There are so many things that you need to consider when you’re raising a cat, and one of the most important things is figuring out how cats work. Us cat owners love them to bits, but figuring out what a cat likes is nothing less than complex.
You will find that what your cat likes may be completely different from what another cat likes.
Understanding why your cat likes being slapped
Why do cats like being slapped? Well, it is actually to do with your cat’s complicated neurology. When your cat receives these slaps on their body, a neurological reaction occurs under the skin, where the neurons of the cat are triggered by repeated slaps, strokes, slaps, etc. sends signals to the brain, which causes the cat to receive pleasure and/or reward response from the actions.
Gentle slaps on your cat are a good way to bond with them, though be sure to adjust the “intensity” of the slaps, so that your cats feel comfortable. The best way to make friendly cats is to figure out what cats enjoy.
You should also intersperse other treatment, such as by giving them a light fingertip massage and gently stroking their fur.
When figuring out what your cat enjoys, you also have to be mindful that no two cats are the same. It can come down to breeds, or even gender; some things that male cats like, female cats may dislike.
Thus, you can’t treat them the same way, at least automatically, and should find the right treatment. Knowing what to do is one thing, but how to do it, and whether your cat likes it, is another story altogether.
Cats exert slight pressure when they’re being slapped, petted, or scratched
When petting and patting your cat, another great spot is your cat’s butt, specifically because the amount of nerve endings that are found in the back area of the cat is so high. Cats love getting their bum patted, and it gives them a pleasurable release.
The cat will even present its butt to you during this, and while it may seem rude to do that as a person, when a cat does it, that means you did a bang up job giving them love.
Cats will also press slightly into your hand as you’re slapping, petting, or scratching them, both to increase the pressure of your actions and to show an affection response.
What spots do cats generally like receiving affection?
It may be difficult to figure out for your cat, but in general, cats like getting attention around the facial glands on their head (meaning under their ears, their chin, and their cheeks). These scent glands areas are more difficult to show affection to the cat via patting, but in terms of scratching and petting, you’re good to go.
Put only slight pressure when petting this erogenous zone, as you might annoy them or even cause them to feel pain if you don’t do it right.
When showing affection to these areas, most cat enthusiasts will be well aware of how cats will typically rub against the hand. The reason they do this is to put their pheromones on your hand, which has two benefits for the cat. One, they can better identify you by scent, and two, they can identify to other cats that you belong to them.
What spots do cats not like being touched?
Cats are generally not fond of having their paws touched, for a variety of reasons. For one, the paws have a lot of nerve endings in their paws.
Not only that, but if they have experienced trauma on their paws (such as if they were a rescue), those nerve endings may be that much more sensitive. No matter how much you want to touch cat beans, just remember that your cats could be in pain from it.
Also, while some cats may accept being pet on their stomach, this tends to be a difficult area for most owners to touch, mainly because the hairs on their belly are hypersensitive. If you decide to give them pets there, don’t be surprised if they respond by biting.
When a cat is showing you their belly, what they are doing is showing you affection. It’s also meant to be a sign of trust from the cat. However, just because they’re displaying their belly, this does not mean that they want to be touched there.
The cat becomes vulnerable in this position, so the cat may grow upset that their show of trust is violated, which is the last thing you want to have to happen.
Cat hind legs are also areas they keep protected, so keeping contact away from your cats’ hind legs promotes friendliness so much more than if you push their boundaries.
How to tell if what you are doing is making your cat hurt
As mentioned above, it’s important to judge what your individual cat likes, and adjust accordingly. Even the most friendly cats can get upset if you do something they don’t want.
It may be hard to tell in the case of most cats, but there are things you can look for in these very sensitive creatures to see if your cats enjoy this. Obvious signs that your cat is upset include your cat’s ears held back, and their fur standing on end.
And of course, if they bite or scratch you, either softly or strongly, treat this as a sign that they may be in pain. Less obvious signs of anger, however, include their tail.
If your cat has its tail straight up in the air, that usually means that they are happy and content. However, if their tail is low, swishing back and forth. Unlike a dog, a cat wagging its tail is not a great sign!
