Every cat owner knows this struggle: when your cat just lying there looking too cute, you are tempted to jump in and give them a good snuggle and pour on them lots of kisses. However, that vision will never come true, as cats are not in the mood to be hugged, cradled, or petted most of the time! If they can speak human language, they would just refuse you with a cold ‘NO’ and leave you devastated. But they are cats, after all, so they have unique ways to oppose our love.
Gidypet has scouted the Internet and collected photos of cat telling they’re not in the mood to receive human love and use body language to tell their owners to back off! Remember to upvote the photos of the kitties you’d most like to hug as you scroll through this feline heaven. Also, let us know how your cat reacts to your cuddling in the comments area!
Each cat’s urge for physical touch is distinct and different, according to Ingrid Johnson, a certified cat behavior specialist and the founder of Fundamentally Feline. We might get bitten or scratched if we don’t realize when our cats aren’t comfortable with being held, so let’s learn how to realize your cat’s boundaries below!
"However, the cat is often 'screaming at you to stop touching them in their own way: tail flicking, skin rippling and rolling, ears back and to the side, pupils dilated. They are agitated and telling you to stop in 'cat language.' It is when we do not 'listen' that we get bitten. The cat tried to warn us but we are human and didn't pick up on the cues."
Ingrid claimed that both a cat's character and current mood are crucial when they'll allow their owners to cuddle with them, or even come close to them. "Cats and dogs don't really like 'hugs.' Humans just impose it on them anyway! Some cats are more tactile sensitive than others so respect your individual cat's preferences for touch," she said.
She even remarked that approaching a cat is similar to dating: "Play hard to get, ignore them, let them approach you on their owns terms, and everyone will be better off for it! They feel much safer when they are in control and can decide if they want to approach,"
"If you have a cat that does get over-stimulated always leave them wanting more. If the fifth stroke gets you bitten, stop at 2 or 3! Let the cat 'do the petting' by letting them rub on you and dictate how much they want to engage. Everyone will be happier if we do not force affection that is unwanted."
Cuddling with your cat might be a mission impossible, but if you succeed, it brings quite a positive impact on our health! This is supported not only by personal experience but also by scientific evidence. Cats, like other pets, have a relaxing impact on their owners, helping to lower blood pressure and pulse rates.
Furthermore, having a furry friend by your side can help you better handle stress and improve your physical and mental health.
According to one study, owning a pet for a month results in a "highly substantial reduction" in minor health conditions such as headaches, colds, and back pain. Researchers also claimed that having a pet can have “positive benefits on human health and behavior and that these advantages can be rather long-term in some cases.”
Ingrid stated that our bonds with our pets will contribute significantly to how they can help us reduce stress and how our welfare - physical and mental, can improve.
The more we are devoted and connected with our cats, then the more familiar and attached they will be to us, which would affect positively their behaviors, quirks, and needs. Therefore, this is a win-win relationship!
"For many people, our pets are a great comfort, a best friend, a listening ear, and a source of unconditional love. Sadly, for others, their cat might stress them out, or they might find the cat annoying. This is usually due to a lack of understanding about how to best care for their cat and meet their needs, train them, etc. Those pet parents should seek the help of a qualified behaviorist! While some research claims that pets relieve stress and lower blood pressure, other studies have disproven this theory,” Ingrid said.
Unlike dogs, cats usually don’t develop an instinct to protect their owners or housemates. “Not to be negative in any way, but cats often self-preserve. This is how they have survived and evolved to be survivors over thousands of years,” Ingrid said.
“Their instincts are generally to hide to avoid danger or to flee. They prefer not to fight as that increases the potential for injury. An injured cat cannot hunt and take care of themselves so 'going into battle' is not their first choice," the cat behaviorist told us.
However, there is one thing to gain their interest, which is when we play “hard to get.” By being too open with our affections, however, we might just push them away and make them run from our cuddlesome grasps!
"Providing a feline-friendly environment that meets the cat's needs is the best way to ensure you have a happy cat that feels safe and will 'love you back.' This means offering vertical space cat trees or cat condos, playing with your cat daily to offer opportunities to hunt and relieve stress, offering multiple outlets for scratching, and offering different substrates (they all have unique preferences) and just providing an engaging environment."
“Respecting an individual cat's preferences for engagement is a good way to respect them," Ingrid concluded that each and every cat is unique and has a particular character. Some might be more open to hugs than others and you should be aware of their needs, not just your own. But it's totally fine to be crazy over your cat and shower them with love and care every day!