How to pet a cat Steps to get it right

We know that cats are not known for their unconditional love. Unlike their canine counterparts, cats are often reluctant to show affection, continually reminding us that they are fine without us, and that they are the ones who choose who to be with.

As a result, if you want to know how to pet a cat , you have to make sure you do the right thing. Not all stroking methods, for example, are created equal. So how should you pet it to improve your relationship with your cat?

Also cats can be quite affectionate when approached correctly. Therefore, touching a cat in the  wrong  way can cause it to become enraged, scratch or bite you. Naturally, we want to avoid this and achieve a successful cat / owner interaction.

Next I will indicate the guidelines that you can follow so that your cat is very happy with your caresses.

Respect the cat’s limits

Cats like people attach great importance to “personal space” , there will be times when your cat wants you to leave him alone. You need to pick up on the signs that may indicate this. When your cat is sitting alone by the window or hanging out under the bed (or in other clearly “people-free” areas) you risk hostile interaction with your feline friend.

My cat Nina has her spaces, especially in the garden, on a table, on a bench, her “human-free zones”. Nothing happens, we respect her, almost always …

Interpret the cat’s behavior and body language

A cat’s behavior and body language can also give you a clue as to how willing it is to receive your affection at any given moment.

Just because your cat is approaching you does not mean that he wants to be petted. It may be meowing because it wants food or play. If he rubs against your leg, kneads you, or jumps up to sit with you on the couch, it’s probably a good time for some petting.

Let the cat sniff you before petting

This step is particularly important, especially if it is an unknown animal, but it is not bad to make it a habit, even with your own pets.

The first step in petting a cat is to simply advertise yourself . Even if you are interacting with a cat that you know well, it is good to make your presence known before you begin.

Offer a hand or finger and wait for the cat to touch its nose, let it become familiar with your scent. If he looks at you suspiciously or walks away, this may not be the best time to move on to petting. On the contrary, if he meows or continues to interact with you, it is good to move on to the next step!

After you have been given the go-ahead, you should consider when petting your cat, what is best for him or her. The way you move your hand may seem unimportant, but you should stroke in the direction that the fur is going and be sure to stroke the cat, not pat it.

You should never block their vision, as reaching out to pet a cat’s face can be perceived as a threat.


I tell you where you should pet your cat

The parts of their bodies that cats prefer to be caressed are those where their scent glands are concentrated . When your cat rubs against you or against the corner of his sofa, it is his chin and head that make the contact. When a cat does that, it leaves its scent on the object (or person). Spreading your scent makes your surroundings smell familiar.

When you pet a cat in these areas, you make it feel incredibly happy . And you’re also helping him mark you with his “scent”, which makes him even happier. So what are what we can call hot spots for petting?

  • Base of the chin. Rub your cat gently along the bottom of the chin, especially where the jaw connects to the skull. You will likely start to hear their purr.
  • Base of the ears. Use your fingertips and apply gentle pressure between or behind the ears. Around the ears is another area of ​​the cat’s body to mark scents.
  • Cheeks behind whiskers. Get this point right, and you can often get your cat to show his pleasure deeply by turning his whiskers forward, as if to say, “More! More! Yes, right here! “
  • Base of the tail. A gentle caress down the back ending at the base of the tail. Run your hand from the cat’s head to the base of the tail repeatedly. Apply gentle pressure and a continuous, slow motion in only one direction – don’t pet your cat against the grain . Put a little pressure on the base of the tail, although with caution, there are cats who dislike.


How and where you should not pet a cat

For most cats, the belly is an “off-limits” area . Although there are exceptions, you should avoid stroking a cat’s stomach, especially if it is a cat that you do not know well.

One of the biggest mistakes people make with cats is rubbing their stomach when they are on their back. When a cat is relaxed and comfortable, they can stretch out on their back and expose their belly, but this doesn’t mean they want you to touch them. In general, they prefer that you relax with them and that you know that they feel safe and comfortable with you.

Cats don’t like to be stroked on the tail . Of course, each cat is different, and you know your cat best.

Most cats don’t mind if you touch their tails briefly while petting them, but any strong grip on the tail, or touching it when they’re not expecting it, can upset the cat because their tails are sensitive, and they feel vulnerable there. .


Watch for signs that the cat no longer wants to be petted.

Sometimes even the petting your cat appreciates can be overly stimulating or irritating, especially if it is repetitive. If you are not attentive, the warning to stop may come in the form of a gentle bite or scratch. However, the cat usually shows clear and subtle signs,  before biting,  that it no longer wants to be petted. Those warnings can be:

  • Ears flattened against the head.
  • The cat stops purring.
  • Tail contraction.
  • Grunting or whistling.



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