Petting a cat can be an enjoyable experience, but it’s important to know what the do’s and don’ts are when you pet one. It will make the whole experience more enjoyable and less stressful for both you and your feline companion. Here are some of the most important do’s and don’ts of petting a cat.
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Do’s of petting a Cat
Stroke the cat from head to tail
There are two ways to stroke a cat, the over-under technique, and the hold the tail technique. Both are effective in getting a cat to like you.
The over-under technique is more popular because it mimics how they would pet each other. Start by stroking the cat’s head from ear to nose, then over its back (stroking from head to tail), then down its front (from the tail towards the nose).
The hold the tail technique is better for socializing with a cat who doesn’t know you yet or for cats who don’t like being touched on their stomach or have sensitive stomachs. Simply hold one hand under its stomach while holding onto its tail with your other hand as it moves around in a circle.
If the cat rubs up against you, it means that he/she likes you. Petting your cat not only feels good for both the person and the pet, but it also provides them with some companionship.
Keep them on your lap
To pet a cat, you need to know how to approach them. If the cat is on your lap, the best thing you can do is keep them on your lap.
It’s also important to pet them with an open hand so they feel more comfortable. You should also not use any fast or abrupt movements that could scare the cat away.
Let them smell you first
When it comes to petting a cat, there are many do’s and don’ts. One of the first things that you should do is let them sniff you first. By doing this, they will be able to decide if they want to be around you or not.
If they give you their head to pet, then it is safe to move on. One of the most important things that you should not do when petting a cat is holding them down for them to stay still while being touched.
This can lead to anxiety which can cause your kitty friend a lot of pain.
Don’ts of petting a Cat
Avoid touching the cat’s belly
You should never touch a cat’s belly unless you’re willing to put up with hissing, scratching, biting, or even urinating on your arm!
Some people think that rubbing this part of their body might make them feel loved; however, this will just make them mad instead.
Don’t hold their tail
The only time it is appropriate to hold a cat’s tail is if they are injured or you are helping them groom themselves by checking for fleas or ticks. Otherwise, leave the tail alone!
Don’t try and grab their tail Cats are pretty sensitive animals, so it’s important to remember what scares them.
For example, if a cat doesn’t want to be touched on its tail, then don’t touch its tail! Use this knowledge to pet the cat in the way that makes them most happy.
Never scratch behind a cat’s ears
Cats have scent glands in this area and scratching here can lead to the cat disliking being touched in that region in the future.
Consider the cat’s personal space
Cats are territorial by nature and will not appreciate you encroaching on their territory. A cat with a tail sticking straight up is trying to tell you to back off, so be sure to give them their space.
Never put fingers in the nose or mouth
Be sure not to touch any sensitive body parts like the nose or mouth unless you want a nasty clawing on your hands later down the line.
Don’t ever forget to use gentle strokes while petting cats. Too much pressure will cause discomfort for both parties involved! The key is to get them used to being around humans and touching all different parts of their bodies.
Don’t shove food at them
Don’t shove food at your cat. You might think you’re giving them a treat, but they’ll just go away from the food or try to bite you. In the wild, cats hunt for their food and don’t want someone else to do it for them.
Giving your cat something to eat is kind of like spoon-feeding a baby–not very nutritious! If you’re going to give your cat some wet food, place it on the ground in front of them so they have to crouch down to eat it (or put it in a bowl). This will teach your cat not to be afraid of humans or being near people.
The more comfortable they are around humans, the less likely they are to become feral.
Don’t let the cat roughly or overdo it
Cats can get stressed when they are petted too much because this means that they’re losing their natural ability to defend themselves against predators.
Stroke your cat gently with one hand while holding her with the other so she can feel safe enough to enjoy it. Let her move if she wants or just let her sleep if she seems tired. They usually sleep 15-20 hours per day!
Mostly they just want us to pet them and cuddle with them.
You may even notice your cat purring when you pet him/her.
Some experts say that cats purr as a way to calm themselves since many animals make noises before attacking prey.
As mentioned above, cats also purr as an expression of pleasure–to show appreciation for what we’ve done for them
Finally, don’t forget to pet their heads! It might seem counter-intuitive, but rubbing the underside of their chin will make them purr louder. Petting should be quick but intense. As long as you follow these simple rules, your next pet session should go smoothly.
Be sure to only pet them using one hand. So that, you can use the other hand to scoop up any claws they might release while they are enjoying themselves.
Don’t try to pick them up when they don’t want to be picked up
Don’t try to pick up a cat when they don’t want to be picked up. If they are showing signs that they do not want to be picked up, such as standing on their back legs and swatting at you with their front paws, don’t try to take them from the ground.
Put your hands close by, but wait for them to make their way into your arms. Never put your face too close to a cat or try to force them into a position they do not like.
You can always ask someone else in the household if they are willing to hold the cat while you pet it.
Just give them a few minutes to get used to this person before you approach them. If the cat jumps off when being held by another person, then it is time to call it quits.
You should also avoid hugging or picking up your furry pal because this is something that some cats find threatening.
However, if they come toward you instead of running away, then it is safe to pick them up without worrying about causing harm.
Don’t ignore the cat when it tries to engage with you
When a cat wants attention, he will usually meow or purr loudly and head-butt you. They also might follow you around the house until they get your attention.
Make sure to pet them now and again (in between other tasks) so that they feel loved and appreciated.
It doesn’t take much time and can be done while watching TV or checking Facebook on your phone. Just give them a little love every day!