June 4th is Hug Your Cat Day! Of course, many of our feline patients are quite the little cuddlebugs, that would love to be hugged 24/7. Kitties are very emotional, and are always happiest when they feel loved. That said, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to hugging our feline pals. A Pasadena, MD vet lists some rules of hugging cats below.
Rule number one of hugging cats? Never hug a kitty that doesn’t want to be held. That’s asking to get scratched! If Fluffy isn’t much for being held or petted, don’t force the issue. She may be quite content just hanging out with you in the same room.
Rule number two? Let your cat decide when the hugging session is over. Many kitties will only tolerate being held for a few minutes. When Fluffy decides she’s done, just let her go.
Many cats enjoy being picked up and held. It’s important to make sure that Fluffy’s weight is being supported properly. Ideally, you should hold her so that her weight is on her rump and back legs. Some furballs like to drape themselves over their humans’ shoulders. This is fine. Just never hold Fluffy by her midsection. This can actually cause internal injuries!
Kittens are almost impossibly cute, so most people don’t need much urging to hug or cuddle them. That said, Fluffy’s kittenhood is a very important time as far as her social and emotional development. Kittens need to be socialized, to grow up calm and friendly. However, they are also very small and fragile, and love to be held and snuggled.
Do you have an older kitty? Be extra gentle when picking Fluffy up and holding her, as she may be quite stiff and sore. When hug time is over, set her down gently. Don’t let go until all four (or at least two) paws are on the ground.
Cats can be wonderful for children: they provide comfort, companionship, and friendship, and can make great playmates and cuddle buddies. However, very young kids may not quite have the understanding or coordination needed to hold Fluffy properly. Watch these adorable moments carefully!
As your Pasadena, MD animal clinic, we’re here to help. Contact us anytime!