There’s a special kitty holiday coming up? May 30th is International Hug Your Cat Day! This has been a very hard year, and hugging cats has definitely helped a lot of people get through it. Here, a Helotes, TX vet offers some tips on how to properly cuddle cats.
Rule #1: never hug a cat that doesn’t want to be held. At best, your feline buddy will struggle to get down. At worst, she could scratch you! Keep in mind that even kitties that like being cuddled may only tolerate it for a short time. When your pet is done, just let her go.
We probably don’t have to tell you that hugging cats can be very comforting. There’s something very special and relaxing about cuddling a purring kitty! As it turns out, those ‘good vibes’ also translate into physical benefits. Hugging your furry friend can help lower your blood pressure, and reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks. It’s also a proven mood booster. When you snuggle your pet, a special hormone called oxytocin is released in both of you. Also called the Love Hormone and the Cuddle Hormone, oxytocin promotes feelings of love and happiness.
Always hold your pet so that her body is properly supported. Ideally, her weight should be on her rump or back legs. Of course, some cats will put their paws on your shoulders or drape themselves around your neck. That’s ok, as long as you’re both comfortable. However, never hold your kitty by the midsection. That can actually cause injuries!
As you have probably noticed, some of our feline pals are just more cuddly than others. If your pet is more reserved, she may prefer to just quietly hang out with you. That’s purrfectly fine! You can still pamper your feline buddy by talking to her, petting her, and giving her toys, treats, catnip, and, of course, the occasional empty box.
Hugging cats can be very beneficial for children, especially in hard times. Pets can help teach children about unconditional love and friendship. They’re also a wonderful source of comfort. Just be sure to supervise young children when they interact with cats.
Please contact us if ever we can be of assistance. As your local Helotes, TX animal clinic, we are always here to help!