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Let's Talk: Where Do Your Cats Like to Be Petted?

Some of my cats love petting, but only in specific spots on the body. What about your cats?

 |  Aug 22nd 2013  |   10 Contributions


Through practice, I have found out that my cats have specific preferences when it comes to where they like to be petted. There are also specific areas that they hate to be petted and will not tolerate it from me. I’m sure you’ve experienced this with your cats and have figured out the exact locations on their body that make them want to give you their complete, undivided attention.

That special spot that makes them stop whatever they’re doing at the moment and focus their attention completely on you. Your cat will drift off into a euphoric state and forget all about harassing squirrels, birds or chipmunks. The smell of catnip or the squeak of their favorite toy does not faze them. They won’t even budge if you offer them their special treat. They simply melt into your arms and, with their facial expression, beg you to never stop.

"Petting me always makes me happy," says Rusty.

For some cats, the perfect spot is right behind the ears. They’ll lean into your hand as though they’re begging you to rub there forever. This is very true for my Momma Kitty. She loves it when I rub and pet around the sides and underneath of her ears. However, don’t even think about touching her actual ears. When you do, she snaps out of her trance, runs away and looks back at you like you’ve done the worst thing in the world to her.

"Don't touch my ears. And get that dog out of here." Angry cat on couch by Shutterstock

Sometimes, that perfect spot is the area where your cat’s tail meets the end of her back, on the haunches. My boy Rusty loves me rubbing and scratching that area. Petting him in this area sends an immediate smile to his face.

"Yeah, that's a good spot."

Sometimes, it’s right under their chin. This is the case for my boy Ash. He will sit patiently while I rub under his chin and around the side of his face. He will lift his head as high as possible and purr very loudly with every rub and scratch under his chin.

Each of my other cats has their preferences, too. Some prefer the deep tissue massage I give them on their necks and shoulders each evening while I’m feeding them. They will sit perfectly still, all four paws on the ground, lowering their head and sinking into every rubbing movement. I’ll move my fingers and thumb together in a motion that reminds me of a cat kneading their favorite bed or blanket. I’m of course very careful not to rub too hard. I apply just the right amount of pressure to make them happy. This seems to be the only time when they’ll tolerate my petting and massage techniques.

Tabby cat by Shutterstock

There have only been a handful of times when I was allowed to give a couple of them a belly rub. Usually they will allow me to lightly rub their bellies while they are setting in an upright position. Ash will occasionally roll over on his back and allow me to caress his white belly with speckled black spots. However, after a few moments he reaches his front paws around my hand and begins to cling on in a gentle fashion. Well, it’s gentle to him, but his claws are very sharp and unpleasant to my hands.

Miss Kitty’s favorite spot has always been on her neck right above her shoulders. It’s rare that she’ll allow me to scratch up and down, and side to side, for as long as I’d like. It’s usually a quick stroke or two and then she’s off and running to be with the other cats or to groom herself. I guess she feels like she needs to lick my scent off after I pet her.

If your cat is comfortable with petting, she won't use claws. Cat touches woman's nose by Shutterstock.

As for the rest of my kitties, petting is not their thing. They prefer to mostly be left alone and for me to keep my hands to myself. I know they have special spots where they like to be petted. However, the petting doesn’t come from me. It usually comes from one of the other cats rubbing against them in their special spots. If no other cats are available, a fence post or some patio furniture will do the trick.

I’ve never encountered a cat, mine or anyone else’s, who didn’t have a favorite spot they liked to be petted. Once you find that perfect spot, it’s all over. You’ll have a friend for life. Or at least until they grow tired of you petting them.

Momma Kitty is enjoying the warmer weather.

Where do your cats like to be petted? Do they have spots that they don't like touched? Share your stories and pictures on Catster.

Check out these other great articles on Catster

About Tim Link: All-American guy who loves to rock out to Queen while consuming pizza and Pinot Noir, prefers to associate with open minded people who love all critters, considered to be the literal voice for all animals – Author, writer, radio host, Reiki Master, Animal Communicator and consultant at Wagging Tales.

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