Nina Nandy

Gastroenterologist at The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center

The Best (and the Worst) Places to Pet Your Cat

The Best (and the Worst) Places to Pet Your Cat

Cats are known for being particular when it comes to their likes and dislikes. As a cat owner, you may have already noticed their favorite spot to take a nap, if they prefer wet or dry food and most of all where they like to be pet. By now, you probably know what spots on your cat will make them purr over the spots that bring out the claws. Although all cats are different, there are a few places that all cats love to be scratched and rubbed.

A cat’s favorite place to be touched is where their scent glands are concentrated. You may have witnessed your cat rub their face against you or objects in your house. When you see a cat do this, they are leaving their scent to make their environment more familiar which in turn makes them feel safer and happier. With this in mind, the following places are four of the best spots that you can pet.

Base of the Chin 

Underneath your cat’s chin, gently rub your finger along the jawbone to where it connect to the skull. In this small area, you will find the majority of your cat’s scent glands, making it one of the purrr-fect places to be stroked.

Base of the Ears and Cheeks 

Similar to the base of the chin, the base of the ears and the cheeks contain many scent glands. While you pet this part of your cat, your cat may rub his head on you, this is called “bunting”.

Base of the Tail 

If you run your hand down your cat’s back, apply light pressure to the base of their tail. Scratching your cat in this spot will make them purr right away.

One spot that you should avoid petting, that all dogs love, but cats hate, is the belly. 

Unlike dogs, cats are not as secure as a predator. Cats are considered both predator and prey, and because of this, they are protective over their belly that contains all of their vital organs. Although you may think your belly rubs are harmless, to your cat they may trigger defensive mechanism involving their sharp claws.

Although these are the most popular “sweet spots” for cats, you will want to pay careful attention to how your cat is reacting. If you are petting a new cat for the first time, watch your cat’s reaction to decide whether or not you are in a good spot or not.

Introducing Your Cat to a New Cat

Introducing Your Cat to a New Cat

If you love being a cat owner, you will likely consider adopting another cat. Whether you want to give another cat a loving home or want to give your cat a friend, there are plenty of reasons why getting another cat is a good idea. Cats are sociable creatures and can enjoy the company of others, but sometimes it can be hard to acclimate a new cat into your home.

Depending on the personalities of you cats, they may get along after only a few hours or you may have to facilitate their interactions to avoid any fights. Don’t be surprised if your two kitties don’t get along right away. Your introduction should be gradual, it can take anywhere from 8 to 12 months for a cat to form a friendship with another cat. That being said, use the following tips to make the first interaction between your cats a step in the right direction.

Step One: Selecting a Cat 

If you do decide to get a second (or third) cat, there are some factors you may want to take into consideration. Although there is no way of accurately predicting whether or not your new and old cats will get along, there are a few general rules of thumb. If you are thinking about getting a kitten with an older cat in the house, think about getting two. The two kittens will be able to play with one another, while the older cat warms up to the new additions.

In addition, do your best to match personalities. If your long-term cat resident is more laid back, avoid bringing a new cat home that is aggressive and full of energy. Having similar personalities will help your cats create a bond faster.

Step Two: Keep Them Separate 

Instead of letting your new cat roam your house freely, set up a separate room filled with food, water, a litter box, toys a bed, etc. Having your cats in separate rooms will allow your cats to smell and hear each other. You may experience some hissing through the closed door, but that is a normal occurrence, especially as they begin to acknowledge each other’s existence.

During this time you may also want to introduce your cats’ scents to one another. You can do this by gently rubbing your cats’ faces with a towel and letting each cat spend some time smelling the towel.

Step Three: The First Introduction 

After your new and old cats have smelled and heard one another, it is time for them to see each other. I recommend using a baby gate or screen that can keep them from getting into a fight.

Step Four: Allow Supervised Interaction 

When you think you cats are ready, allow them to interact while you supervise. Keep a spray bottle on hand in case an altercation takes place. The best time for your cats to interact with one another is when they are calm, like after a meal or after playtime. As your cats become more and more acquainted, allow them to spend longer periods of time together. Over the course of a couple weeks, your cats will begin to tolerate each other and soon form a bond.

Grieving the Loss of a Pet

Grieving the Loss of a Pet

Many people have a special relationship with their pets. They form a deep bond with their pets, and when the pet dies, there is a great feeling of sorrow. Some people report that they feel as sad or more sad than they felt when a person in their lives passed away.

 

It is natural to grieve the passing of a pet. Each person will have his own way of dealing with the grief that comes from a pet’s passing. The grieving process that will be experienced the same way by everyone. It is important to realize that when a person has lost a pet, that person needs to fully enter into the grieving process in order to come to terms with the pet’s death.

 

It is important that feelings of loss not be ignored. Some may say that it was just a dog or a cat. Family and friends may not understand. However, a person who has lost a pet should give room for their feelings. It is OK to feel sad and cry over the loss of an important companion.

 

One way to deal with the grief over a pet’s death is to keep the pet’s memory alive. Remember the fun times that you had with your pet. Look at photographs and videos of the pet. A person may want to display a nice photo of the pet in a prominent place as a way of remembering the good times.

 

It’s important when grieving to find others who will help you through the grieving process. Some will find help with their grief from friends who have lost pets that were important to them. There are also pet loss support lines that people can call in order to speak about the loss of their pet with trained counselors.

 

Many people find great comfort in dealing with their grief by having a memorial service for their pet. This is becoming more common. There are special pet cemeteries that will provide a wide range of services to help with pet memorials.

 

In the past, veterinarians often recommended that if someone lost a pet they should get another one right away. This isn’t always the best idea. It is important to deal with the feelings that one has upon losing the pet before bringing a new pet home.

 

It may seem to someone grieving a pet that it will never pass. However, there will come a day when a pet’s memory brings a smile instead of tears.

 

A Word From Nina Nandy’s Cat


Hi, my name is Lionel and I am a long haired tuxedo likely Maine Coon mix with giant kitten mittens and a big fluffy tail. I was a stray roaming the mean streets of Albuquerque until the age of one and a half when I was picked up by Animal Humane and neutered. My Nina Nandy Photohuman mommy, Nina Nandy, came in to meet me and though she was very sweet I was scared. Nina took me home and I was nervous because I had never lived inside before. She gave me lots of love and treats and toys but I would hide and one day I saw a way out and I ran away! I know she was very worried about me and put up flyers all over town and even went door to door looking for me. It took a few months and animal control picked me up and put me in the west side shelter and because I was microchipped Nina was able to find me again. Now I know to never run away again because I have the best life ever! I have all the cuddles, snuggles and treats a kitty could ever have and all the best toys! I particularly enjoy my giant black and white cat tree because it matches my colors, my window seat where I can catch all the sun I want, getting hair all over everything particularly clean laundry and generally being naughty. =^.^= Check out pictures, videos  and the latest antics of me, Lionel the snugglisest, most mischievous kitty in the world !