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Where Cats Prefer to be Petted — 12 Comments

  1. I read in one of those books you find at the register in a pet supply store that cats don’t like belly rubs. I was dumbfounded. All I have to do is say “belly rub” to Lightning and he flops over with his paws in the air. I can show this “expert” author a video I took of Fargo literally falling asleep during a belly rub. This is the same book that claimed cats are not pack animals, to which I can respond by taking a photo of my bed on any given night when I TRY to find a spot for myself!

  2. Well, mine is different, they love lots of head bumps, and touching on the sides, some of them can handle on the tummy but again have to be in the right mood. They love, under the chin and around the ears. Only thing, that some of them hate is under the tummy unless or someone special. Ozzie will only allow Rob to touch him under there as I’m not that wonderful or not daddy so he says. I noticed they all different individuals, each of them have different things they like. Some of them can’t cope a long time having close up cuddles, but again depending on the mood. Tiger does this thing when he comes in he loves for you to put ur hand up half way and he jumps up, and I pat him on the head while making this excited purr.

  3. I guess all cats are different just like people. My Barney absolutely LOVES his tummy rubbed. He actually rolls over like a dog so that I will rub it and kiss it and starts to purr. Both of my cats also love under the chin and will put there heads back to encourage me to continue. Also when I scratch and rub inside their ears they enjoy it because I guess inside the ears are hard for a cat to scratch.

    • Good point. People tend to forget that cats are individuals. In general the areas mentioned are preferred. I think as well that we can condition our cat to like certain areas being petted. It is a mutual agreement so what we like to do is in the negotiation so to speak 😉

  4. The head and all around the neck are the most popular areas here.
    Damon and Restart are DIY cats. All they want me to do is hold my hand out in an open claw position and they move all around under it. It’s never wrong doing it that way.

    • That’s neat Dee. You let Damon and Restart decide for themselves. I like that. Very egalitarian 😉 I am a bit like that with Charlie. I put my hand down and he rubs his cheeks against it for a long time. He’ll go on and on and then when he stops he shakes his head because his left ear has been messed up!

  5. Gigi is very particular about petting but the very good news is that she is now more into it. Before she was depressed – or so it looked on the outside – but now after all the playing and insisting on doing things with her, she loves to be petted but in a certain way. Very gently, all around her neck, lower than the chin. Bear in mind there a few places they cant reach but one of them is right around the area where a collar would be. They can scratch their chins with their back legs and even the top of their heads but not the lower neck area, not much and not easily. They always love to have the hair in the lower neck area tugged on. Alot of it comes out because it’s dead hair but they can’t groom there so it stays.

    Lilly loves when I do this, and Molly too. They all like tummy rubs at certain times too. I think the one thing that cats really love is when you pull their hair. It’s like they are being groomed by another cat. When I pet a cat I usually gently pinch the fur between all my fingers and tug gently. They usually want you to pull really hard. Infact if you just hold the hair and let them pull they will really yank their own hair out. Clearly this is very satisfying for them and it gets rid of dead hair. It’s like you use your fingers like a comb but then half way through a pet pinch them together and it’s like cat grooming a little. When a cat groom they tug on the fur essentially because their tongue is like a fine tooth comb I think.

    Gigi is probably the only cat who isn’t yet ready for that – so for now I let a few of my nails grow long so I can give her decent scratches, also in the lower neck are is her favourite. Lilly lets me pull the tiny hairs on her chin, she loves it. She looks straight up, exposing her chin, and then I grab the fur and she yanks her head away once I’m holding on. Funny that. When people see that they probably think it’s a little strange 🙂

  6. I think each individual cat lets us know what he likes best, our boyz do anyway. Jozef flops down to be petted and kissed all over, but Walter prefers to stay upright and be petted and tickled around his head and under his chin.
    If a cat doesn’t like to head butt a person’s face it’s usually because he isn’t a very confident cat, he prefers to butt the person’s hand or foot because they are nearer to the size of his own head.
    Cats are fascinating!

    • Agreed. Head to head contact means the cat has to put his head near ours and that is a bit scary for a cat. Of all the places where they prefer most I think the cheek is the favourite. We are normally safe with the cheek or the side of the head. The top of the head is a close second – between the ears. Cats don’t like their ears being messed up normally.

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