Every cat has their favourite way of being petted so find and deliver it to make them happy

You’d agree that it is the sworn duty of all cat caregivers to keep their cat safe and make them happy. Those are the two goals and the former precedes the latter. I believe that every cat has a preferred way to be petted. There is no universal petting method. How cats like to be petted is part of their character and we know by now that each cat has their own character.

Of course, there is the overarching feline character which we have learned to love or in some instances hate but within that umbrella category there is individuality.


I also believe that a cat’s favourite way to be petted of often dependent on their ‘sensitive spot’. It is where the ‘green button to happiness’ is situated. I’ve lived with cats who liked the base of their tail rubbed.

My current cat, a standard spotted brown tabby who was born in the urban jungle, has a sensitive spot which is quite certainly located behind his head! It is actually the back of his neck. He likes pressure on that area. This is a little bit idiosyncratic.

Cat's sensitive spot
Cat’s sensitive spot. Image: MikeB
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It is probably a near certainty that a cat’s sensitive spot will be an area that he or she can’t reach to groom. That makes sense. It must be pleasing to have these areas attended to. And cats equate stroking as being washed by their mother so we are grooming those areas that they can’t groom for themselves.

For my cat that might not be the whole story because all I have to do is place my hand over the back of this neck to make him happy. He delivers a silent meow in recognition. It is his way of saying that I have hit the spot. I sense that something happened when he was an infant that made his feel better and it concerned the back of his neck! Perhaps his mum licked him there all the time. He is reminded of those happy kitten days when I apply pressure to the area.

I always make an effort to please him. I go a step further and flea comb him in the same spot for a double whammy benefit as this is where fleas can congregate although he has always been flea-free except for when I first too delivery of him from the shelter where he probably got the fleas.

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