HomeCat BehaviorallogroomingAvoiding a Tendency To Pet Your Cat Too Vigorously

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Avoiding a Tendency To Pet Your Cat Too Vigorously — 8 Comments

  1. Depends so much on the cat. :Lilly insists on being very rough. Infact she initiates the roughness and if I just stroke her lightly she gets bored or frustrated and leaves. Gotta be rough with her. I have seen other similarly rough cats. Some cats like to wrestle even with human arms.

    Gigi is the opposite. Gotta be super gentle always. But when you scratch her neck in the right way she also wants to be scratched hard.

    Molly is in the middle – she likes when you grab her hair in big fistfulls of hair and yank. If you as a human haven’t tried pulling on large amounts of your own hair then you are missing out. Small amounts doesnt work, has to be large. I think this is the ultimate ‘scratch’ for a cat. Better than a scratch even because the hair prevents the scratch from reaching the skin anyway.

    I notice a hell of alot of people cuddle their cats to close and at the wrong moments and to the annoyance of the cat who just patiently waits to be put down (since it usually involves them being picked up). I hate seeing this but it’s hard to tell a person to slow down without them taking it badly, especially if it’s their own cat so to speak. Infact most people cuddle cats when they want to and NOT when the cat wants to unless it just so happens the cat wants to at the same time. People are just self centred about it and don’t fully understand their cat’s mood or desires.

    If cats are forced to live according to the human like that I do notice that they will eventually adapt. i.e.: all they want is to play really, and they want attention from the human because they are bored but if all they can get is not so good cuddles at certain times then they end up adapting to that because they would rather that then nothing at all. Sad really. That’s exactly why cats deserve to go outdoors. Because humans are not good enough at tending to their needs when they are locked up inside.

    I’ve seen so many humans confused as to what their cat wants, and annoyed because the cat is never interested in them when they wat it to be. MOST humans have this trouble with cats. Then they just stop caring I guess.

    • I guess its a mixture of balance,working out how each cat is different & will tolerate different degrees of touching and handing. You are right in some things, some people don’t pick up the cues when the cat has had enough or when what they are doing actually hurts. I remember Rob could basically lay on Cassy, and she virtually would allow him to cuddle her, while that would be too overwhelming for me as im always mindful of not cuddling or touching too much. I think sometimes got to think like a cat. If you put yourself in the cats shoes would you tolerate that kind of patting.

  2. Exactly our cats always tell us when they have had enough of being petted or stroked. Sometimes you just know when enough is enough. A good article by the way.

    • Thanks Kylee. I think heavy-handed petting is the cause of many cat behavior problems but there are no records so I am guessing.

      • Do you know what I think Michael?
        I think you are more of a cat behavioural expert than many who call themselves ‘cat behavioural therapists’ because you can obviously put yourself into a cat’s mind and understand exactly how they feel.

        • I agree too. Can usually tell as when a cat gets abit Stressed,or when you get that look. When the tail is flicking you know its time to stop.

  3. ‘The good cat caretaker will not be upset if their cat wants to end the petting session. Cats need that space’

    Exactly Michael, we should respect that our cats choose when they’ve had enough of petting. It would be like someone kissing and hugging us, if they overdid it, we wouldn’t like it, well I wouldn’t anyway lol
    We need to remember how small cats are compared to us and that most don’t like being ‘roughed up’ by heavy handedness.

    • Thanks Ruth. It is quite important this, because we do read of cats biting or scratching their “owners” and the reason is often over-petting I believe. Cats don’t like too much of what we want.

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