A cat is not a toy or a soft toy but a living being that has its sensitivity, its character, its moods and … claws! It is therefore better to stroke a cat in the way that suits it, otherwise, it risks letting you know harshly … There are places you should avoid stroking, precautions to take. Follow the leader !
Of cats and men
Contemporary domestic cats have retained many of the behavioral characteristics of their feral cat ancestors. These are lonely beings and territorial who communicate through visual and chemical messages to limit contact between them.
But the domestic cat has all the same evolved by associating with humans who are fundamentally more social animals, who promote closeness and need contact. Studies have shown that human beings are attracted to round faces, with large eyes, wide foreheads and small noses, i.e. baby faces. The cat’s head is not far from it, so many of us are attracted to these animals and driven by an irresistible desire to lavish hugs and hugs.
Not all cats like to be petted
If there are cats that are tolerant of petting, even though they do not particularly like them, this leads to a stress high in animals. Studies have indeed shown that the cat will be better if it shows its detestation of caresses than if it supports them passively.
As with any self-respecting animal, the important thing is to leave the choice to the animal. Especially since you will benefit from it: interactions with the cat last a little longer if it is the cat that initiates the contact.
Earn the right to hug
Don’t rush to the cat, observefirst! Its tail in particular can provide you with valuable information:
- Happy, the cat usually rears its tail vertically. Note that this can also mean excitement in a cat who is in heat or who would like to play. If the tail vibrates or trembles, it means two things: happiness to see its owner or the impending territorial marking in urine.
- When frightened, the cat’s tail is curved and the tip pointing downwards, it may even curl up between its hind legs. The cat then fixes the cause of his fear.
- If he’s pissed off or irritated, his tail movements are sideways and quick.
- If he is interested or concentrated, on the contrary, his tail swings very slowly, as when playing or watching for prey. Its ears are also erect and pointed forward.
Let the animal come towards you and let it rub against you: this is a sign that it has confidence in you and will let you make contact. Do not try to immediately hug him. Leave it on the ground and stroke the back. If the cat wants to extend the contact, you can explore the head : base of the ears, chin, cheeks. When he has enough, he will go.
If he gives you a little head butt when you have stopped touching him, it is because he asks for more hugs. And if he rolls on his back, exposing his stomach, it is because he has great confidence in you.
Interaction with humans is learned: this is done between the second and the seventh week of life. So you have to be very gentle with kittens so that they become adults who will enjoy contact with human beings.