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Petting a cat

Petting a cat

Petting a cat may seem easy but in reality, it requires a lot of thoughtfulness so as not to distress the cat, causing it to scratch or bite. For instance, a female cat may not like it if you touch its tail. The tips below will help you to pet your cat without agitating it.

Check if the cat wants to be pet

To check if the cat is ready for petting, extend a finger or a hand so the cat can sniff on it. If it is not interested, it will just stare at the hand suspiciously, and that means you should not pet it. If it sniffs the hand and rubs the chin or its head against the hand, then it is ready to be petted. Touch its body softly.

Petting the cat

Touch the forehead and then run the hand up to the tail. Pinch the neck muscles gently as you massage. Stroke the face side using the back of your hand. This helps to warm up the cat. You can now stroke its mustache by using the thumb and the middle finger simultaneously. Encircle its face and stroke the top of its head. Cats enjoy being massaged at the whiskers base. Stroke the cat using your palms starting from neck up to the tail without touching it. Repeat the movement. Make slow motions that are continuous while applying gentle pressure. The cat can encourage you to continue petting by firmly rubbing its forehead against the hand. In case it puts the ears back or recoils from the hand, stop the petting.

To be on the safe side, pet the cat from head to tail without changing directions. Also, avoid patting the cat because there are some cats that do not like it. If you want to scratch the cat, do it gently on its back. Keep moving the hands without stopping at one point.

Take caution with the tummy and feet

Keep off the tummy, especially if you are uncomfortable with cats. Many cats do not like their tummy rubbed. Those that do, see it as if you want to wrestle and play rough including claw grabbing. This is when they wrap claws around your hand, scratch at it and bite it. It is not an attack, but cats wrestle. When grabbed by the cat using paws, hold still to disengage the claws. You should also keep off the cat’s feet unless you know the cat likes its feet touched.

Petting signs the cats sends

The cat may send you signs when it wants to be pet. The cat can bump the head in your hand to send you a signal that it wants to pet. It may also jump in your laps and lay there either to be pet or just to relax. If it does not want to be pet it will fidget, which means it just wants to lie close to you. Purring of the cat means that it wants attention and if there is head bumping and ankle twinning, then it wants you to pet it.

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