Cats are often fussy when it comes to being petted. If you are a first-time cat owner, you would wonder, where do cats like to be pet? There are plenty of felines who are cuddly. However, others are rather standoffish. 

If you are perplexed by your cat’s behavior, then you might want to know more about how to pet a cat. Given that cats are quirky and exhibit behavior while being petted that you don’t understand, you might need a bit of help here. 

To understand where do cats like to be stroked the most, keep reading as we are about to delineate how to how to pet a cat to make your kitty feel relaxed. 

Cat Body Language: When NOT to Pet your Cat? 

Cat Body Language

If you had experienced a cat scratching you when you extended your gentle affection towards it. There is certainly a correct and various incorrect way to pet your cat. To pet your cat properly, you should first learn what NOT to do. The first cue to follow regarding this is the cat’s body language. 

Don’t pet, stroke, rub or caress your cat if she exudes the following body language: 

  • Cat staring at you with a judgmental look
  • Twitching the back skin
  • If your cat hisses at you
  • Ears and whiskers are positioned backward
  • They are thumping their tail repeatedly.
  • Turns their head in a swift motion when you touch
  • Pushed your hand away with their paw
  • Shifts away from you

Cat Body Language: Cat Being Pet and Liking it

Now you know how not to handle your cat. Let’s see when you can take a step forward by saying that your kitty likes being petted. 

  • Their ears are upward and forward
  • Your cat is purring
  • If they are bunting you gently 
  • Kneading you
  • Closes their eyes in a relaxed manner
  • Turns over and close their eyes

cat being pet can be quirky. She has her whims, but it is a green signal if she is exhibiting any of the above body language. You can go ahead and pet your cat. 

Bottom line: If whether to pet or not to pet is the question with your cat? The simple answer to this is to follow the body language of your kitty and act accordingly. 

Do Cats Like to be Pets? Yes, or No? 

Do Cats Like to be Pets

Before you come to a rigid answer regarding where do cats like to be pets? And do they like being your house pet? You will have to know a bit about cat history

The world is millions of years old. Cats have existed on the face of this earth since 10 to 15 million years ago. These were wild cats who hunted, preyed, and fed upon their prey. They were a part of the wilderness. Felines love to hunt and prey. 

It was nearly in the year 7,600 BC we found the first instance of a domesticated cat. A few thousand years later, the Egyptians started worshipping cats. Hence, if you think that your cat has a high attitude, then it is because of its genes. 

Although for thousands of years cats and humans have stayed together, the felines still have their wild instincts very much alive in them. This is probably why you will often come across cats that would not let you pet them. Or they will occasionally let you touch them. 

So, do cats like to be pet? Yes, most certainly. But the rule does not apply to all. 

So, If Felines Still Hold A Wild Nature, Why Do Cats Like Being Pet? 

Experts believe that felines are creatures who love to boss and rule. Domesticated cats also like to get their food and drinks being served for them. However, somehow, they still like being the occasional hunter, and occasionally they would love being 

Although you will see many kitties that will be by your side and constantly ask to be petted, there are others who would occasionally let you touch them. 

The answer to do cats like to be pets? The answer is ‘Yes.’ Most of them certainly do being pet and being stroked. But beware of their mood. They are very moody creatures who can scratch the hell out of you if you surprise them or touch them off guard. 

Where Do Cats Like to be Pet: The Science Behind Petting your Cat 

The Science Behind Petting your Cat

Before we jump to how to pet your cat, let’s explore where does your cat likes being petted. There are specific body parts where your feline might want you to touch and stroke. Remember, stroking them wrongly (even if you are your cat’s favorite person) might irk them. They may resort to aggressive behaviors. 

Let’s See Where To Pet Your Cat: 

  1. Located Scent Glands: If your cat likes you, then they would want to mark you as their territory by leaving their scent. And what better than you extending support for the purpose? The scent glands of your kitty are located on the back of their ears, on the cheeks, and under their chin. Hence, there are hotspots for petting your cat. 
  1. Neck: Almost all friendly cats like being stroked on their neck. Even if you hold their neck slightly firm, they will not object to this type of petting. Stroking their neck reminds cats of their childhood and how their mother nurtured them. Hence, stroking your cant’s neck is a good idea. 
  2. Back: If you are wondering where do cats like to be pet? Then yet another good option is to pet their back. Petting your cat’s back is a good way to stimulate them. If your cat is sick or isn’t eating, then one of the ways to soothe them is to pet their Back. 
Where To Pet Your Cat

Where NOT To Pet your Cat?

Unlike dogs which like being petted (almost) everywhere, cats like being petted only ins specific areas. Hence, you should know the places to avoid if you don’t want to tick your cat off. 

  1. Tail: Never, we repeat, never ever try to scratch, rub, or stroke your cat’s tail. If you even do this, you would see your cat staring at you or, worse, attacking you in a split second. Cats are very particular about their tails, and so it is best to leave your cat’s tail alone, even if you have the strongest urge to touch the cat’s tail. 
  1. Belly: Unlike dogs, who would love a thorough belly rub. Cats don’t prefer the same. Cats are super sensitive in their belly region. It might enjoy one or two strokes, but a thorough belly rub is too much for your cat. It will overstimulate the feline, resulting in aggressive behavior. Avoid touching a cat’s belly if you are meeting the cat for the first time, though. 
  1. Legs: If you would want severe scratching from your cats, then go ahead and grab your cat’s legs. Cats hate their legs being touched. Hence, it is best if you maintain your distance from the front and the hind legs of your kitty. 

The Right Way to Pet Your Cat 

Right Way to Pet Your Cat

Whether your cat would let your pet or not depends a lot on how you approach the cat. There are 3 basic rules to pet your cat. Let’s learn them: 

  1. Give Your Cat the Choice

It’s best to let your cat decide whether it wants to be better or not. If you observe signs like being grumpy, cat staring, or moving away, keep your hands off your cat. She certainly doesn’t you at the point (or eternally)! Or maybe it wants its space. No matter what the reason is, respect your cat’s choice and try again later. 

  1. Think Before You Act

Think where do cats like to be petted? Know the exact body parts you are allowed to touch. If you pet your cat’s tail or legs, they aren’t going to like it. Know the exact places that you can touch, such as the cheeks, chin, and neck. 

  1. Pay Attention

Your feline will not always show an outburst when you are petting it wrong. Sometimes they would just sit there in a stoic manner. Pay attention to its facial expression. If you see slow blinking or relaxed ears, then you can continue petting your cat. 


So, where do cats like to be stroked the most? The answer is— cheeks, chin, back, and neck. However, cats have high attitudes. They can be your best friend one moment and be a complete stranger the next. To be sure whether it is the right time to pet your cat, you should pay good attention to their body language and act accordingly. 


She's a New England native who enjoys traveling, reading, yoga, and of course, a content creator. When she's not writing about awesome pet facts, you can find her exploring NYC restaurants and art museums, and playing with her furry companion.

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