Human Physical Interaction

The following has been adapted from material on the ASPCApro website.

Here are some ways to engage with cats in your care:
  • Gently talking to the cat
  • Petting
  • Grooming
  • Holding
  • Lap sitting
  • Play

The cat must be allowed to approach and choose the level of physical contact it desires. Caretakers should be careful not to force an interaction on a cat. The degree and nature of human contact a given cat prefers depends on its socialization to people and involves genetics, early rearing conditions, life experiences and personal preference.

Signs that indicate that the cat welcomes interaction include:
  • Slow or affiliative blinking
  • Purring
  • Headbutting against a person’s hand or body
  • Staying in close physical proximity
  • Rubbing or pushing against a person
  • Rolling around to the side and back in a relaxed manner

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