Don’t pet me! Do you know what stresses your cat out? It may surprise you what can cause cat stress to your furry friend.
My roommate’s cat, Mitzy, is not what you would consider a “friendly” cat. She prefers to have her own space and doesn’t like to be held or petted. Why would this be, you may ask? Well, it could be that for some cats, being touched can actually be a very stressful experience!
Researchers from the University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom and the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, recently began a study on the stress levels of cats while being petted. While the study is still in the early stages, the scientists have already found that the animals most likely to be stressed when being touched are felines under the age of two. In addition, the young cats that are most likely to be distressed are the ones that live alone, as a single pet in a household. The higher stress levels could be because in a multi-animal family, furry members who do not like human interaction can avoid it more easily.
If you notice that your pet does not always like to be touched, there is a way to help! For starters, allow your furry friend to approach you. I have noticed that if I leave Mitzy alone, she will come up and rub against my leg when she wants attention. It is then that I will pet her, because I know that it is okay. Another good thing to do is to stop as soon as your pet shows it is distressed, or no longer wants to be petted or touched. If I am holding Mitzy and she meows, I know that she would like to be put down. These actions may help to alleviate some pet stress when being touched.
While some cats like to be up close and personal when showing their love, some prefer to maintain a little bit of distance. So to show your love, you can give them that space.
What's your cat like? Does it enjoy being touched or does that stress it out? Tell us in the comments!