Stroke your cat with the back of your hand

This is a little tip that occurred to me this morning, on Christmas Day 2020. Happy Christmas by the way (an odd Christmas due to the pandemic). Try stroking your cat with the back of your hand. This is something that I do. It is an alternative to the conventional way of petting a cat. Why might it be better for your cat?

Stroke with the back of the hand
Stroke with the back of the hand. Photo: MikeB.
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Well, when you use the back of your hand your fingers are more able to move as they act like a car’s suspension following the contours of your cat’s body. Stroking becomes more delicate, less stiff and more flexible. It creates a different sensation for your cat which is beneficial because cats like change within routine. This, to me, can be a better way of stroking a cat or at least it is an alternative. It is my belief that people can sometimes pet their cat in a way which is slightly too strong for a cat’s liking. Perhaps this applies more often to men than women.

Obviously domestic cats get used to it and they are very adaptable but it is my view that stroking a cat should be done in a delicate manner in following how domestic cats lick each other (allogrooming).

Obviously we should be guided by how cats interrelate. In a ideal world, this is what they expect from us. When we stroke a cat we are, in effect, engaging in allogrooming. That’s why when we stroke our cat she sometimes licks us back in response. It’s a mutual bonding process and we all know this by now because it’s been all over the internet for many years.

Perhaps a lot of people already stroke their cat with the back of their hand but if you haven’t done it, please give it a try. You will see that your fingers move far more freely away from your cat’s body while stroking as they follow the contours of the body. It’s not always possible to do it because of the relative position of your cat to your hand but if it is appropriate it’s worth a try.

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