Wednesday, May 30, 2012

How to Hug a Cat

How to Hug a Cat

Do you hug your cats? Not all of them like first.

When I started hugging my cats, they resisted, not liking the restraint.  But I'd persist until they'd break out of the hug, walk away from me, then circle back around, their body language saying, "Do it again!" I'm trying to get the kittens accustomed to being hugged from an early age.

Toward the end of little Vixen's life, she didn't like to be up off the floor because she got dizzy. But during her last couple of weeks, I'd pick her up and put her in my lap, pulling her close to my body and giving her a little squeeze. She purred as loudly as she ever has for anything.

So here's my method for cat-hugging that has become popular with every cat I've tried it on:

  • Get on the same level with the cat, whether that means you pick up the cat into your lap, or you get on the floor with the cat.
  • Leaving the cat on all four feet, or sitting as the case may be, wrap your arms around the cat's body, with one hand over the chest. Hugging them this way lets them still feel in control of where their body is, and is a more natural position for the cat.
  • Give the cat a mild squeeze while talking softly and telling the cat what a good boy/girl he/she is.
  • Just hold the squeeze for a moment, then release it. The cat likely will not tolerate much of the squeezing part, but if it's working for you, take your hand that's around the cat's chest and scratch the cat's cheek area, where they have the scent glands they like to rub on everything. If they haven't been sold on the hug before, this should do it!
  • If your cat is especially tolerant (and if you don't mind having a little cat hair stuck in your lipstick), you can give them a little kiss on the head to go along with the squeeze and sweet talk.
That's it! Now, get to hugging, because it's National Hug Your Cat Day today!

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