Petting and interacting with your cat is calming and can relieve anxiety. However, has one of your petting sessions led to your cat scratching you when you get too close to its belly? Don’t worry! It doesn’t mean your cat doesn’t love you. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about petting cats.
WHY DO SOME CATS HATE BELLY RUBS?
The hair follicles on a cat’s belly are hypersensitive. Therefore, rubbing their tummy can be overstimulating, causing them to react aggressively. However, not all cats hate belly rubs; some actually love them! This is because all cats have very different personalities and traits. If you're unsure if your cat wants a belly rub, slowly reach your hand toward its tummy and gauge its reaction. If your cat reacts defensively and tries to claw your hand, back off. Read your cat’s body language and respect its wishes.
WHY DOES MY CAT SHOW ME ITS BELLY?
Just because your cat shows you its belly, doesn’t necessarily mean it wants a belly rub. It’s probably just relaxing or stretching. If your cat shows you its belly and seems to want affection, try scratching under its chin or around its cheeks instead. Those are safe zones.
WHERE DO CATS ENJOY BEING PETTED?
Cats prefer being petted on the head, chin and cheeks because that’s where many of their scent glands are. Petting your cat’s face gets its scent on your hands, allowing the cat to claim you as its own. Blending scents helps your cat develop a sense of security and trust.
ARE THERE OTHER AREAS WHERE CATS DON’T LIKE BEING PETTED?
Cats generally don’t like having their paws, tails and whiskers touched. However, every cat is different. It may take some experimenting to find out how and where your cat likes to be petted. Learning how to pet your cat in a way that’s comfortable and enjoyable can be an excellent bonding experience. It can also help you find health issues happening under their fur that you can’t see. This includes scratches, bumps or areas that are swollen or painful.
CAT CLINIC NEAR TORONTO
At Bellamy-Lawrence Animal Hospital, our cat clinic provides services for Toronto, Scarborough, and Markham for the most demanding cats. We offer an extensive range of cat care services, from your kitten’s first visit to spaying and neutering, microchipping, dental care and vaccinations. We also offer emergency services if your cat needs immediate care. Contact us to learn more or book a veterinarian appointment.