If you are thinking of getting yourself a cat, you need to know a few dos and don’ts before you make one your new family pet.
One of the more important things you need to know is whether your cat likes being pet, since this will determine all your interactions with him/her (besides feeding time, of course).
So to that end, this article is going to look into whether cats actually like being pet, and if not, how you can rectify the situation.
Do Cats Like Being Pets?
I’m pleased to say, I have great news to report – cats love attention (generally speaking). They enjoy being stroked, scratched, and even hugged.
In fact, they seem to really revel in it whenever someone pets them. And when you take care of your cat, he or she will show their appreciation through purring, rubbing against you, and nuzzling.
However, this is just a general rule, as there are some exceptions. For example, my cat never seems to enjoy being pet when she’s sick or injured, so I’d advise against doing it then.
Also, many cats dislike being pet when they’re sleeping, so again, it’s best not to do it then.
But aside from those two situations, most cats enjoy being pet, especially when their owner is gentle and loving. As long as you keep this in mind, you should be fine.
There are some cats who do not like being pet, however, such as those who’ve had bad experiences with humans in the past, and have grown to be weary of humans and afraid of what they might do.
This is something to ponder before you decide to adopt a cat.
If you bring a new pet cat home, and it does not seem to like being petted at first, you can turn that gradually around, so that it does enjoy being petted regularly. Here’s how…
How To Get A Cat Used To Being Petted
The reason this is so important for you to know is that if your cat doesn’t like getting touched or petted by their owner, then s/he’s not going to be comfortable around other people either.
If he feels uncomfortable with you, he’ll feel uncomfortable around everyone else too. So the first step towards improving his social skills is making sure he enjoys being close to people.
How do you go about helping a cat get used to being petted? Here are some tips:
- Start slowly. Don’t try to hug him right away. Instead, start by gently rubbing his back, scratching behind his ears, or just giving him a quick stroke on top of his head. You can also use the “gentle touch” technique to help him relax.
- Do this every day. It may take several days before your cat gets used to this kind of contact, but don’t worry – it’s worth it!
- Use lots of praise. Cats love compliments, so tell your cat how good he is at playing, climbing, hiding under furniture, etc. He’ll appreciate it, and it’ll encourage him to want to please you.
- Be patient. Some cats become nervous when they’re around humans for the first time, so give them time to adjust. Remember, as kittens they’re still very young animals, so they haven’t been exposed too much yet.
- Make sure that you interact with your cat in a calm manner. Don’t shout at him or slap him across the face, as these things will only make him more fearful.
- Give him plenty of opportunities to play. Playtime is one of the best ways to bond with your cat, so make sure you spend time together each day.
- When you’re done playing, leave the room. Your cat needs to learn that when you stop playing with him, that means it’s time to rest.
- Try to avoid scolding or punishing your cat when he misbehaves. Punishment breeds aggression, which is exactly the opposite of what you want.
- Always clean up any messes made by your cat, no matter how small. This way, he won’t associate cleaning up after himself with punishment.
- Keep your cat indoors whenever possible. Outdoor cats need to feel safe and secure to be able to explore freely, which is why it’s good to keep them inside during the daytime hours.
- Talk to your vet about any health problems your cat has. The last thing you want to do is put your cat through unnecessary pain, so having an expert look over your cat’s medical history can prevent future issues.
- Watch out for signs of illness. If your cat seems lethargic, listless, or sickly looking, consult your veterinarian immediately. These symptoms could indicate serious underlying health conditions that require immediate attention.
- Finally, remember that while many cats do well with being petted, there are others who absolutely hate it. If your cat reacts negatively to being touched, you should probably rethink whether, or not, you really want to be petting him or her in the first place.
Cats With Other Cats
Cats can be very social animals. They love to play, cuddle, and interact in various ways with other cats.
On the flip side, however, cats often like to show other cats exactly who is boss, and they will often growl or intimidate other cats. But this is perfectly normal, and is often over not long after it starts, though it may happen again.
But once cats are properly acquainted with each other, you often see them cuddled up together to sleep.
So, in short, cats do like to be petted in general, though there are exceptions. Our advice is to try not to pet them too much if they are ill, in pain, or sleeping.
If your cat does not seem to like being petted, you can turn this around with a little gentleness, persistence and patience, just as our 13 steps described.
Have fun with your pet cat!