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Be An Expert At Petting Your Cat The Right Way

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The Positives Of Petting Your Cat

Petting your cat or giving your cat a massage is a positive and bonding experience for you and the cat. Petting your cat can help alleviate stress, anxiety, and stiffness in cats. This, in turn, boosts the overall health and well-being of your cat.

A massage will deliver the same positive and relaxing benefits to your cat as you experience after having a massage. Plus, it is fun to give the cat a massage and see how much he enjoys the extra attention.

Follow these steps to give your cat a massage!

Can Anyone Give A Cat A Massage?

Myotherapy is a form of massage involving manipulation of skin, muscles, and other soft tissue. This is best given by a qualified pet massage therapist. This is a growing area of interest and you should be able to find a local pet massage therapist near you.

Can I Massage My Cat At Home?

However, you can most certainly massage your cat at home.

You probably already give your cat some form of cat massage without even thinking about it.

Most cats love being stroked along the side of their faces or chins and will stretch their heads out in supreme happiness when this happens. Even when you are slowly stroking your cat down his spine while he is sitting on your lap, you are giving him a mini massage.

By performing the massage techniques outlined below, you can further strengthen the bond you have with your cat.

There are some out of bounds areas on the body of your kitty that you probably already know. If you don’t your kitty will let you know if you have overstepped the boundaries.

Can Petting A Cat Give You Toxoplasmosis?

Although toxoplasmosis can be a risk for pregnant women, there are ways to reduce this threat other than giving away your cat or putting it outside. This article, written by a veterinarian who was pregnant while working with cats, has excellent advice for mothers-to-be and helps put the issue into perspective.

cat being petted under the chin
This is pretty much a ‘universally kitty acceptable’ prime place to massage

Follow These Steps To Pet Your Cat

1. Getting Ready For The Massage

Choose the right time. Make sure that you are calm and the cat is already relaxed, possibly already lying on your lap, settled in for some cuddles and affection time.

To further prepare for the massage, pet your cat as you normally would, down the length of his body. Use your thumbs or the tips of your pointer and middle finger and, with light to moderate pressure, stroke from the base of his neck to the top of his tail.

You may prefer to use the open palm of your hand and use the waterfall method. The waterfall method is one hand over the other, in the direction of the fur, so that it is a continuous movement.

Do this approximately ten times. Increase or decrease the time depending on the how the session is going. If the cat is purring or blinking slowly you know you are on the right track.

Using a massage glove is another option. A benefit of using a massage glove is that it will remove excess cat hair.

2. Head/Chin/Cheeks

Almost all cats love being stroked or petted along the side of their face/chin area. Start gently and use your fingertips or the edge of your pointer finger to stroke under the cat’s chin. You will know if the cat is responding in a positive way if he sticks his little chin right out and is totally in his own little bliss ball of heaven.

Massage the cheeks using small circles and light pressure.

Gently stroke from the middle of the forehead to the top of the head and in small circles around the cat’s ears.

cat being petted on top of head
I’m in Heaven! Can you tell?

3. Shoulders

Move to the shoulder blade area. Using your thumb or two fingers, massage the shoulder blade area in small circles, using light pressure.

4. Tailbone

This is the area at the base of the tail on the back of the cat. Cats love being massaged in this area, and you can definitely use more pressure than you would use in other parts of the body.

5. Chest And Tummy

The chest and tummy area is not necessarily straightforward and most cats are not too keen on being touched in these areas. If the cat is going to tolerate this, once again use your fingertips to massage in small round circles at the same time as supporting the cats upper body with your free hand.

Be guided by your cat. If the chest and tummy area is a no go, stay away from there.

6. The Paws

Another area that may be a no go zone are the paws. If you cat is okay with the paws being massaged, rub the pad of each paw for 30 seconds.

7. To Finish The Cat Massage

Either stroke the cat down the spine using the waterfall method as described in the beginning, making sure to go with the direction of the fur. Alternatively, return to the chin area that cats love so much.

When do cats shed cat hair? Is it dictated by the seasons of the year or the number of daylight hours? This article explains more.

How Long Should The Cat Massage Be?

Ideally, the massage should last about five minutes, but if your cat can tolerate a little longer that is fine. Conversely, when your cat has had enough, call it quits for the day.

Never force the cat, for as we know, that will ultimately come to no good for anyone.

Simple Method Of Cat Massage (Video)

The video shows and explains in simple terms how to give your cat a massage. It is definitely worth watching a few times. It does take time to become comfortable with giving the cat a massage.

Like anything else, once you know the techniques, it will become second nature. This simple massage technique is being explained to participants in a group. It is well explained at a beginner’s level.

Massage For Senior Cats

Is your cat a senior? Elderly cats can have difficulty getting comfortable as joints become stiff in older age. A gentle massage will help the cat relax and hopefully also sooth minor aches and pains.

It is also a lovely way to take that extra bit of care of your older cat. They do need special attention. Massage gently and take special notice of any lumps.

During the massage, check for any fleas or ticks or small injuries that may have gone unnoticed. It’s a good time to take stock of how your senior cat is faring.

Petting a cat on the head and chin
The head and chin area are a good place to start when petting your cat

Can I Pet A cat That Has fleas?

Yes, but you may get bitten by fleas. It’s definitely irritating but it won’t really hurt you.

Getting rid of fleas from the cat is the big issue. Use some fast-acting flea solutions, like flea shampoo, and then move on to longer term solutions.

kids Petting A cat

Kids need to be shown how to pet a cat. Young kids learn best by demonstrating. Show how to pet the cat from the head downwards, slowly. Put your hand over the child’s hand to guide, so that the child can feel the pressure.

While you are doing this, speak in a soft soothing voice so that the chid will do the same and not be excitable around the cat. Cats and excited children are not a good combination and the cat will disappear and the child won’t understand why this happened.

child learning how to pet a cat
Kids love petting cats. Give them guidance to do it the correct way.

The child should be able to recognize the signs indicating when the cat has had enough. Emphasize that the cat should be stroked in one direction—never back-and-forth. Also, indicate not to touch the cat’s tail or tummy.

All of this will take time. Petting the cat should be done under supervision only for the sake of the child and the cat.

Cautions Regarding Cat Massage

Don’t massage your cat if your cat is in pain, is pregnant, has an open wound or a suspected fracture or obvious areas of infection. If you are aware that your cat has blood clotting issues it is best to avoid massage.

Avoid using any oils or lotions as the cat will attempt to lick these products from the fur when cleaning himself.

petting a cat
My favorite spot is along the side of the chin!

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