If you kiss a cat, how does she interpret it?

Hiddleston kisses a cat
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Hiddleston kisses a cat. Photo in public domain.

If you kiss a cat, how does she interpret it? It is a fair question. Before answering, people should realise that we can’t answer this sort of question with absolute certainty. As yet, we do not know enough about how domestic cats think. We have to admit that we are still learning about our cat companions especially with respect to psychology, emotions, intelligence and, in this instance, how they comprehend the human kiss.

My gut feeling is that cats do not understand the concept of the human kiss. It is not in their ‘vocabulary’ and it is not in their behaviour. It is a very human form of behaviour and, if you analyse it, a rather strange one! Domestic cats, who are friendly with each other, touch noses when greeting which is somewhat akin to a human kiss but it is not a kiss.

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Domestic cats will perceive the human kiss as a form of contact between them and their human companion. Cats like to be in direct contact with their human companion which is why you often see them reach out a paw to touch a hand or to touch the paw of another cat or dog in the family.

So the initial feline perception of the human kiss is that it is a form of contact which is pleasant to the cat. They may perceive it as a grooming action as well. Although I doubt this. In other words they might feel that it is like they are being groomed by their human companion.

The problem with a kiss is that the person has to put their head very close to the head of their cat (presuming that the kiss is planted on the cat’s forehead). Most of the time cats accept this but sometimes they might find it a little bit claustrophobic. It depends how familiar the cat is with the person doing the kissing. I wouldn’t advise a stranger to kiss a strange cat on the forehead without knowing how the cat will react. The person might acquire a nasty scratch.

Do you have any ideas as to how a domestic cat perceives the human kiss? If so please leave a comment.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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1 Response

  1. February 21, 2021

    […] Click for my answer if you want to […]

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