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How to Properly Greet a Cat

Greet a cat blogChances are, you already know just how to greet your own feline companion, but saying hello to someone else’s cat is a whole different story. Cats can be picky when it comes to who they show affection toward, so it’s important to approach an unfamiliar feline carefully. Below are four tips for properly greeting a cat:

1. Let the cat make the first move: Immediately approaching or reaching out to a strange cat can result in the claws coming out. Let the cat approach you and pay attention to body language. If the cat gives you a friendly gesture like rubbing against your legs, that’s usually a good sign that it’s okay to interact.

2. Pay attention to your own body language: Avoid prolonged eye contact, as this can be intimidating. Instead of crouching over the cat, just reach a hand out and let the cat investigate. ,

3. Pet the cat’s head, neck or side: Once the cat feels comfortable enough with you, gently stroke the cat’s head, neck, or sides. If the cat tenses up, stop petting.

4. Use treats: If all else fails and the cat’s owner is okay with it, dropping a couple treats nearby is sometimes a good way to encourage an uneasy cat to socialize.

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • CAM November 25, 2015, 9:48 am

    Most cats also seem to prefer that your hand approaches from slightly below their head and at the side if they don’t know you. Pet them just behind the whiskers on the side of their face at first, if they want you to pet them elsewhere, they will let you know by moving their head so you’re hitting the right spot(s). Once they’re comfortable, you can slowly work your way to other areas if you want. A lot of people who are used to dogs tend to want to pet a cat on the top of the head right away like you would a dog, but most cats don’t want a stranger putting their hand on top of their head like that and will pull away or hiss/growl, bite, scratch, depending on the cat. Also, keep the petting session short, some cats become overwhelmed and will suddenly lash out when that happens. It’s better to keep it short until you’ve learned how much they want.

  • zhinka December 2, 2015, 11:23 pm

    my ancient cat prefers this approach from strangers lol
    step 1. go away
    Step 2. die
    LOL ,he detests puny humans that dare think they are good enough to touch him, however…..he adores giant dogs, but tries to kill the little ones, if your dog is under 200 pounds..yup, keep the dog away lol
    He loves every mastiff that comes to visit us ::)

    • VetDepot December 3, 2015, 8:44 am

      Hahahaha! Wow, he sounds like a very tough cat! 😛

    • Adriana January 7, 2016, 9:28 pm

      Most pets copies their owners personality and demeanors

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