UK: More than half of cat owners cuddle their cats to calm them down

In the UK, Cats Protection’s survey concluded that more than 50% of cat owners cuddled their cat to calm her/him down. This is often not the correct response, to be honest. In fact, some research indicates that some cats find being cuddled or petted stressful.

The picture below shows us that cats have facial expressions which in this case indicates anxiety and stress…..

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

A lot of cuddling by humans is done for the benefit of humans. The cat has no say in the matter and may not like it. Sometimes people cuddle cats in the wrong way, anyway. Or they hold their cat like a baby which can make the cat feel vulnerable and therefore more stressed 😉 .

The best response is to find out what is causing the stress and remove it and also provide a place to hide and to leave your cat alone to go to that secure place. A calm environment – meaning no noise and no overly dramatic activity – is required as well.

Soothing words might help and good food does too. I have never used Feliway.

Another problem is that British cat owners – I am sure this applies anywhere in the world though – find it difficult to know when their cat is stressed.

Stressed cats usually hide or show expressions of anxiety in their face and behaviour. They may develop cystitis if under stress for a long time. Overgrooming is a classic symptom of stress. Dr Fogle says that almost all hair loss in cats is due to overgrooming.

In addition more than 50% of cat owners were not aware of the possibilities of creating disharmony in the household amongst cats and dogs when introducing another “pet” into the home. Disharmony causes stress. The human choses the new cat or dog. The cat has no say but should because they have to get along with the newcomer which is far from certain particularly so because they may well have background inter-cat problems to do with territory and hierarchy (e.g. food dominance).

However, the domestic cat is adaptable today, in the 21st century, and will probably get along eventually with a new cat. But don’t bank on it.

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22 thoughts on “UK: More than half of cat owners cuddle their cats to calm them down”

  1. hello i was wondering if you cam send me any e-mail with the link so i may write another story about my cat thank you so much p.s. i would like to e-mail a story to you thanks again

  2. You are exactly right Michael.
    I always play the same old record I know but it’s lack of education that causes many cats to have stressful lives. Some are treated like babies, some like dogs, but cats have different needs to both of those!
    If a cat feels stressed he doesn’t want to be picked up and cuddled, he wants to be left alone and the cause of his stress removed.
    We shouldn’t expect a cat to accept a newcomer without question, we wouldn’t want a stranger moving into our home and be forced to be friends with them.
    What makes me livid is when someone gets a new dog and if the cat doesn’t accept the dog, the cat is the one who has to go.

  3. I never pet my kitties unless they want to be petted.The fireman is holding the kitty because if he let it down ,it would run off.

  4. Well I wouldn’t do this as i believe its the other way around. They give us the love and Care when we are feeling Stressed or Sad. That’s what Jasmine seems to do as well as the Others. I never Force my Will against the Cat, unless they come up for Cuddles. They always know . I will give them a little cuddle and talk to them in a reassuring way in a calm voice.

      • I often think How I would want to be Treated, which is the way I think Cats feel. I know myself I don’t really like really, really Close Cuddles or contact. I liked to be hugged but not for very close contact and not for a long period of time. Yes Cats always tell us

  5. Even from a human point of view, I can say that swooping me up and cuddling is the last thing I want when I am stressed. Foremost, I want the stressors removed.
    I’m sure that a cat must feel the same.


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