Every cat has its own petting style, and many factors go into their preferences, such as location, tempo and strength. As the person doing the petting, you need to be mindful of each cat’s petting likes and dislikes.
When it comes to petting, don’t grab a cat you meet for the first time and start touching them all over. They’ll get offended, lash out and run away. Think about how you’d feel if someone you never met invaded your personal space and assumed you were OK with a big bear hug or a pinch on the cheeks.
Pet behaviorists suggest approaching a new cat cautiously and letting them smell your finger. This kind of introduction helps the cat get acquainted with you through their sense of smell. Once you’ve established a connection with a cat, you need to figure out their petting style and follow it.
Here are 15 petting styles and some insight into what they say about your cat.