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Here’s The Best Way To Pet A Cat, According To Science


Have you ever been sitting with your cat and petting him nicely, only to have him bite or swat at you? If you have, it isn’t because your cat doesn’t like you. It just means that you aren’t petting him correctly. If you want to stop your cat from swatting at you, the first thing that you need to do is understand a bit more about your cat’s ancestors.


Before cats were humans’ loved companions, they were simply used for pest control. It was about 4,000-years-ago, shortly after dogs became domesticated, that people started to realize what great companions cats could be. Your cat’s ancestors are the African wildcats. Although cats have evolved over time, their brains are still wired like a wildcat’s. This is something that evolution cannot change.

Serious Changes

Wildcats live solitary lives. Have you ever noticed that your cat likes to spend more alone time than a typical dog? This is because your cat gets this from his ancestors. However, African wildcats don’t really communicate with one another directly. They are not pack animals like dogs, and they often use visual and chemical messages to communicate. Your cat likely hasn’t inherited these complex skills, but he did inherit the desire to spend time alone.


Humans are social creatures. We desire interaction and affection. From the moment we are born, we want to be held and crave human contact. This is why we want to be so affectionate to our cats. They are adorable. They have the cute little face, the soft fur, and who doesn’t love a kitten’s tiny nose? This makes you want to scoop up your cat, cuddle him, and squish him. While this behavior makes you happy, it can be very overwhelming for your cat. If you understand what your cat wants and expects, he will enjoy the time that you spend together.

Early Interaction

If your cat is going to develop social skill and enjoy regular human interaction, you need to start early. If you want your kitten to be cuddly when he gets older, he will need daily human interaction and cuddling between the ages of two and seven weeks old. This will help your kitten get accustomed to being held, and he will want to spend time with you when he gets older.

How To Stroke a Cat

Now that you know a bit about your cat and his ancestors, it is time to learn the proper way to pet your cat. Here’s the best way to pet a cat according to science. If you want to pet your cat for an extended period of time, you will need to allow him to initiate when you snuggle with him. This will take some self-control because your cat is so cute that you will want to pet him on your schedule. The best place to pet a cat is the base of his ears, under his chin, and around his cheeks. Your cat will prefer being petted in these areas rather than his belly, back, and the base of his tail. These are spots that dogs prefer to pet.

Signs That Your Cat Is Enjoying the Petting

If your cat is enjoying being pet, he will let you know by showing some telltale signs including:
• Initiating more contact by holding their tail upright
• Purring and kneading your with their front paws
• Waving their tail gently in the air from side to side
•Relaxed posture and facial expression
• Pricked ears pointing forward
• Gently nudging you while you are stroking him

Signs Your Cat Isn’t Enjoying the Petting

Your cat will give you signs that he is enjoying what you are doing, but he will also give you signs that he doesn’t like it. These include:
• Shifting or turning his had away
• No purring
• Exaggerated facial expressions such as blinking, licking his nose, or shaking his head
• Rapid, short bursts of grooming
• Thrashing his tail
• Flattening his ears
• Biting or swatting your hand away with his paw

Self Restraint

The most important thing to remember when petting your cat is to have some self-restraint. You need to try not to squeeze your cat, no matter how bad you want to. If you continue petting your cat in a way that he doesn’t like, he is going to avoid you at all costs. If you want to be your cat’s favorite person in the house, be sure to pet him the way he likes. Not the way that you like.

A Happy Cat

Now that you know how to pet your cat, it is time to try it. Make sure to let him come to you, and when he does, pet him correctly. If he is getting cozy in your lap, you are doing it right, and you have made a friend for life.

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