This week's cat facts post is all about affection between humans and cats!
How we show our affection to cats: Pats!
How cats feel about it: Generally positive. The belly and legs are usually no-go zones (with some exceptions), but most cats love a good scratch on the head, around the ears, down the spine and on the butt. Pats feel really good and are a great bonding experience because you're both getting covered in each other's scents!
How we show affection: Hugs and cuddles!
How they feel: This one is very individual, but as a general rule cats (and dogs) don't like hugs very much because they might feel smothered, trapped or even attacked (like being swooped upon by a predator). It's a good idea to never hug strange cats, and to pay attention to your own cats' reaction to being hugged. If they seem relaxed go right ahead, but if they tense/freeze up, try to escape, claw, hiss or growl then leave them be.
How we show affection: Talking to them!
How they feel: Cats love being spoken to. They might not know what you're saying, but they're very social creatures and they like being included. Sometimes they'll even reply with adorable mews and trills!
How we show affection: Kisses!
How they feel: Some may hate it, most are probably indifferent, and a few may love it. You have to remember that whilst cats are very clean creatures, they also spend a lot of time grooming themselves with their tongues and paws which are likely to have residual food, litter, poop, pee and other dirt on them, so kissing them may not be hygienic. That being said, we live with their germs all throughout our houses so unless you're immunocompromised the occasional kiss probably isn't going to hurt you.
Lastly, how they show affection to us: In so many ways! Purring, meowing, trilling, tail-wrapping, rubbing against you, kneading, giving kissy eyes, seeking out your company, gentle nibbles, exposing their bellies and much more! Each cat's love language is likely to be different, but they all have one. What do your cats do?
You Cat Facts Correspondent, JD.