Cat Massage

by Michael
(London, UK)

Cat massaging person - just as nice, really -- photo by mcwetboy (Flickr)

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Cat massaging person - just as nice, really -- photo by mcwetboy (Flickr)

This article is about humans massaging cats. My girlfriend does cat massage on my lady cat. She seems to like it but I have never assessed it. I think my girlfriend likes it as much. After all, touching, stroking and being close to a purring cat is very pleasant indeed and it helps us to reduce our stress levels and lower our heart rate. But what about the real benefits to our cat of cat massage?


Well, it is said that when a mother cat licks its young vigorously you can see the "origins of therapeutic massage". The mother's tongue not only cleans but stimulates the kittens muscles, blood and lymph circulation (in fact a mother's lick can stimulate a kitten's bowl movement as well, just after birth, but that is another story). That tongue is an awfully effective tool.

Massaging is also said to "disperse pain and restore mobility and flexibility". Cat massage should therefore be particularly effective for more elderly cats.

Not only does massaging our cat help our cat but touching our cat in such a purposeful way can help us keep an eye on our cat's health through an inspection, by touch, of her or his physical condition. Cat health problems such as swelling and tenderness can be discovered, which may help in diagnosis of behavioral problems.

cat massage
Cat massage - picture is all over the internet
so must be in the public domain

How it Works

The skin is a sensory organ; the cat's largest. Massaging gently stimulates the release of chemicals called cytokines in the cells of the area massaged. It is thought that cytokines then instruct the brain to release the natural pain killing chemicals, endorphins.

Cytokines affect the cat's hormonal system and reduce the levels of hormones related to stress. Stress hormones weaken the immune system so there is another benefit.

In increasing the blood circulation there is a corresponding increase in the amount of oxygen reaching the tissues of the body, which in turn helps to flush out toxins and waste.

Apparently young cats benefit from massage later in life through being less stressed. Less stress means less stress hormones and a stronger immune system as mentioned.

Types of Massage

Effleurage: stroking in one direction, which is used at the beginning of the cat massage session to calm the cat.

Petrissage: refers to the specific muscle tissues and skin being stretched, kneaded, rolled, gently pinched and "wrung" (but very slightly). Tapping is also a form of massage (I actually use this but it is a very gentle and loving form). "Kneading" is the application of circular pressure with the palm of the hand over the cat's body. "Gently pinched" means picking up the soft tissues between fingers and thumb and then releasing. Wringing means "gently pushing and pulling the skin in both hands. "Rolling" describes the action of the skin being pushed away and pulled towards you. This is of course done with the greatest of respect and care for our cat (with gentleness and tenderness).


Commonsense and gentleness apply. Never massage areas of the body that are in anyway not healthy such as bruised or inflammed skin, fractures, ligament damage tumours etc.. A cat that has fever, clinical shock or heatstroke should not be massaged.

If your cat is recovering from an injury it should be done by a professional therapist. A vet should be able to advise.


As mentioned the first stage is effleurage aiding relaxation if done slowly. Next aid circulation through petrissage. First knead then pick up (see above). Then move on to wringing and rolling if your cat is enjoying it all as much as you!

Michael Avatar

Link to original Flickr Photo

Reference: Natural Cat Care by Dr. Bruce Fogle pages 80-81 published by DK.

Cat massage to cat health problems

Comments for
Cat Massage

Click here to add your own comments

Apr 05, 2012 online backgammon NEW
by: online backgammon

Thanks for the kind words. Not sure what’s going on with the people telling you to stay away from informational niches, ALL my niches are information based. I have no product based sites that I’m earning with. Maybe these people were never earning and might not have things set up right? Not sure what to think of that kind of logic. If it has a high CPC and high volume of traffic with a lot of ads I can’t imagine you won’t earn. Maybe stay away from gambling and other niches that might eventually be banned/go down the tubes
I hope that helps…
ts my first ever visit on this site……good information being shared here..
thanks once again.
Online Backgammon

Nov 14, 2011 Spine Massage
by: John Wilson

I've learned with my cats that they both love a vigorous spine massage usually following the back of the ear rub then starting between the shoulder blades and down the spine to the base of the tail if the cat will allow that. My pair tolerated it and came to love it if touched or lightly patted at the base of the tail in the context of the massage.

Rub gently but firmly enough along the spine so your fingertip can feel the vertebrae and then continue to massage in a short back and forth motion.

Each of my cats enjoys different parts of their spine massaged and, in the mood, will react with feline glee when massaged there.

My big tom (18 pounds) loves being patted during the spine massage while my little queen (6 pounds on a good day) doesn't like it one bit.

Maybe it's that my tom is secure in his alpha tom position when out that he's willing to let me get away with patting while my queen is too small to be the alpha queen when out though she's the boss between the two of them when in.

Again, they just love it. 🙂

Nov 14, 2011 hi
by: mesothelioma attorney

Very nicely written post it contains useful information for me. I am happy to find your distinguished way of writing the post. Now you make it easy for me to understand and implement the concept. Thank you for the post.

Oct 28, 2011 domain name India
by: adol

What a wonderful massage? I am also having body pain...

Apr 09, 2011 Spa Cats
by: Kaltech

That's a super picture of cats doing massage. Very neatly pictured.

