There are some general guidelines for knowing how to pet a cat properly. Most significant are areas in which cats don't particularly like to be petted. Take the following considerations into account to learn how to pet a cat properly.
- Approach the cat gently. When you move towards a cat, with your entire body or at close range with your hands, you should do so gently. That is, if you were to run towards a cat or aggressively pet a cat, the cat would perceive you as a threat and may become defensive. Approach your cat gently so that he or she does not become threatened.
- Stay away from the stomach. Most cats do not like being petted on their stomach area. This is one are in which cats feel threatened. Of course this is a general rule of thumb; your cat may be different.
- Pet your cat gently. Again, being gentle is the key. Many cats enjoy being petted on the back, or scratched around the ears and head. Find out what your cat enjoys most.
- Watch for warning signs. Although many cats enjoy when they are petted, most will also have a point in which they no longer desire to have you pet him or her. Watch for changes in your cat's behavior. There will usually be a sign when this occurs, such as body language, like the cat's eyes or tail. If a cat is petted too long, he or she may resort to biting or some defensive behavior in order to stop you from petting him or her.