Ask the Vet
Ask the Vet
Michael Dym, V.M.D.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Michael Dym
Back to results
Enter Your Information All fields are required

While efforts are made to answer all questions as quickly as possible, if an immediate answer is required or if your pet is in need of urgent or emergency care, contact your pet's veterinarian immediately.

*Please note: Questions submitted and the answers will appear on our website as a benefit to all pet owners. Please make sure not to include any personal information in the box where you enter your question.

Ask the Vet
Michael Dym, V.M.D.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Michael Dym
Thank you! Your question has been submitted.

You will receive an answer from Dr. Dym and our vet/tech team as soon as possible, usually the same day.

All answers are provided for informational or educational purposes only, and are intended to be a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise and professional judgment of your pet's veterinarian.

It may be necessary to consult your pet's veterinarian regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your pet's symptoms or medical condition.

Close
Ask the Vet
Michael Dym, V.M.D.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Michael Dym
Oops! Your question has not been submitted.

An error has occurred, please reload the page and try again.

Close
Ask the Vet
Michael Dym, V.M.D.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Michael Dym
Got questions? Ask Dr. Dym & our Vet Team:

While efforts are made to answer all questions as quickly as possible, if an immediate answer is required or if your pet is in need of urgent or emergency care, contact your pet's veterinarian immediately.

Do these answer your question?
Showing of | See All
Have another question, or can’t find your answer?
Submit your question
We're Sorry!

There is no answer related to your question

Can’t find your answer?
Submit your question
Category

How To Pet A Cat

Do your cat petting skills get all the purrs, or are your interactions hit-and-miss? Learn how to pet a cat how they really want to be petted, and you can charm any kitty into becoming your best pal.

Does Your Cat Want You To Pet Them?
Before you pet a cat, make sure they actually want to be petted.

Catch them in a playful mood, and you’re likely to get play bites and scratches instead of purrs. When their tail is swishing from side to side, they may feel agitated or overstimulated, and might scratch when you reach out to pet them.

Look for a tail that’s perked up and curved at the end like a question mark. That’s the tail of a relaxed, confident cat who trusts you. When your cat rubs up against you, hops into your lap, or lies next to you, they’re truly ready for some attention.

Where To Pet A Cat
While every cat has their own preferences on where they like to be petted, most enjoy being stroked on the face, head, and behind the ears.

In fact, your cat will probably initiate petting sessions by “bunting,” or rubbing their face against you. Cats have scent glands on their cheeks, neck and around their ears, and bunting is their way of exchanging scents with you.

Never, ever pet a cat on the belly, even if they roll over and show it to you. When a cat shows you their belly, it’s a sign that they trust you and feel comfortable. Reaching for that irresistibly soft, forbidden belly is a violation of that trust, and a sure way to get kicked and scratched.

Cats also seem to dislike being pet at the base of the tail and on the legs. Stick to petting their favorite spots: the head, neck, and base of the ears, and you’re sure to earn and keep their trust.

Timing Is Everything When You Pet A Cat
Eventually, your cat may decide that they are finished with the petting session. Maybe you’re using too much pressure, petting against the growth of fur, or they’re just no longer interested in being petted.

Some cats may bite or scratch when they’re done being petted. Others will get up and walks away. Look for signs that your cat is done, such as annoyed flicks of the tail, ears that have gone back, and an arched back.