If your cat does not like being lightly patted in the way you’re doing it (or at all), just make sure that you understand that this is normal behavior. However, it’s also important to be able to understand that scratching and biting are not necessarily a sign of aggression.
Instead, if they scratch or bite you, they may just feel playful. Take into account the other behaviors your kitty is displaying.
Do sterilized cats show aggression differently?
Another factor in figuring out why cats like being slapped is that if you have a non-sterilized cat, they may show a more aggressive response in general, including when being slapped (and not liking it).
Further, even those that are spayed or neutered, take some time to calm down in a lot of cases. Once they have achieved sexual maturity, there is a good (but not guaranteed) chance that they relax.
Do female cats react differently than male cats to being slapped?
A mom cat may also be defensive if you are playing with their kittens. Mom cats can be protective of their own space, so be sure to respect their space too. A female cat may also experience heat if they are not spayed and are sexually mature (though not always, as heat can be purely a behavioral response rather than a physiological response).
When in heat, your cat may exhibit a wide variety of signs. For example, cats in heat may be more affectionate than normal, rubbing their head and scent glands on people and furniture, being especially receptive to being pet. However, cats will sometimes also be more aggressive and grumpy, and thus may just want to be left alone.
Do other animals like getting slapped?
We have covered “Why do cats like being slapped?” but what about other pets? Whether other animals like this ultimately depends on the pet, but there are a fair few out there. For instance, dogs enjoy being gently slapped just as much as cats, if not more so.
This animal loved to get petted, patted, and all sorts of other forms of affection. Dogs are also quicker to show trust in humans than kitties are, so a person may be more able to give them this tactile pleasure.
Whether they will be receptive to being pet or slapped like this will come down to their mood. Dogs are a little easier to read; for example, if their tail is wagging like crazy, they may as well be asking to be pet directly.
Good sense advice for dealing with most cats
In general, there are a lot of general pieces of advice that all cat lovers should take. For example, cat owners sometimes fail to understand when they are going too far with a certain kind of affection.
Further, as discussed above, cats are easily overwhelmed, and may react by biting the person petting them. Just be mindful that you react appropriately to this behavior.
Be gentle with your cats
You also need to remember how important it is to be gentle with your cat. For example, some people may go too far with their petting and slapping, to the point that the slaps translate into a hit to the cat. Just as you should not hit humans, you should also (and especially) not hit cats.
Some cats don’t like to be interrupted
Also, there’s always a time and place when it comes to petting your cat, so be sure to use sense when choosing to show affection. For instance, if your cat is asleep at night, they likely don’t want to be woken up anymore than you would.
When they are eating food, they may also feel like they were disrupted, so if they seem bothered, leave them to their food.
They may also be annoyed if you try petting them when they are busy, such as when they’re using the litter box.
Cats may also be particular about being touched right after grooming, as a cats’ fur being touched in a way that musses up their grooming work is never fun for them. Imagine how humans would react if you messed up their recently groomed hair.
With all of that being said, however, some cats crave attention even when eating, grooming, sleeping, or going to the bathroom, so again, judge the situation by your cats’ behavior and preferences.
Respect other cat owners’ boundaries
You should also understand the importance of respecting other cat owners and not pushing their boundaries. No matter if it’s at your friend’s house or if it’s a stranger’s.
You don’t know their behavior, their pain tolerance, or if they like to be petted in the first place. While by no means should a cat be exposed to pain, some cats are more sensitive to experiencing pain than others.
If you do something that the owner does not like to their cat, this may cause a problem for you and the owner.
Of course, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask to pet their cats, just don’t be presumptuous about what these cats like and are willing to put up with.
Who to contact for further information about cats
Of course, just because this cat advice is generally good does not mean that all cats like and dislike the same thing. If you need anymore advice, such as advice on cat behavior, be sure to talk to a veterinarian about your kitty.
They can ask the question “Why do cats like being slapped?” Of anyone, they are most likely to be able to help with your cat, providing information only recently discovered, details on their neurological system, and more.