Give Your Cat A Massage: how to do it

This practice requires cat owners to follow a set of instructions so the cat feels relaxed and enjoys the positive effects of a massage.
Give Your Cat A Massage: how to do it

Last update: 04 November, 2018

Veterinary medicine currently recognizes massages as something that is much more than just a simple relaxation technique. On the contrary, known how to give your cat a massage will help prevent and treat an innumerable amount physical and emotional disorders. So, in order to help improve your pet’s quality of life, below you can take a look at some basic tips on how to give your cat a massage.

The Benefits of Knowing How to Give Your Cat a Massage

Massages are considered a very efficient and non-invasive therapeutic method for humans, and both wild and domestic animals. They are usually prescribed to relieve pain, anxiety and stress caused by several pathologies. Pet owners also use massages as a simple alternative to providing them with comfort and well-being.Massages have the ability to:

  • Decrease the anxiety and stress of everyday life.
  • Treat and prevent musculoskeletal diseases, such as arthritis, osteoarthritis, and dysplasia.
  • Provide well-being and relieve pain in elderly animals, and in animals with terminal diseases.
  • Prevent the negative effects of digestive, renal and hepatic tract problems.
  • Promote lymphatic drainage and stimulate the immune system.
  • Improve behavioral problems or emotional disorders.
  • Help with weight management and assist in combating obesity-related diseases.

Risk-Free Steps to Give your Cat a Massage

Set Aside a Specific Time

Nowadays, people’s schedules are so full of responsibilities and obligations that, sometimes, has them forget to spend time on their pets.

Chartreux cat sitting on a couch

In order to perform alternative therapy or have a relaxing time with your cat requires time and dedication. The first step to giving your cat a massage is to take the time out to spend quality time on the activity and enjoy it. Besides guaranteeing a good quality massage, it helps to improve the bonds of trust between pets and their owners.

How long can a good massage take? Well, it depends on the animal and on how much experience the person at giving it massages. If you are a beginner, you should give your cate a massage for 20 to 30-minutes. A more experienced person can perform the entire procedure in 10 to 15 minutes.

Prep your cat for the massage

Giving your cat a massage requires patience, skill, and planning. This therapeutic and relaxing technique is not just about hand movements or strategic positions. A massage’s functionality also depends on the context, a favorable environment and on the animal’s mood.If a massage lacks precision or previous preparation, you can cause your pet a lot of stress and discomfort. Providing a calm environment and preparing your cat for the massage in advance is essential to ensuring the beneficial effects that well-given massages guarantee.The first thing you should do is ensure a comfortable surface where the cat can calmly lay down on and feel safe. A pillow, crib,  mattress or blanket are the best options.

Cat laying on a bed

Second, you need to help your pet relax so you can start giving them a massage. To do so, you can try talking, singing or simply keeping the animal company until they calm down and are willing to be massaged.

Choose an area to begin massaging

All cats have a specific area on their bodies where they enjoy being petted the most, so that is where you should start the massage. Animals are more willing to receive massages when you start in their favorite spots.Most felines like being massaged behind the ears or under their chins, but the pet’s owner is the one who knows the animal better than anyone else. Once you have chosen your cat’s favorite spot, you should start with soft and slow movements to prevent your cat from feeling any stress.

Correctly positioning your hands 

Many people believe that you need to use your fingertips to provide a smoother, topical massage. This is incorrect and can cause anxiety and discomfort in cats and dogs.

Your fingertips are ideal for stimulating more sensitive regions, such as the head and face. When you give your cat a massage, it’s recommended that you use your entire hand to apply controlled pressure. This is especially true when you massage an animal’s back or belly.

Controlling your cat’s reaction

If you massage an animal, you must be attentive to their reactions. Since animals cannot verbalize whether they like being massaged, their attitudes reveal their true feelings.

If your cat tries to get up or is uncomfortable, they probably aren’t in the mood for a massage. However, if they are blinking, drooling or purring, those are all signs of pleasure.

When a cat attacks, scratches or bites you during a massage, it means that you are overstimulating them. If this happens, the best thing you can do is finish the massage and calm the animal down.