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Why do cats scratch when you pet them?

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Imagine it’s a lazy Sunday afternoon and you are relaxing with your cat on the couch. You are petting your purry friend and you can clearly see it is enjoying your company. You hear the lovely sound of purring when suddenly out of the blue your cat has had enough and it decides to scratch or bite you. Wait, what just happened? Why is your cat doing this and is there something you can do about it?

Humans are social creatures. We have the tendency to touch people we like, we give them hugs and so on. We also do this with animals, but this is not always appreciated. When it’s enough for a cat, it will clearly show when that time has come. Every cat has its boundary when it comes to physical contact and this is mainly communicated through body language. Some cats just run away. Other cats will use their ears and tail to signal it’s time to stop. At this moment, they are actually warning you. If you don’t stop, they will scratch you to make it clear. It makes sense for a cat, because it has been warning you and you didn’t stop.

 

My Purry Friends - Cat that is stretching

Some cats don’t give a warning with their body language. Maybe the warnings have been ignored in the past and your cat decided to skip this part so it can get right to business? As we have stated before in previous blogs: cats will be cats and they do whatever they please when they want!

The best way to prevent getting scratched while petting is watching and learning the signs your cat gives you. “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me” goes the well-known saying. Try to learn what happens before your cat decides to take a swing at you. If your cat has had enough, it’s time to leave them alone and respect their wish. Humans sometimes need some me-time as well. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of new opportunities in the future to pet them and give them all the love they need.

It’s important to never punish your cat in any way when they scratch you. This will only make it worse and make your cat even more angry. This will clearly be shown by their body language.

Enjoy petting your cat!

My Purry Friends


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