HomeHuman to cat relationshippettingDo cats dislike having their tails petted? Learn the opinion of a research team


Do cats dislike having their tails petted? Learn the opinion of a research team — 8 Comments

  1. I’ve rarely found any cat that welcomed having their tail petted or caressed. And, I’ve had hundreds and hundreds of cats in my lifetime.
    Their tail is a very sensitive and well guarded appendage. In my experience, if it is petted, they may be tolerant but not pleased.

  2. I appreciate that some research is being done about cats when the alternative is none at all, but I’ve had a problem with almost every study. I’ll come back to explain that further.

    • I happened upon my half-baked answer here so I’ll try to finish it.
      When I first thought of this, I thought they meant the tail, and not the upper part of the butt area, which I distinguish. What they’re talking about is more the back than the tail. I do take it further to the tail whereby I apply a little squeeze of it between my fingers and them travel, bump by bump, to the end. I’ve found that cats “like” a gentle touch anywhere and everywhere on their body. The more familiar they are with how YOU pet them, the more they can like it, because they know what’s coming. I’m very tactile with them and they really do respond to it, in measured doses. I always look and feel for a point where their body is saying, “okay, that’s just enough for now.” and “Okay, do that again.” I let them tell me what they like. They do like a bit of pressure pressing on their upper behind in the direction of their feet. The do not appreciate being pushed or knocked off balance (to the sides). I used to be a ballroom dancer so I appreciate that dynamic, and they (either a dance partner or a cat) remember who a good partner is. This seemed to be a fair “test” of their theories, but again too clinical.

  3. My cat does not mind me petting him anywhere because he’s used to me handling him so much.

    I do play with his tail sometimes and he has no problem with it. As I said, I can do practically anything with him within reason and he won’t mind although he may think it is play and therefore play with me in response which means soft biting et cetera which I try and avoid sometimes.

    There seems to be two factors as to why a cat likes or dislikes his tail being petted. The first is his character or personality. All cats have their own personality. The second is socialisation/handling and how these have been developed.

    I don’t think the location of glands is a factor.

  4. In my lifelong experience, one of cats’ greatest pleasures is being “scritched” at the base of the tail. My cats also enjoy having their tails brushed, gently petted, and generally admired.

  5. Sometimes I wonder about these so called research projects. I would love them to come to our apartment and meet our cats. They are very diverse. All our cats are rescues and I honestly believe that their backgrounds have a lot to do with their preferences. Chipper was abandoned in a house for three moths after her owner died. It affected her ability to interact with people and other cats. Now 15 years later she is still jumpy and has trouble settling.
    Compare her to the kittens, all over 10 years of age now. We raised hem from 5 days old. They are very lovable and all have their own diverse personalities. Some loved to be petted all over and others not so much.
    Research, to me, needs a lot of time and a lot of testing. Cats can change their preferences also. The oldest cat in the house came to us as a very crabby and abused animal. It has taken a lot of years but she finally likes sitting on laps and being petted, including at the base of her tail and her tail. A lot of work and a lot of trust on her part changed that.
    Thanks for an interesting article. If they need test subjects they can call us. >^.,.^<

  6. Both of mine seem to like to have their tails petted. I can’t remember one who objected unless his or her tail was injured in some way.

  7. it’s always been natural for me to pet kittys head and when I get to their tail, just wrap my hand around it an continue to the end. I guess all of them are perhaps just used to it? 🙂 I did (out of habit) do it when petsitting some kitties and one in particular let me know immediately that he didn’t like THAT at all. So maybe it’s just what they get used to… 🙂

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