Focus on the scent glands
There are an infinite number of personality types for cats, each with their own level of tolerance. As a cat owner, you are in the best position to know what your furry friend likes. Although every cat has its own preferences, there are some sweet spots where they LOVE to be stroked: areas where their scent glands are most concentrated. Did you know that cats leave their scent behind when they rub their chin or head against you or your furniture? They do that because the environment will smell familiar and that’s what makes them happy. Sometimes you can see them do this with other cats or even with dogs (awww!). Experts call it ‘bunting’.
Bottom of the chin
Cats love a good chin scratch - especially where the jawbone meets the skull. One reason is because it’s an area they can't reach with their sandpaper-textured tongue while grooming.
Besides, a cat's scent glands are concentrated on the face, so this is another reason why a chin scratch makes them so happy! Can you make your cat drool? Well-deserved bonus points for you!
Cheeks (behind the whiskers)
If you find the right spot, your cat will turn its whiskers forward and purrrrr for more.
If you’re familiar with these signs of pleasure, you better keep doing what you’re doing ;-) :
- they purr and knead you with the front paws
- the eyes close halfway
- they put their head back
- they stretch their back
- their tail swings softly from left to right while it’s held in the air
- they give you a gentle nudge if you pause while stroking
Between, behind and below the ears
Use your fingertips (not nails) to apply gentle pressure to the area between or behind the ears. The ears are also a 'scent marker' for cats. When they rub their heads against you, they are marking you as 'safe'. That means they trust you.
Stroking between the ears reminds a cat of being groomed by its mother as a kitten, which is a blissful memory!
From head to tail
Stroke their forehead, then gradually move your hand over their back and up to the tail. Slowly massage the neck muscles by gently squeezing them.
Always stroke in one direction: from head to tail. Most cats don’t like to be stroked against the hair.
Do not go along the side of the body and stop at the tail. Some cats like to feel a little more pressure just at the beginning of the tail, because there is also a scent gland there. Attention: one cat would appreciate it while others dare to dig its claws out! So try to sense them.
Does your cat make a rounded back and does their hind end go up? This is a sign of enjoyment! They are pushing their body against your hand to ask for even more affection, which you are only happy to give!
The most important thing to know is what your cat likes. Try to sense your cat as much as possible and pay attention to what they like. That way you will get along PURRfectly and become BFFs (Best Furry Friends) without a doubt!