Homeowners Should Seek Their Cat’s Consent Before Petting It, Experts Say
July 16, 2021, 3:38 PM
Does your cat sometimes go wild when you go to pet it? Well, maybe it’s because you don’t “ask” them for permission first.
We all know cats are very special creatures, they know what they want and when they want it, and know exactly how to tell you when they’re not happy.
And if your cat has ever criticized you for going to get it or just petting it, it could be because you didn’t assess the situation properly.
According to an expert, cat owners should ask their cats for permission to pet them before doing so.
That’s according to Katzenworld creator Marc-André Runcie-Unger, who says people should communicate with their cats before going to pet or pick them up in order to confirm whether or not they want attention.
In an article on the UK’s largest feline blogging platform, Marc-André writes: “Cats are sophisticated and very peculiar.
“If you want to stroke her, it must be on her terms.” She should be in the mood and you should wait for her to nod.
He also says it’s important for cat owners to understand their cat’s body language so they know if they’re comfortable being picked up.
It is an opinion which is supported by charity Cat protection, who explain on their website that cats often like to control human contact, and that it’s best to let them come to you and give them the choice to go or walk away if they wish.
Battersea Cats & Dogs Home Add that one of the most important things to do when interacting with a cat is to know the animal’s temperament and what type of cat it is.
They say the best way to interact with your cat is to use the acronym “CAT,” which rates their choice, attention, and touch:
Did I give the cat the choice of telling me if he wanted to be touched or not?
Am I paying attention?
Am I looking for subtle signs to tell me if the cat is enjoying the interaction or if it is a little uncomfortable.
Where do I touch the cat? Does the cat want me to keep touching it here, or not at all?
The main thing is to allow your cat to have more choice and to feel more in control when interacting. This will work not only with cats who are more shy or suspicious to contact, but also with cats who are very fond of contact but who tend to quickly become overstimulated and may have a tendency to bite or scratch.