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Why Cats Like to Be Petted? 5 Amazing Reasons!

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Breaking the stereotype, cats do like to be petted! Petting your cat is fun and beneficial for both, you and her. In fact, it can reduce the amount of stress for both.

Why cats like to be petted? A cat who is not separated from its mother when it was a kitten, then she will definitely enjoy physical touch but if it was separated as a kitten, you got to give her some time.

Your cat might hiss, growl or run away from you, to develop the habit of being petted you got to read this article on why cats like to be petted and how!

why cats like to be petted

5 Amazing Reasons Why Your Cat Loves Getting Petted

Sometimes cats enjoy petting, sometimes they don’t! Let’s see 5 amazing reasons why cats like to be petted, and how to and how not to pet.

1. Cats Relish Physical Touch

Agree with it or not, the internet had got you thinking that cats are lone wolves, and they enjoy most of their time being alone. But is that the real case? The answer is maybe yes or probably no!

cat likes physical touch

Cats are individual beings, and you can’t just put a tag on them universally, some might like or not dislike being petted. Cats prefer to communicate with humans in their own ways. If your cat has not faced any sort of difficulty or trauma in her kittenhood, she will enjoy physical touch.

Bunting and rubbing on you is the way used by cats to show their love for you. If they are doing this, then you should know that it’s time to return affection in the form of petting, because cats like to be petted.

2. To Fulfil Unmeet Grooming Needs

This section is not for the weak hearts! Just kidding! But yes, you might not be as happy as you got while reading other reasons!

We all know, and we can see, that cats have cute tiny paws which are not reachable to each and every section of their body parts! Now, what’s the relation?

cat likes to be groomed

Cats, when they want to be groomed on a particular spot and not even her tongue, are able to reach it, she needs something or someone to do it for her.

So your cat will find its human on such occasions and would cry for your attention. So that, you can give her a good petting on the desired spot.

3. Strengthen Their Social Bond

Why cats like to be petted? This question seems like it’s hitting up the internet, and why not, it’s quite unusual for cats to admire something which they are not known for!

cat likes to strengthen social bond by petting

One of the major reasons for doing so, is that want to bond with you, yes you heard it right, so if you are in tears right now by this revealing fact.

4. Marking Behavior

Usually, when you find your feline coming near you and asking to be petted, you might feel surprised, in the same way, cats have the tendency to leave their smell on objects around them.

cat marking behavior by petting

You must have noticed this, when your cat is new in the home she will touch each and every object in sight, do you ever wondered why? Why cats like to be petted?

It’s because they will leave their smell on objects and humans to make their territory, a space that is safer for them after doing so! When your cat feels quite unsafe or anxious, they mark that particular spot by petting or even sometimes over petting it.

5. Love to Have Attention of Their Human

Being a cat owner you must be sure about one thing which is, cats will not appreciate their human coming to her with wide arms open any time of the day to pick up and love their furry buddy!

This means that your cat is not open to petting when its human wants to, but she would be only when she wants to be petted!

cat likes attention by petting

In case you find your cat coming near you rubbing its body against your legs and giving you a headbutt, she wants to be petted! It’s petting time human, that’s what she said in her cat language!

She wants your attention, so give her all of it without keeping her in waiting, as it might turn her off. Cats really enjoy having the full attention of their humans, and they only love this when they have a feeling of safety and security with you!

How to Pet Your Cat Perfectly?

Being a normal cat owner, you are like, oh! So what if my cat scratches me when I make the first move to pet her. But a wise cat owner will be like, let me first see if I am not petting her in the wrong way!

So basically, cats like to be petted on their back, under the chin, around their ears.

how to properly pet a cat

So it’s best if you consider these parts, to pet. With that, avoid stroking cats on their tails, paws, underbellies, and whiskers as they are very sensitive, and your cat will not appreciate such a move.

Schedule playtime with your cat, around 15-20 minutes is the best. Some cat behavior experts suggested that a total amount of playtime ranging from 20-60 minutes per day is the best.

You can cat start petting your cat around the hotspots, including the scent glands, where most of the cats enjoy being petted. Cats are very particular about being physically touched, one wrong step, and you will find your cat running in the opposite direction.

How to Avoid Over Petting?

We all might find this article quite surprising that cats, well known for their nature of being Mr/miss Loner, would actually enjoy being petted so much! In the above parts, we only discussed, why cats like to be petted and how! Now let’s focus on how not to pet your cat!

So your cat might just come to you and ask to pet her, don’t get too excited that she has to run away in order to make the petting season stop.

Experts say that when your cat is getting annoyed due to it, and she starts hissing, growling, swatting, or snapping, so that’s known as overstimulation aggression.

Petting threshold: cats might love to get pet by other cats on their whole body, but when it comes to us, human hands are not that soft or furry for cats to enjoy petting on the whole body.

how to avoid overpetting your cat

They can get super uncomfortable, so always try to pet the cat’s head or the back of its neck, then its whole body.

Positive Reinforcement: cat owners should use positive reinforcement by making their cats earn the petting(in the form of a reward). If your cat does any good work, say ” come here” and pet her, this will help her a lot in understanding and liking the petting sessions!

Check for the possibility of medical condition: many times if your cat suddenly starts hating the petting sessions and prevents you from touching her, check if she is rejecting to be petted on certain spots. By which you can detect if she has a medical issue or not!

It’s very important to check for signs of arthritis, an injury, or dental issues to make sure it’s not any physical pain that’s causing your cat to be aggressive when you pet her.


Why cats like to be petted, we had mentioned the most amazing reasons which you will agree on to after reading them. While your cat is enjoying being petted, but being a responsible cat owner, you need to make sure that you are not petting your cat in the wrong way.

As each cat has its own individuality, so they might like or dislike petting at a particular time, make sure you pet your buddy in the right way! Ultimately, cats enjoy petting simply because it feels really good to them.


  1. Why you’re stroking your cat completely wrong (and how to do it right) — Science Focus
  2. Your guide to petting a cat — Modkat
  3. Four Places to Pet Your Cat — and One to Leave Alone — Vetstreet

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