Frivolous Friday–How to Pet a Cat

Most of you who have lived with cats for many years, know that there is only one way to successfully pet a cat—that particular cat’s way. Rub a cat the wrong way and you may get a nip or a scratch. Or the cat will walk away and leave you wondering what happened. Here’s an informative site explaining how to approach a cat you’re unfamiliar with and also how to get along with your own cats better when it comes to invading their privacy. Oh yes, a cat can become protective of that glorious fur we want to rub our hands through and bury our faces in. You cat lovers are with me on that, right?

Each cat I fall in love with teaches me my manners when it comes to the pet—what they like and when. Sometimes my instructions are, “keep your hands to yourself and just sit there and admire me.”

Here’s the word on the art of cat-petting. Learn your cats signals so you know when she’s inviting petting and when she just wants to rub her scent on your ankles. When greeting a new cat—one that you’re unfamiliar with—if she comes up to you, start by scratching the top of her head.

Experts caution—beware of the cat who rolls over to show you her belly. This is true whether you know the cat well or have just met her. Most cats, it seems, do not relish a belly rub and they’ll let you know it in the only way they know how. Warning: this may involve a little bleeding.

Basically, when it comes to petting a cat, it’s wise to let the cat guide you. Never force yourself on a cat. And watch for signs that you’re over-stimulating a cat who seems to be totally enjoying a petting.  A cat who is enjoying the petting session will often turn the other cheek—mine love the cheek scratches.

There’s also the cat who suddenly becomes overly-stimulated during a seemingly enjoyable petting session, and without warning bites, growls, or scratches. Cats can be moody creatures. What she loves one minute may rub her the wrong way the next. But then if you’ve lived with a cat for more than an hour you’ve probably already learned a lot of what I’ve laid out here.

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