It’s strange that there even has to be information written about this, but cats are the type of pets who have a lot of boundaries. So you as their human and their slave must know how to respect those boundaries and communicate effectively with your cat!
Unlike dogs where you can essentially pet them anywhere you want… when it comes to cats, you need to know the rules. My objective for this article is to help you become more aware of these boundaries and what your cat really likes when it comes to physical touch. I hope this will help you communicate better with your cats and helps to build a stronger bond.
I’m going to tell you five places that most cats generally love being petted and being touched. However, be sure to use your own observational skills and pay attention to the needs and quirks of each and every cat.
Every cat has a different preference. Some cats like full body massages while others may only enjoy the occasional head rub. You really have to understand what your pet likes and how they are different between other cats.
Everyone Loves Head Rubs
The first is the head. The top of a cat’s head is a safe zone for any cat owner to pet their cat. Or perhaps you’re visiting a friend’s place and you wanted to introduce yourself to their cats. Petting on the head is a great way to initiate contact and to allow the cat to become accustomed to you.
I would definitely allow any new cat to sniff you first. Once a cat is familiar with you and your smell, she will be a lot more accepting of your touch and your advances. First impressions matter!
One of my friend’s cat, Mimi, only likes being petter on her head. It’s the cutest yet strangest thing ever! The moment your hand starts to move down her neck or towards her body, she will try to give you a little nip!
“Only head rubs, human,” Mimi mandates.
Who doesn’t like a good head rub? There’s just something about it that activates all the nerves on your head and could even send tingles down your back! I’m sure my cat Diba feels the same way as she will close her eyes in relaxation, purr with delight, and she even drools because it feels so damn good!
Head rubs certainly helped with socializing Diba, She was once a feral cat that didn’t even know what it was like to be petted! Nowadays, she will headbunt me to get my attention. It is her way of asking for pets!
I like to use different methods of head rubs which includes big scratches to little tickles. Diba absolutely loves being massaged behind her ears and along her neck as well. Be sure to give your cat a head rub that spans the entirety of her head! This will not only make your cat feel loved and comfortable, but it will also build a bond between the two of you.
Along The Back To…
As you lovingly give your cat some deep head rubs, you may then run your hands along the backside as long as your cat allows it. I know this is weird, but remember that all cats are different! You can only pet the areas that your cat allows you to touch.
Mimi, my friend’s cat mentioned before, does not like being petted anywhere else than her head. It could be that the rest of her body is overly sensitive to touch or it tickles too much. Whatever her reason may be, if you ever try to pet her backside, she will instantly try to take a nibble at you!
However, if your cat and you have built up a relationship, chances are… she will allow you to pet her body! As you pet your cat all through her back and sides, you may even see her fur move and body move in delight!
Most cats love back massages and they feel relatively at ease when most people pet them along their backs. I remember when I was socializing my own feral cat Diba… she wouldn’t really let me touch her at first. Maybe some head rubs here and there but that was it.
Over time, I was able to build up my relationship with Diba and she eventually allowed me to pet her back. It was definitely strange for her at first as the back of her hair stood straight up initially. I still remember how she would run away slightly out of my area of touch, only to look back at me with curiosity. Feral cats have never experienced the sensation of being petted and will most often feel startled at first.
However, petting your cat along her back and sides are a great and safe way for you to bond with your cat. You will often find your cat purring with enthusiasm and insist you keep petting them, even when you have work to do!
…The Base Of The Tail
The base of the tail is a weak spot for many cats. It is very much their kryptonite. It is a very sensitive spot for many cats and will sometimes even be too sensitive for you to scratch.
You will know whether or not a cat will like it when you scratch at the base of the tail. If it becomes too sensitive for them, they will let you know by trying to nip at you or slapping your hand. Trust me, cats are very good at letting you know of their boundaries and where you’re allowed to touch them
For my own feral cat Diba, she absolutely loves being scratched at the base of the tail. I will often find her in the cat loaf position enjoying her rest and observing her surroundings. I’ll come along and start scratching her butt and she goes bananas.
She’ll begin to lift her hind legs up until she is standing on her back legs but laying on her front. This will often cause Diba to start purring and rubbing her head all over the place in delight. I love bothering the crap out of her with pets and love!
Sometimes, I will even pet the base of the tail and then lightly grasp the tail and move all the way up. It’s like petting your cats tail in a gentle way. Don’t go grabbing your cats tail and pulling on it, but I find that a light grazes after a good butt rub is always appreciated.
Most cats don’t like it when you pet their tails for too long, so be sure to make this a passing touch. I will often find myself petting my cats with head rubs, then moving to a full body massage, then finish off with a quick tail graze.
Under The Chin
I have yet to see a cat that does not enjoy a nice chin scratch. If the cat trusts you enough to allow you to scratch and pet her under the chin, you will find that this will often send most cats into sheer ecstasy. It really feels amazing to cats!
While my cats may enjoy different types of petting and have different tastes on where they like to be petted… they all enjoy a nice chin rub. My cats will often dig into the chin scratch and move their heads to the left and right in order to help me cover more surface area.
While you pet your cat’s chin, you could even rub her cheek areas as well. You could even move down to her chest area and scratch that fluff too. Just be sure not to move too far down into the belly area as you might find yourself overstepping some boundaries.
For those that are worried about petting too close to the mouth area, just know that Diba has never bit me once since I met her, socialized her, and adopted her. She absolutely goes ham whenever I pet her chin and will keep moving her head closer and closer to the ground. It must feel so good that Diba simply cannot control herself!
Belly Rubs, If You Dare!
Now, this next one is not for the faint of hearts. It is the petting of the belly.
I know what you’re thinking “no… it’s a trap… that glorious fuzz is a trap!”
We’ve all tried it… to pet our cats in the belly… only to find our arms, hands, fingers to have seemingly get caught in a blender! Cats are creatures who have boundaries and it is in your best interest not to overstep them. Cross these boundaries and you will surely be clawed!
However, there are some cats that may actually love belly rubs and encouraged their humans to do so! One of my cats, Cornelius, did not like belly rubs at first. Whenever I tried to pet him there, he would always let me pet him for a bit then shove me off with his hind legs. It’s not that he didn’t like being touched there, but it must have just felt weird at first.
After some time and constant belly rubbing on my part, Cornelius eventually came to understand that belly rubs were the bee’s knees. He simply goes nuts over it now. Often times when he is curled up next to me, I will start petting his tummy. He will then roll over to give me more space to pet him. He gets really into and starts purring like a truck!
While most cats do not like belly rubs and will get offended by your touch, you may find that some cats will love it and ask for it often. Again, observe your cat and see what her preferences are. Diba would never let me pet her tummy and will often slap my hand whenever I try. My youngest cat, Baby or Gami (name changes depending on my mood), will just run away.
I recommend that you pet your cat often as it will help to build and strengthen your relationship. Petting and physical love will show any cat that you are willing to take the time to develop trust and bonding.
Many dogs will allow you to pet them once they get to know you. Most dogs don’t have any boundaries! However, cats are very different… some cats will allow you to rub them all over, while other cats will only let you pet them after time has passed. Take some time to observe your cat and figure out what she enjoys.
If your cat does not like being scratched at the base of the tail and keeps telling you so by trying to take a little nibble or pawing at you, be sure to heed her warning. Cats are very good at maintaining their boundaries and communicating their thoughts and feelings. Your cat will let you know when you’re doing something she does not enjoy.
Always be sure to give your cat lots of love and affection! As always, I wish you and your feline companions all the best! Be safe!