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The Right Way to Caress Cat, According to Science

Oftentimes we are confronted by seemingly friendly cats who, when stroked, will bite or scratch us. You might not know the right way to caress a cat. We can blame the cats, but maybe the problem is we don't caress them properly. To understand why this happened, we first need to know a little about their ancestors.

The Right Way to Caress Cat, According to Science

Possible ancestors of domestic cats, namely African wild cats are considered animals to control pests, but modern-era cats are often treated as our valuable friends or even considered hairy babies. This social shift in the human-cat relationship is estimated to have occurred around 4,000 years ago, a little later than the domestic dog.

Although this may seem like a sufficient amount of time for a species to fully adjust to increasing social demands, this does not happen to cats. Domestic cats also display relatively simple genetic differences from their ancestors, which means their brains may still think they are wild cats.

The Love of a Cat

Humans, on the other hand, are social species that tend to support closeness and touch while showing affection. We are also interested in features that look childish - big eyes and forehead, small nose and round face - this is why most of us find cat’s faces are very cute.

Although many cats love to be petted, and in certain contexts will choose us over food, human interaction is something they must learn to enjoy especially when they are between two and seven weeks old which is considered a sensitive period. When it comes to human-cat interactions, human characteristics are also important.

Our personality and gender, the body parts of the cats we touch and how we generally handle cats, may play an important role on how cats respond to our affections. While some cats may react aggressively to unwanted physical attention, others may only tolerate our social seduction provided they are imbued with something interesting (such as food and lodging).

Right Way to Caress a Cat

The key to success stroking a cat is that we have to focus on giving the cat many choices and controls during interactions. For example, the choice is to indicate whether they want to be caressed or not, and control where we touch them, and how long. Because of the nature of our touch and love of funny things, this approach may not come naturally from us.

It's also important to pay attention to the behavior and posture of cats during interactions, to make sure they feel comfortable. When it comes to touching, less is better. This not only applies when cats are dealing with veterinarians but when they are dealing with people in a relaxed atmosphere.

If you want to touch a cat, do touch them around the area of the facial glands. This includes their ears, around their cheeks as well as under their chin. These places are usually preferred over areas such as their stomach, back, and base of their tails. That is the right way to caress a cat.