Feb 21, 2011 Link wheel service
by: Link wheel service

I like this funny cat massage post. It is really nice.

Jan 09, 2011 Deleted and Banned
by: Michael

All the comments that contain irrelevant content and unauthorized links will be deleted. The person making the comment will be banned permanently - non-negotiable.

Please stop abusing this site.

Michael Avatar

Nov 03, 2010
by: Natural Skin Care

Hmm...Nice post..very funny...Keep Posting..

Oct 31, 2010 car moving
by: vehicle shipping

There is a lot of info on this blog: very helpful

Oct 29, 2010 Re :
by: Natural Skin

Very funny massage wtf 😛

Oct 24, 2010 lovely
by: Anonymous

i really love the pic

Oct 23, 2010 my comment
by: sam

Wow are those some really cuter pics and addorable cats!!

Oct 23, 2010 love it
by: Anonymous

That is so cool.

Oct 22, 2010 Nice
by: john

I agree....give us instruction! Better yet, a video. I know Reiki is used worldwide and is very effective.

Oct 22, 2010 funny cat massage
by: X ray technician salary

it seem to be very funny... but i think the second image is not real...

Oct 18, 2010 jordan fusion
by: jordan fusion

Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me.

Aug 19, 2010 VERY FUNNY.....
by: patio cleaning herdforshire

This was really a funny cat massage...I am really waiting to see if the cat is able to do foot massage and body massage... but the web site is really post...

Feb 28, 2010 Thanks Michael
by: Ruth

Will do something asap....
Babz and I go for a long walk every Sunday morning now,rain,hail or shine as it's a really good way to relax and get fit. We have some lovely countryside around us, although very muddy at present.
But we usually end up getting lost lol and by we get back home our on-line animal welfare work load is massive.

Feb 28, 2010 Reiki for cats
by: Michael

Hi Ruth, it doesn't have to be super professional. Just a still photo or two and a written description will be fine, if you can fit it into your schedule. Take care.

Michael Avatar

Feb 28, 2010 Reiki for cats
by: Ruth

Hi everyone,I'll try and rustle something up, not sure about a video, our camera does short clips so Babz and I will give it a try if Jozef will co-operate (no good asking Walter lol)but it will probably turn out too amateur to be watchable.
You've stirred my interest up again now to go on to the next level, maybe I will one day.
I also learned EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) which you can do on behalf of animals but I can't say I've had much success with that.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Feb 27, 2010 My cats love Reiki!
by: Susan

I agree cats follow around and come running to good energy! I just sit sometimes and let my animals come to me if they want Reiki - - sometimes there is a line! It has helped keep them calm and heal them through pain & illness. It helped keep one of my cats well enough to live for 7 years after a vet recommended euthanizing him.
I completed the 3 levels of Reiki training because I was so disgusted with the lack of quality vet care & needed alternative healing methods. It's been the greatest investment I ever made.

Feb 27, 2010 Reiki Master Ruth, and massage
by: Dorothy

Hi Ruth, I agree....give us instruction! Better yet, a video. I know Reiki is used worldwide and is very effective. Especially if the practitioner learns to tap into the "Morphic Field" of Reiki masters. And I agree, cats read energy better than dogs even. A dog will shy away from 'bad' energy, but a cat will recognize both bad and good energy. Come running towards the good.

Man, all this talk...I need a massage. I do.


Feb 27, 2010 Reiki
by: Michael

Hi Ruth, I have just looked up what Reiki is as I had never heard of it.

For people like me it is a Japanese natural healing process.

The practitioner places their hands non-obtrusively in positions on the body.

Maybe you might do a short post on Reiki for cats if it is possible to do it for cats.

Michael Avatar

Feb 27, 2010 Massage helps declawed cats
by: Susan

Thanks for the great topic!
Massage has greatly improved the quality of my rescued de-clawed Abyssinian's life. He was in a great deal of pain when I adopted him, and although I can't reverse the pain of the arthritis in his wrist & elbows that de-clawing has caused, he has found great comfort from me massaging his neck, back, legs, and paw joints (the ones that weren't thrown in the garbage during surgery). I recommend to everyone living with a de-clawed cat to incorporate gentle massage into their lives to release the cats stiff muscles and tendons caused by their altered gait since they can't do it for themselves. It has definitely helped my cat 😉

Feb 27, 2010 Interesting
by: Ruth

That is very intersting Michael and it seems that most cats do like alternative therapy treatments.
I'm Reiki level one (my Reiki master sadly died and I lost heart to go further) which means I can use it on family, friends and animals.
When I passed level one we had 4 cats and next door's cat almost lived with us too. All the cats loved Reiki, apart from Walter, who made it clear he wasn't messing with any therapies lol
I've a friend who goes around giving alternative therapy treatments and she says the cats of the house always gravitate to where it's taking place.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

1 thought on “Cat Massage”

  1. This is for the time first time i hear about cat massage. even though i have cats in my home,i have never tried to massage my body using them. my cats are so fluffy and soft and i am sure they will make me feel cozy and comfy. cats are really fun to play with. Great read. Thank you.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.
Useful links
Anxiety - reduce it
FULL Maine Coon guide - lots of pages
Children and cats - important
Scroll to Top