Newsday Tuesday – National Hug Your Cat Day

Now this isn’t a difficult assignment. We live to interact with and love on our cats. They bring us so much joy. And remember, having a cat around is healthy. All cats can be considered therapy or support cats.

It is known that sitting with a cat can lower your blood pressure. I don’t know about you, but just looking into my cats’ eyes makes me smile. And watching them at play makes me laugh. Laughter is healthy. Cats can create a more pleasurable and fun environment.

So today, give each of your cats a little one-on-one love and wrap them in a sweet bear hug. That is unless your cat doesn’t warm up to hugs.

Do you have a cat who can be considered aloof or at least a little or a lot resistant or downright opposed to hugs? This morning I felt the urge to cuddle with Lily and since this show of affection wasn’t her idea and since she was more interested in me getting right into the kitchen and feeding her, she protested by stiffening up and struggling in my arms and she even dug a claw into me. So much for Lily’s National Hug Your Cat Day hug.

It’s true, not all cats care to be confined in the arms of a human unless it is on their terms. Lily will curl up in my lap, but only when I’m wearing my robe and in front of my computer. She adores petting and affectionate scratches around the neck, but only when she wants it. Otherwise, she will duck and sway away from my attempt to pet her. One of 15 kittens to three feral mother cats that year, I don’t think she got much human affection. Such a shame. But she does love us on her terms. She keeps me in her sight almost 24-hours a day and she’s often close to me—at my feet, mostly.

I heard recently that the grace period for socializing kittens is 3-7 weeks. Not much of a window of time. We adopted Lily at about the 7-week mark as close as we can figure.

Sophie came straight off the street at 10-weeks and she was untouchable at first. We still cannot pick her up. Try and she becomes Jello. But boy does she love a warm lap and loving hands. She’ll turn inside out for some nice petting and even a hug if we do it to her liking.

So if you have a cat who shuns a hug, you can still lavish affection on her, just approach her from her good side. Make it a hands only hug. Caress her. Give her head and neck scratches. Just remind her who loves her.

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