Why won’t my cat let himself be touched? Humans are animals very given to showing our affection and affection through physical contact and caresses. One of the things that calm us down the most is petting our pets, which has been scientifically proven to help improve our mood and calm our nervousness. However, cats are usually much more surly and it is likely that they will not let themselves be touched and will refuse caresses, in these cases it is common to wonder what is the reason behind that refusal.
In the following OneHOWTO article, we will explain the reasons that answer your question about “why won’t my cat let himself be touched?” and how to pet it.
Why Won’t My Cat Let Himself Be Touched?
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It feels pain and doesn’t want you to touch it
If your cat has never had problems letting himself be petted, if he has always let you touch him but suddenly he is more surly and does not let you take him, it is probably because feels pain somewhere. You may also be sick and not feeling well, so it’s normal if he doesn’t want you to touch him or take it
There are other symptoms that your cat may show and that will help you clarify if it may have a physical problem:
- It scratches too much.
- Drink a lot of water or no water at all.
- You urinate outside of your usual place.
- You have foul-smelling or very fruity breath.
- He purrs louder than usual.
- You have trouble urinating or have diarrhea.
- It has a decayed appearance.
If he has any of these symptoms, take him to the vet immediately so that he can establish what is wrong and start treatment as soon as possible.
Cats are solitary animals by nature. If we add to his inherent mistrust the fact that he may are not used to contact with human beings we find that they may not allow themselves to be petted or want you to touch them. This is usual with those cats that have been picked up from the street or who have not had correct socialization. If you’ve adopted a cat from a shelter, found it on the street, and brought it home, you may need to get it used to your presence and closeness before it will let yourself be touched and caressed.
To do this you will need time and patience, gradually gain his trust and, above all, do not do anything that he does not want, because a frightened cat can be dangerous. On the other hand, you should know that cats are special animals, with their own rules and character. Just as there are people who are more reserved than others, there are also cats that do not like to be touched, no matter how much trust they have with the person, they do not like to be caressed. In that case, you must understand that it is the animal’s decision, we do not adopt a cat to give us affection or to play with us, but to offer it a better life than the one it can lead on the street or in a shelter.
He is afraid and does not let himself be touched
All animals are designed to survive, they all have their abilities and their strategies to try to preserve their lives for as long as possible. Felines, and cats in particular, are very cautious and fearful of situations that can be dangerous for them.
From his point of view, the human being is a huge animal that can harm him. Also, if you have lived on the street it is possible have had a bad experience that has been incorporated into his memory and that makes him not want to expose himself again. Although he may not have lived on the street, it is possible that one day he may have had a bad experience while being caressed or touched; a very loud noise, a very fast movement that would startle him. The cat will try not to expose itself to the same situation for fear of suffering some damage.
Other reasons why your cat does not allow itself to be petted
Apart from those detailed above, there are several other reasons why a cat does not allow itself to be touched or caressed:
- can have a somewhat strong or marked character since each cat has its own, like people, and there are those that want contact with people and others that prefer to avoid it.
- Maybe just at that moment don’t feel like contact.
- Maybe you’re trying to put it in an area you don’t like. Cats, like any animal, have areas that they prefer not to be touched or caressed because they are vulnerable or cause them insecurity or discomfort, and other areas where they do like to feel caressed. For example, it is most likely that your cat will not always let you touch his belly, as it is a vulnerable area and if you place him on his back he may feel even more defenseless.
How to touch a cat?
We have explained it throughout the article, cats are special animals in terms of pampering and caresses. They always need to take the initiative, know that they have decision-making power, understand that as soon as they don’t like something they can leave. That is why if your cat does not allow himself to be petted, you should try to change his opinion with patience and time. Next, we explain how to pet your cat without stressing it:
- He must be the one who controls the tempos: first of all you must make him understand that you want to touch him, a way of asking his permission. We will only caress him when he shows us that he wants to be touched. To do this we will slowly extend our hand towards him. That way he can smell you and recognize you. Let him sniff and touch your hand with his nose. If he leaves or shows no interest, refrains from touching him further, if he rubs his head against you, he is letting you know that he wants to be touched.
- start with the head: behind the ears and on the chin, they have the glands with which they mark their scent. By touching him in those places you will be picking up his scent, so he will get used to you sooner. Start with your fingertips, gently scratching against the grain.
- touch his back: this time does not do it against the grain, but follow its natural route, from the head to the tail. As in all the other points, you must do it gently and understand what their preferences are. If there is something you don’t like, stop doing it. If you don’t want more caresses, go away.
- belly and legs: These are usually parts that cats do not want to be touched.
After knowing all this about why a cat does not allow itself to be petted, we recommend you read these other articles on How to know if my cat is going to attack and What to do if my cat bites me since if he really does not want to be petted and feels cornered it can attack and bite you as a warning to leave it.
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