Yeah, you read the title right. Now ask your cat for the manual she came with. Oh, I forgot, she didn’t come with one. Well, yes, there are good and bad ways to pet your cat and you already know the difference. Or the outcome. In some, you get to keep your hand intact and your friend happy and purring. Maybe even both of you, who knows?
We all know that cats have their moments of grumpiness and we leave them alone. But there are also times when they seem all sweet and waiting for you to pet them and when you try to stroke them, surprise, they jump on and bite your hand before you even realize what’s happening.
So, what’s the deal here?
Handle with care
For sure your cat is unique and has its own preferences, desires and weaknesses. Don’t judge, we humans are the same. So, learn what her preferences are and act accordingly. But you should also know that despite their uniqueness, most cats adore being scratched in a few special places, and those are under the chin, behind the ears, on the cheeks and at the base of the tail.
Try to watch your furry friend one day going around for a few rounds of rubbing their face against your couch. They like that. Not neccesarily the couch, but rubbing their face against something. What happens there is that, beyond the pleasure they get, they also leave their scent behind. So that’s the little secret, cats like being stroked in the areas where they have the scent glands.
In the end, a little bit of trial and error will do just fine if you concentrate on the aforementioned areas, under the chin where the jawbone meets the cat’s skull, on the cheek behind their whiskers or behind their ears. For sure you’ve seen one of their signals but maybe you haven’t paid attention. When you pet your cat on the back, they tend to curve their backbone so that it leads your hand to the base of their tail. Yeah, that’s what they want.
What to avoid
One thing you should avoid when you pet your cat, that is if you want to get away with your hand skin intact, is rubbing their belly. They don’t like it, as that’s a vulnerable spot for them. Remember that cats are predators, and fighting and protecting are natural instincts, so they will protect their more vulnerable sides.
We know that they look so cute when they roll over on the floor, like waiting for you to scratch their belly. Well, if you do, expect some finger chewing from their part. You know, they’re just doing their job. There might be exceptions now and then, but eventually it all comes down to the two of you spending more time together and finding out more about… each other.