Nothing beats a good cuddle with your dog or cat, as long as both of you are enjoying it. Pets can be finicky about where they like to be pet and the people who pet them. In order to become one of the people your pet enjoys cuddling with, it’s important to learn how and where to scratch your cat or dog’s fur in just the right spot.
Petting a Cat
Cats can be very independent creatures, so they won’t hang around for a good scratch if they aren’t relaxed and comfortable. A study discussed on CatChannel.com tested out four different locations on a cat’s body to see where they enjoyed being pet the most. The results showed that the most enjoyable petting occurred between the ear and the eye on their face. Other acceptable spots were the chin and lip area and the lower back.
This spot between your cat’s eye and ear, their upper cheek, contains a temporal gland that cats use to mark things. This is why you see your cat rubbing up against you, or furniture or other objects, with the side of their face. Marking with these scent glands is a cat’s way of socially bonding with us. Scratching your kitty in this spot will be most pleasing to them, and help you to bond together!
Petting a Dog
Dogs may be a little more forward with human interaction, but you still want to give a dog the chance to approach you first. If a dog seems hesitant to approach, squat down to their level and turn your body slightly to the side, to appear less threatening.
Once a dog has approached you, give them a chance to sniff you out. Vetstreet.com suggests that once the dog seems comfortable, start by slowly petting them and see if they lean into you, a true sign that the dog is enjoying the contact. Most dogs are comfortable having their chest, shoulders and base of neck petted, so these are good places to start, rather than on top of their head. Your dog may enjoy being pet in other common spots, like the base of their tail, under their chin or on the back of their neck.
Whether you are spending time bonding with your own pet or meeting a new cat or dog for the first time, having knowledge of the common areas that pets enjoy being scratched will help you to make a new four-legged friend.