The 3 Best Ways to Stroke Your Cat

April 8, 2019
If you're not careful, stroking your cat the wrong way can lead to some scratches or bites. Find out what your cat likes in this article.

Stroking a cat is proven to make you happier and healthier. But cats, with their strong personalites, will definitely let you know if they don’t like what you’re doing. This is why it’s a good idea to know the best ways to stroke your cat.

How to stroke your cat if you’ve only just got him

It's good to stroke your cat.

The French poet, dramatist, and novelist Victor Hugo once said, “God created cats to give us the pleasure of stroking a tiger.”

Anyone who has lived with a cat for a while probably already knows, after a few scratches and bites, what the best way to stroke their cat is.

But if you don’t have one or have only just got one, we’ve put together some tips to help you.

In this article, we’ll tell you how to get the most out of stroking your cat.

1. Stroking his head never fails

As long as your cat is in the mood, his head and the surrounding area are a great place to start. You can lightly stroke him between the ears and move down to the neck. Also, try his cheeks and chin. He’ll be sure to close his eyes and begin purring.

It’s interesting to know that cats have glands on the side of their faces which secrete pheromones which they use to mark their territory. As a result, when you stroke these areas, the smell spreads and they feel more at ease.

2. Stroke him from his neck to his tail

Cats love it if you gently move your hand from their neck towards their tail. They’ll probably arch their backs and mold them to the movement of your hand.

We don’t recommend that you ever go in the opposite direction, from the tail to the neck. Most cats really don’t like this.

3. Every cat is unique, even with stroking

No one cat is like another. Each one has a well-defined personality and this goes for stroking as well. For us to tell you exactly where your cat likes to be stroked would be impossible. What one cat likes another may hate.

So, you’ll have to find out for yourself. It’ll depend on what you already know about your cat and how much he trusts you. You’ll soon be able to find out where he does and doesn’t like to be stroked.

Beware of his belly

Some cats love to have their belly stroked and others loathe it. If a cat lies on his back inviting you to stroke his belly, this is definitely a sign of trust.

However, if you touch his belly, it’s quite possible that he’ll see this as a sign of play. Then you run the risk of getting scratched or bitten because he’ll grab your hand with his legs and sink his teeth in.

Signs that your cat wants you to stroke him

A tabby cat being stroked.

So, how can you tell if your cat really wants stroking? Here’s how:

  • Purring
  • Approaching you and rubbing against you, usually your legs
  • Gently nudging you with his head

On the other hand, you should leave the stroking for another time if you notice your cat do any of the following:

  • Bristle his hair
  • Move his tail quickly
  • Snort, hiss, or grunt
  • Flatten his ears down
  • Get restless

Also, never interrupt your cat when he is eating or grooming himself, and if you have children in the home, make sure they also understand how to stroke the cat.