know her backstory. You can acclimate your kitty using some of the strategies above, but some cats simply don’t enjoy being picked up, preferring to be a nestle-next-to-you cat instead of a lap cat.
Building trust is a gradual process in any relationship. When you invest your love and affection, you’ll be rewarded with a feline best friend .
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