How to Pet a Cat

Does petting a cat sound simple? If yes, for people and children who didn’t spend enough time around cats, it is vital to know the dos and don’ts of coming close to a cat and touching it. Using too much pressure while petting them or petting them in the wrong spot can agitate few cats, instigating them to scratch you or bite. This is why experts recommend pet owners to petting take place under the terms of the cat. Seek his permission to touch and let the cat control the way he wants you to interact with him.

There are several places where it is tough to go wrong and those are the areas where the scent glands of the cats are located. These are the best places for petting the cats. When you spread this scent, this imbues the place with a very familiar smell and this in turn makes them feel content and happy. It is hence important to know where exactly to touch your cat, when to stay away from him and how to make sure you enjoy a human-cat contact.

So, if you’ve brought home a kitty and you wish to learn how to pet him, this guide is for you. Scroll down to know more on the tricks and tips of petting a cat.

Which are the areas that contain a cat’s scent glands?

As mentioned above, the places where the scent glands are located are probably the best places to touch the cat to please him. But which are those places?

  • You can start off by a gentle scratch in the chin. Use your fingernails or tips of your fingers to rub the chin gently, especially where the jawbone is in contact with the skull. You might see the cat either pushing into the stroke or just putting out his chin and both these are signs that he is enjoying it.
  • The area between or behind the ears can be focused on. Utilize the finger pads for applying the gentle pressure. The base of the ears is one more scent-marking spot for the cats. If you find your kitty friend bumping his head against you, he surely loves the act and wants you to continue it.
  • Touch the cheeks of the cat, just behind his whiskers as this is a comfort place. If your kitten loves this, he will rotate his whiskers and this is a sign that he wants more.
  • Run the back of your palm gently along the side of his face. As the cat is warmed up, use any of your fingers to stroke the moustache of the cat that is right above his upper lips. Do it in a circular motion that encircles his entire face and strokes the top portion of his head with your thumb. Once you do this, he is surely yours!
  • Stroke the cat from his forehead to his tail. While petting the cat, run your hand gently from his forehead to his tail and do this repetitively. Massage the neck muscles and pinch them in a gentle way. The pressure should be gentle and make it in constant slow motion. Don’t run your hand in two directions as cats hate that back-to-front stroke.

How will you allow the pet to come to you?

Before you start petting him, make sure you let the cat sniff you so that he then feels comfortable with you. Extend a finger or hand and let him touch his nose to you. If he is not interested in your hand or keeps staring at it suspiciously, think twice before trying to pet him. Leave that to some other time when your feline friend is in a better mood.

On the contrary, if your furry friend sniffs your hand, meows and rubs the side of his head or the chin against it, there are high chances that he is open to being touched. This is when you should open the palm of your hand and gently touch his body.

Wait for the right time when the cat bumps his head against you. Whenever he bumps his head against you, this is a strong sign that he is looking for attention from you. In case you happen to be busy at that moment, just take out time to pet her once or twice and let him know that you’re not ignoring him.

Pet your little pussy cat if he jumps on your lap and lies down. If you find her fidgeting, this is a sign that he is only trying to lie down and simply relax. They do this because they find the heat from the body of humans extremely comfortable. And if he doesn’t fidget at all, you should continue to stroke him lightly at the spots mentioned above.

Try to stroke a cat when he is lying on his side. Cats usually love it whenever they are petted while they’re lying on their side. Gently stroke the side of their face that is facing towards you. If it purrs or meows, he is telling you that he is enjoying it and wants more of it.

Understand the way your cat communicates with you. Cats usually make extremely low yet audible sounds that are called purring. Purring is a way in which cats signal the fact that it needs attention and wants to be sociable. Now when purring is also accompanied by hip bumps, head bumping, ankle twinning, it means that your cat wants you to pet him right now. There are times when your cat just wants a single stroke or a greeting or a handshake rather than a long snugly session. The extent to which the purr is audible denotes its level of happiness. The louder the purr, the happier the cat is. Excessive loud purring means the cat is extremely happy.

Now that you’re sure about how to pet your cat, try each of the steps mentioned above to check whether they induce the same reaction as discussed above. Make sure you never pat a cat on its head as they get instantly irritated at this gesture.  

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