A current survey by feline welfare charity Cats Safety discovered that it is troublesome for cat house owners to acknowledge indicators of stress of their pets.
Greater than half of survey individuals mentioned they’d calm their confused cats by cuddling them — the other of what their frazzled felines would need.
“Being held or stroked for too lengthy may be very anxious for some cats,” Nicky Trevorrow, Cats Safety’s conduct supervisor, mentioned in a information launch. “House and peace is usually what they want. They are not small furry people, so what would consolation us will not essentially consolation them.”
The warning indicators
Not all cats wish to be petted or held, and people who do range in how a lot affection they get pleasure from.
When you’ve got a cat, you in all probability know the place your cat likes to be rubbed and scratched. You additionally doubtless know what occurs when your feline pal has had sufficient of your affection.
Cats will typically chunk or scratch to speak that petting time is over, however if you happen to’re paying consideration, your cat’s physique language offers you an earlier warning that he is had sufficient.
Your cat might tense up, flatten his ears and begin twitching his tail.
“Be careful of that traditional swishing, thumping tail,” mentioned Dr. Kat Miller, an ASPCA licensed utilized animal behaviorist. “Cats do not wag their tails like canines, so this can be a particular signal of ‘Cease what you’re doing.'”
Petting-induced aggression is not effectively understood, in line with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, however behaviorists assume that petting can change into disagreeable for a cat if it is a repeated movement on the identical space of the physique.
Miller compares this to how we’d really feel if somebody rubbed the identical spot on our again time and again. Though nice at first, the repetitive touching can rapidly change into irritating.
The place to pet your cat
Cats get pleasure from being petted in areas the place scent glands are concentrated. That is why your kitty will scratch his chin on the nook of furnishings or rub his head and tail in opposition to your legs.
Such motions unfold your cat’s scent, marking objects in his setting — together with you — as his personal.
So while you pet your kitty, focus your scratches and rubs in your cat’s head, chin, cheeks, ears and whiskers.
After all, there are some areas which are off-limits for cats. Though your canine might get pleasure from a superb stomach rub, that is what Miller calls a “no-go zone.”
“We now have no-go zones as effectively,” she mentioned. “For instance, an arm round shoulders is appropriate. An arm across the waist is just too, however extra intimate. However an arm across the thigh is simply bizarre, and across the neck it’s threatening.”
Educating your cat to get pleasure from petting
Most cats may be taught to tolerate extra petting in the event that they be taught to affiliate your strokes with treats.
The following time your cat signifies he is within the temper for affection, let him sniff your hand earlier than you strive petting him.
“The essential factor is to let your cat select when he needs consideration,” Miller mentioned. “Let him sniff your hand first. Cats greet one another nostril to nostril, so getting a sniff is sort of a handshake.”
After he is sniffed you, give him just a few strokes, however watch his physique language intently and depend what number of strokes you get in earlier than your cat will get irritated.
The following time your cat approaches you for consideration, stroke him solely that variety of occasions and provides him a deal with afterward. Then step away for a couple of minutes and provides him a break.
Proceed this sample for just a few days after which step by step attempt to sneak in extra strokes. Additionally, bear in mind to range the way you rub and scratch your cat so you will not trigger annoyance.
In case your cat ever will get irritated with petting, do not pressure him off your lap or punish him. Merely arise and let him soar down.
If all goes in line with plan, you will quickly rework your one-stroke kitty right into a cat that enjoys a couple of scratch.