Just like we humans can feel a tickle, cats do feel them, but in a different way. We react by laughing and trigger involuntary reflexes. However, cats do not laugh, but they show sudden reflexes and will try to bite you. Sometimes, they won’t be that gentle!
My cats love it when I tickle them and looking at their reactions just makes my day. It feels like my daily dose of happiness. Although the dose is quite small, it is still sufficient.
Can Cats Feel Tickle?
The answer would be yes, cats can be ticklish. Most probably many of you cat parents reading this are employed in the sector of tickling your felines. You’d have to perform this duty at least once or twice a day.
There are two different types of ticklishness, gargalesis, and knismesis. Gargalesis is the type of tickle we humans feel, it is a laughter-inducing tickle, on the contrary, cats feel knismesis, which does not induce laughter, it does feel ticklish followed by an itching sensation. Of course, cats feel knismesis, it’s just that they can’t express it by speaking.
Best Ticklish Spots on a Cat
Everyone has their different ticklish spots, although some spots are very common for everybody. The same rule applies to cats, usually, the most common spots are the belly, paws, chin, and cheeks. Some cats are even sensitive around their ears and neck.
Your cat might respond to this either positively like meowing, purring loudly, or trying to grab your arm. Or, they will express anger by hissing or batting you. Just like humans, no two cats are the same, you might want to try and check if they like it or not.
If they like it, they will try and show some love and affection but if they don’t, stop at that very moment as it’s stressing your cat.
Do Cats Like Being Tickled?
Cat loves when we tickle on the head and under the chin & cheeks, it resembles a bonding act for them. Tickling on their belly & tail can be overstimulating for them as hair follicles on their belly and tail are very hypersensitive to touch. However, some cats allow themselves to be tickled on their belly, it is a sign that they trust you completely.
Even so, they might try to bite and swat your hand gently, it is a natural reflex of their body trying to defend itself.
Cat paws are very sensitive, they get a tickling sensation even to the softest touch, especially below their pads. If you tickle them, your cat might probably show some anger or try to tell you to back off…
Is Tickling Bad for Your Cat?
When your cat approaches you with her belly exposed, it means that she trusts you completely and is craving some attention. But as you must be knowing how cats are…!! At one moment they want to be petted and the very next moment they get annoyed by it. Not all cats are like this, some of them get hostile!
Jokes apart, it is not like they try to trap you intentionally, it’s just that their belly area is very sensitive and can cause overstimulation if tickled for a long time. This can be stressful for the kitten. It doesn’t mean we can’t pet them at all, we just need to be careful and notice the change in their behavior. For cats, aside from their belly, paws, chin, and cheeks are also very sensitive.
If a cat allows you to touch her paw, try not to lose this trust. You can tickle them but not too much. After all, you don’t want to spoil this relationship and have a fight with your cat.
There is no major damage in tickling, except for stressing them out. However, “SHORT TICKLE SESSIONS ARE THE BEST.”
Why does my cat bite me when I rub her belly?
When a cat lies down on her back with her belly towards you, it might feel like they want a belly rub. In reality, they are showing a sign of trust that you respect their personal space, or they just want to play.
Also, it is a known fact that a cat’s belly is very sensitive,
hence if you rub their tummy while they are lying on their back, you might get batted or bitten.
We call this a ‘tummy trap’.
Would it tickle if I touched whiskers?
No, whiskers won’t make cats feel ticklish, they do not contain nerves.
Also, they are one of the most important sensory organs of a cat as whisker tips contain a sensory organ called proprioception. The fact that the Follicles of a cat’s whiskers are full of nerves makes them incredibly sensitive to their surrounding environment.
How does a cat react to tickling?
Your cat can give either positive or negative reactions after you tickle them.
Positive reactions may include purring, nudging, headbutting, or kneading. While negative reactions include hissing, making loud angry noises, tense body, batting, etc.
You must always check beforehand if your cat will be comfortable with it, no matter how much you crave to tickle your cat and relish those magical moments. If your cat is okay with tickling, just avoid extremely sensitive areas and try not to fall for the “tummy trap”.