So, I have learned a new way to make my calico Buttercup happy. I run my fingers lightly down one side of her body, then down the other flank. It keeps her from getting over-stimulated, which is what rubbing her whole back seemed to do. The proof is that she stands still, back twitching, and lets me scratch her until I get tired of it. She has never stood still for so long before!
Cats is interesting. One of my cats cannot be petted past her shoulder blades or she goes nuts. One of my friends had a cat who would not let anyone pet her head. If you tried, she’d haul back and bitch slap you.
I once knew a cat who hated to have the pads of his back feet touched. Do that and he would immediately leave in a huff. (No problem with his front feet.)
Buttercup has you well trained.
I feel real lucky my cats come to my lap and allow me to touch their fur in any place. After all they spend many hours everyday grooming fur and whiskers and sharpening those claws. Yea, that’s it, I am the lucky one.
It only took her 15 months.
I think a lot of cats appreciate being touched more lightly than people tend to pet them. I’ve known plenty of cats that would start nipping and swatting when petted, but if I started touching quite lightly, their whole demeanor changed. Running fingers through their fur without actually touching their skin seems to be a factor.
Well they certainly aren’t all alike, because I had one that liked to be brushed. She LOVED to be brushed. Not particularly gently. In fact it almost seemed like the harder the better. We knew this because she would push back, harder. When somebody picked up her brush she would magically appear.
She would tolerate petting on occasion but she was always up for some brushing. But not on the tummy!
Meanwhile the co-cat liked a good ear scratch, didn’t like brushing at all, and wanted to be petted approximately 1/4 inch above his fur. He also gave good purr massages.
My cat is the opposite. If you do a gentle petting on his head, he bites, swats and swerves out of the way. But a solid, firm grip on his head while you rub and scratch makes him very happy. If you touch him below the neck, however, either firmly or gently, he gets real nasty.
I have a cat that loves to be treated roughly to the point of actual abuse …she howls like she’s getting killed and stomp off like she’s pissed but will come back and purr for more , we call her our s&m kitty
I had a cat like that, who was also very social, the most social cat I’ve ever had. I had a big group of people over one night, and they didn’t believe me when I told them all they had to do was show her the brush, and she’d come over and let them brush her until their arms fell off. They insisted on testing it, and she spent the whole night going from person to person, getting 5 minutes of brushing from each. That might have been the best night of her life.
But you could never pick her up. Try that, and she’d bolt. If she decided to sit on you, that was one thing, but picking her up was forbidden.
My little cat didn’t like being picked up either. And she was not much of a lap cat. When she sat on somebody’s lap they felt honored, but it didn’t happen often.
I have one like that. She loves people and attention, but she has to get into your lap. You can’t pick her up or she has a massive anxiety attack. She’s a great, big, solid cat. I call her my Norweigian Forest Cat, but I have no idea of her ancestry. Very sweet, but panics easily.
About not petting one cat’s head: Getting poked in the eye and getting your neck broken are major threats when you’re a cat, and allowing someone into position to do those things is scary. Think of how many friends you have that you allow to do things to you that (if anyone else did them) would be major threats.
In general, cats don’t understand, and in general they don’t trust you.
Cats vary a lot. My SIL had a cat who liked to be hit. She would thump his flank, and he’d purr and beg for more. I have one cat who loves to be petted somewhat firmly, and really enjoys a gentle brushing. She will also ask her humans to help her if she gets a clump in her (long) fur. She doesn’t like it if you pull too hard, but she really does want you to groom her and get rid of the clump, and she will tolerate some pain to get it done. And she loves to be held, and will move around so you are holding her like you would hold a baby. I have another cat who only likes gentle petting, and some scritching around the chin. Try to pick her up and she’ll bolt. I had cat who HATED to be brushed. And another who loved to be brushed.
I fostered a cat with 3 legs once who would lay on his back on your lap for belly rubs. He just lay there and purr. It was sweet.i tried that with my male Siamese, but, oh no, it didn’t happen. The female is a bit more skittish, but she’s usually first to grab a lap.
My cat liked to lie on top of me while I was sleeping or lying in bed. She was light enough she could climb on top of me without waking me up, so every few days I’d wake up to find her curled up in the crook of my arm. She was also good at “log rolling”, so I could roll over, and she’d just walk on me like she was log rolling, and not fall off.
I had another cat who trusted me more than any other cat I’ve ever had. He would fall asleep in my arms, and just go completely limp, and I could juggle him from arm to arm, and arrange him any way I wanted to, and he wouldn’t even wake up. He was just a completely zonked out rag doll.
Up until about 2 1/2 months ago, Noir Kitty was too afraid to let anyone touch him. Then I discovered he didn’t mind being touched with his fishing rod toy. I started stroking him with it and sneaking my hand in whenever I could. Pretty soon, he realized petting was a very good thing indeed. Now, I’m his best friend.
I’m always careful with him, slow movements and a gentle touch. The Big Crow hasn’t quite figured this out yet, though he’s working on it. Noir will let him touch him sometimes but will jump away from him more often than not. I think the Big Crow’s larger size frightens him, too.
I’m working on picking Noir Kitty up now. So far, so good. I haven’t tried to hold him against me, just picking him up around the chest and putting him down again after a few seconds. He just hangs there, like a kitten being held by the scruff.
This morning, I tried putting him on the couch. That freaked him out and he jumped right off. But then he turned right around and asked to be petted again so that’s progress in my book.
It’s funny how cats can be so different. Rough or soft or not at all, they all manage to work their way into our hearts.
I never know which cat it is but, occasionally I wake up in the dark with a cat sitting/laying on my hip. I try not to move and go back to sleep. I have never had one do it in the light or while I am awake. Mysterious.
I’ve taught one of mine to enjoy belly rubs. When he comes for a bedtime cuddle he always starts off standing up and getting head rubs. So I started sneaking my hand round to stroke his belly from underneath. He didn’t mind that and took to collapsing on top of my hand. I’d continue with one hand fussing his head and the other gently rubbing his belly until he decided he liked it so much that he rolled over to let me at his whole belly Now he even lets me stroke it when he’s sprawled on his back though I have to watch out for the naughty look in his eyes that says the kicky paws and coming
I used to have one that was crazy for being brushed, and with a dog brush at that. She was another who liked visitors to brush her, I would hand them the brush and say “Waggle it at her” and she’d go running.
Finally Vespa would insist in being fussed even as I was falling asleep. I would wake up to find that he was still curled around my hand. Lovely boy, I still miss him.