HomeCat BehavioranxietyCats like, dislike or tolerate being stroked. Know your cat


Cats like, dislike or tolerate being stroked. Know your cat — 13 Comments

  1. My cat Mitzy seems to like petting mostly when I coax her up to my lap, where she will stretch out with paws overhead, and many times fall asleep. She’s more independent than other cats I’ve had, which may come from being an ex-feral.

    Yesterday she did something totally out of character. I was resting on my bed in the afternoon. I had a zippered sweatshirt on since it was a little cool. I called her up to lay on my chest, and she responded as usual. But then she started nuzzling and kneading in the crook of my arm, purring louder than I’ve ever heard. Normally her purrs are inaudible. Then she started nuzzling the back of my neck! This has never happened, and it was a memorable experience, but I do wonder what might have triggered this behavior. I wonder if she’ll do it again. Cats can be so mysterious sometimes!

  2. The challenge with studies like this is that it is quite difficult to create an experiment that is both controlled but realistic. Of course most science “journalists” are not interested in the subtleties of the experiment. I guess “Study finds cats do not like being stroked by scientists” would make a less interesting headline. 🙂

    • Yes, nice point. I have read a lot studies about cats by many scientists and what I have found is that the scientists don’t really understand cats like cat lovers and good cat caretakers do so the study lacks something. An excellent cat caretaker who loves cats and who is observant can often provide a better appraisal about cat behaviour than a scientist in a study.

  3. I adopted a tabby shelter cat who was two years old about 6 years ago. When I brought him into my home he was skittish and wanted nothing to do with petting or holding. He would sit across the room and just stare at me..for hours. To be honest it kind of creeped me out but I never invaded his space. Then …one random day.. He slowly got up from his usual staring spot,made his way to me and then jumped up on my lap where he purred and eventually curled up and fell asleep. Ever since that day I can pick him up, rub his belly, tug his ears in affection, basically man-handle him and he loves it! There isn’t a night that goes by that he doesn’t share my pillow or a day that he doesn’t greet me with special face smashings of the fuzzy kind! Every cat is unique. give them the room they desire and maybe you will be surprised with the outcome.

  4. Kars my white feral (ex-feral) male has finally come round to being just a regular tame cat. It took him 2 years to make up his mind but he now jumps on my lap purring like an outboard motor and likes to be stroked.
    I couldn’t even get near him for the first 6 months and then he had no idea what stroking was all about. He seemed to think it was some kind of attack. He obviously had had no contact with people except indirectly by perhaps stealing food put out for other cats or dogs. He is really nice now and is one of those few cats that will run up to me when I go outside.

  5. Jozef loves being stroked and tummy tickled and combed when he’s in the mood, which is quite often.
    Walter likes short spells of being stroked and combed but he doesn’t like tickles much.
    I think the thing is to respect when your cats want attention but not to force it on them if they are peacefully resting.

    • I think the thing is to respect when your cats want attention but not to force it on them if they are peacefully resting.

      That quote of yours, Ruth, pretty well sums up how to go about petting (stroking and touching) one’s cat. You know exactly what your cats like and that is exactly what I would expect.

  6. Gigi doesn’t generally like to be touched except is certain instances and in specific ways – she is a classic example of being not so easy to read and and generally being not touchable. But everyday she seems to open up a bit and want cuddles on her own terms so I am hoping it will change. Molly used to be very untouchable but now she has become very cuddly at times. Perhaps the most cuddly although not the most often.

    • Confirmation that all cats are individuals and all cat owners need to be aware of that and be sensitive their cat’s likes and dislikes. Charlie likes a bit of petting. Gentle stroking for a limited time and that sort of thing is what he prefers. He likes to be close to me for hours sometimes.

  7. Monty likes it, but not for too long. He prefers to be stroked with you foot. His little chirps of pleasure leave no doubt. Also, the volume of his purr. He also likes when my husband pets him both ways, roughing up his fur. And he likes to be petted firmly. Very light, gentle petting bores him and he runs off. Stroke him more heavily, mussing up his fur and his purr is like a V-8 engine rumbling in his little chest.

    • As I say we get to know how and what our cat likes. The study really just confirms the need to do that and remind some people that cats don’t automatically like being stroked. There is an impression amongst most people that one has to stroke a cat and that cats like it.

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