Your Cat's Petting Preferences

Discover where cats like being petted most. Your cat will thank you for it.

By Brad Kollus | Posted: Tue Feb 1 00:00:00 PST 2005

Printer Friendly
man and catDo you know what your cat's petting preferences are? Susan Soennichsen and Arnold S. Chamove of the Psychology Department at Massey University in New Zealand decided to find out where cats like to be pet most. They conducted a research study on the responses of cats to petting by humans, and the results were published in the academic journal Anthrozoos.

Soennichsen and Chamove studied nine different cats. Each cat was petted for 60 minutes on four different locations on its body:

1. Between the ear and eye (the temporal gland located on the upper cheek).

2. The chin and lip area (the perioral gland).

3. The lower back at the base of the tail (the caudal gland).

4. On one of three non-gland areas, either the head, the back or the chest.

The researchers' results showed that cats strongly preferred being petted between their ears and eyes on their upper cheek the most (the temporal region), and the caudal region on their lower back near their tail the least. The perioral gland area on the chin and lips and the non-gland areas of the head, back and chest were preferred second.

The researchers theorize that cats like to be petted on their upper cheek or temple the most because they are able to mark us with their scent glands when we pet them there and this is their way of socially bonding with us. Cats rub against other familiar cats and objects with their cheek and temple for the same reason. If you want to please your cat the most pet it on its upper cheek and temple between its ear and eye. They will think you are the cat's meow!

- More Fun for You and Your Cat -

Printer Friendly

 Give us your opinion on
Your Cat's Petting Preferences

Submit a Comment   Join Club
Earn 1,000 points! What's this?
Reader Comments

cath d    Madison, WI

7/22/2014 3:30:44 PM

Let's hear it for nose rubs! My Orange loves them. My cats all love a full body massage, with light slaps to the flanks and scritches to the back at the base of the tail. But its true, I do have to return constantly to their favorite spots -ears and chin - or they lose interest.

Guinevere    Spokane, WA

6/10/2014 9:35:13 AM

Little kitty (RIP) liked her belly rubbed. Tucker likes his whole head massaged. Rosee likes her eyes and temples rubbed. Slinky doesn't really like to be touched but he will come up for a whole body petting. Then he lets me hold his tail.

Martha Hernandez    Sacramento, CA

5/26/2014 12:21:50 AM

Twiggy likes when she is petted mostly behind her ears, and under her chin. Then she will meow at you because shes talking with you.

Jaron    Westernport, MD

5/18/2014 9:33:46 PM

I've seen several people talk about belly rubs. Belly rubs are interesting for cats. Usually a cat doesn't like belly rubs because his/her stomach is a vulnerable spot. When a cat accepts belly rubs, that means he/she really trusts you. He/She knows you're safe.
On another note, I grew up with several cats and found cheek rubs are a winner! What I just recently discovered with the cat (Thomas) where I'm now living and some other cats is- apparently they love their shoulder blades massaged! I've seen this with cats of different temperaments. I wonder if that is a favorite for most cats! --
By the way, Thomas is so sweet. He is a very loving cat who actually loves being cuddled! (A rare one for cats.) He really loves company. He has so much love to give! I'm glad he's here. He's such a blessing!

View Current Comments


Top Products

ADS BY GOOGLE