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Should You Hug and Kiss Your Cat?

Posted by Evan Weber on

It should come as no surprise that cats can be fickle about when, where and what type of affection they are willing to receive. Your cat’s need for affection changes daily, or even hour by hour depending on its mood. The love you received this morning from your feline friend may very well become a swat or hiss when you reach for him later in the evening, perpetuating the myth that they are indeed moody creatures. However, if you learn their secret language, you will go a long toward understanding them. So should you kiss your cat? Hug him, and shower him with affection?  While some cats seem to like and lean into human kisses, others very clearly do not. Chances are, you already know which side of the fence your cat sits.

In order to decide if it is a worthwhile exercise as your cat’s housemate – face it he is an independent creature - you must understand that kitty kisses are not the same kind given to other human beings. Watch your cat the next time he is relaxed and seemingly happy. His eyes, especially if they are bright and clear, are gently closed and he is barely looking at you.  He has not fallen asleep; he is actually sending you the kitty version of a kiss! When a cat blinks very slowly he is letting you know that he is vulnerable to you. Now that is true love! Watch your cat the next time he licks another cat’s face – they will both move slowly and are fully relaxed. Both sets of eyes are partially closed and they actually look very happy and peaceful. Humans on the other tend to move quickly while retaining a degree of tension almost all of the time, even when leaning in to kiss someone, which is the opposite of what a feline would expect. There is also the closeness issue, many animals do not appreciate having someone in their personal space, and while housecats do not mind sitting next to or on someone spcial, having that person's face just an inch away from them feels awkward at best.

It is important to remember that if a cat’s eyes are narrowed and his ears turned back, he is not displaying love and affection. Cats do not like being confined. Petting is nice - it is almost like being licked, but being hugged is not appreciated. To your cat it is like being restrained or suffocated. To a human, being hugged is a natural, nurturing feeling, but this behavior is alien to cats. They do not have the ability to hold onto things - the closest thing he has as a frame of reference is an attack by a predator which grabs with teeth or claws. Even though you aren't trying to hurt or scare him, when you come in for a hug, the situation triggers a deep-rooted fear that will make your cat nervous and uncomfortable. This certainly does not mean that you and your cat should pass by each other with a brief nod, just do not sneak up or surprise him. Startling or interrupting him while he is sleeping or eating is an easy way to end up with a scratch across your face rather than the affection you may be craving. Pet your cat softly to see if he is up for a hug. Be gentle. Do not grab him roughly or hold him too tightly, and by all means, let go if he seems uncomfortable. A cat sometimes needs to come to you for affection, on his own terms. Sit down near your cat, and see if he will come to you for a cuddle. Gentle praise spoken in a soft voice or a healthy treat like VIAND’s real meat fish and venison cat treat made with 95% meat, no added colors, preservatives or fillers.  Made from the finest free range grass fed meats available without any added hormones or antibiotics, these cat treats are a wholesome way to reinforce positive behavior in your cat.  Healthy cat treats from VIAND will help your cat learn that hugs are a very good thing. Most importantly, know when to let go. A short hug may start out fine, but when he starts squirming let him go. Your cat loves you. He just may not feel like showing you all of the time. Show him you care everyday by adding VIAND super greens to his diet. Super Greens is a premium pet nutritional supplement that is designed to reduce cellular oxidation to diminish the destructive effects that free radicals have on the cells of our pet`s bodies. Continue to love your cat. He loves you too; he just might not care to show you.

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