Do cats like cuddles? Animal behaviouralist Karen Wild
Is cuddling your cat a way to make them feel better, happier and calmer?
We might think that this is the way to help them get over a scary incident, but did you know your cat is not at all keen to have their body enveloped in this way?
I know a lot of you will insist that your cat is different - well, I do hope that they are, but even so, read on and see.
I arrived at an Air B’n’B the other day to be greeted by a tiny kitten, super cute and wanting to play. I was delighted!
Needless to say my first instinct was to pick up the little mite and take a closer look.
After all, baby animals are super fluffy and love being stroked, don’t they? Wrong.
It might be that your needs are greater than that of the cat.
Just as mine were, I picked up the kitten and she immediately struggled to get down.
Even though she had come over to me happily enough, she didn’t want human hands around her body.
Cats aren’t very good at explaining what they need through body signals in the same way as we might just tell someone or a dog might pull lots of expressions.
Cats don’t have the same number of facial muscles as dogs and this means they can often end up scratching us to get their point across.
It can be really confusing when your cat rolls on his back with belly exposed for you to pet that fluff and end up with his front and back legs trapping you in place!
How about getting to know your cat a little better.
Does your cat move away or his tail twitch when you start petting him?
Does he come forward and push under your hands or head to try and get you to do more?
Take your hands away and wait, and see if your cat invites further touch.
Make a mental note of the areas he seems to push in your direction (and yes, I know his bottom will be pushed at you but try to stroke the base of his tail on his back if this happens).
Imagine a stranger coming up and hugging you in the street - would you want that?
I forgot all about this for the kitten, and that was my mistake, so be ready to re-assess your own cat-cuddles and let’s see if they really want us to be that close in future.