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How to Give Your Cat a Massage

Massage has the same beneficial effects for cats as it does for humans: It brings relaxation, lowers blood pressure, and releases brain chemicals that result in a positive state of mind. Massage can also help you get to know your cat's body so that you will notice quickly if any strange lumps and bumps develop.

  • Wash your hands before starting the massage. Make sure your fingernails are shorter than the ends of your fingertips so you don't hurt your cat. If you don't want to clip your fingernails, use the pads of your fingers and be very careful about how much pressure you apply.

  • Get your cat comfortable on your lap. Many cats love to have their ears and chin scratched, so start off with these areas. You will know if your cat is contented by the way he tilts his head back and closes his eyes.

  • Once your cat is comfortable, stroke him from head to tail a few times. Gently rub his temples and the sides of his head. Do not apply pressure. Just a simple rub on each temple will suffice.

  • Work your way down to your cat's shoulders and neck. When you massage your cat's shoulders, you will notice that there is a hollow area between and beneath the shoulder blades. Work around these areas gently, using soft circular movements.

  • Many cats love to have their backs stroked in one simple movement that goes from head to tip of the tail, so do this a few times. Then make gentle circular motions down your cat's back next to his spine. Focus most of your attention on your cat's upper back; most cats prefer not to get a lot of touching on the lower back and hips.

  • Do not use massage oils or lotions. Be very gentle in order to avoid causing injury to your cat.

For more information, read Cat Massage by Bo Lundberg and Nicola Routledge or Cat Massage: A Whiskers to Tail Guide to Your Cat's Ultimate Petting Experience by Maryjean Ballner.

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