Dear Most Esteemed and Knowledgeable Kitties:
Sometimes when I hold my cat like a “babe in arms,” he stretches up, he hooks his paws around my neck, and pulls me in. Is he really hugging me?
Thomas: I guess the first question to ask is, do cats hug?
Bella: It’s not something cats naturally do in the wild, although sometimes we do put our paws over one another if we happen to be snuggling.
Thomas: Bella does that to me all the time, and I like it.
Bella: And I especially love it when Thomas does it to me!
Thomas: Long story short, Katie, although cats don’t instinctively hug one another, we do see how you humans express affection to one another, and sometimes we do use human affection gestures on you.
Bella: Sometimes it seems like you humans don’t quite understand our feline gestures of affection like rubbing against your legs and stuff, so we need to make it a little more obvious how much we love you.
Thomas: My sweet Dahlia (may she frolic forever in the catnip-filled fields of the Kitty Paradise) threw her paws around Mama’s neck when Mama first met her and picked her up out of the cage she was in.
Bella: Dahlia was in a cage? How awful!
Thomas: Oh, it wasn’t too bad. She and her brothers were “on loan” to a copy shop where Mama used to do business — the local shelter did that a lot to encourage people to adopt cats — and they were tiny kittens and it was a big cage.
Bella: Oh, I guess that’s OK. I had to be in a cage for a bunch of sleeps when I went to the shelter and they wanted to make sure I wasn’t sick before putting me in with other cats. I didn’t like that very much!
Thomas: Besides, Mama got to meet Dahlia that way. *sniffle*
Bella: Oh, Thomas, it’s okay. Come over here and let’s have a snuggle.
Thomas: Sometimes you remind me so much of Dahlia, I swear I’d think she sent you to us.
Bella: Tee hee hee! I’ll never tell!
Thomas: Anyway, Katie, yes, we’ve known cats who were “huggers” in the way you describe, and we do think it’s a way of expressing affection.
Bella: We hope you enjoy your beautiful kitty and his happy hugs for many years to come!
Thomas: What about you other readers? Do you have cats that hug you? What other kinds of odd gestures of affection do your cats do?
Bella: Tell us all about it in the comments!
My cat, Ms SamAdams sits on the arm of my chair and pushes her head under my open hand, which puts me in perfect position to skritch behind her ears. :)
My dear departed tortie would sit next to my and tilt her head asking for kisses.
My tuxedo loves to grab my hand and lay her head on my open palm.
My youngest ginger will give me paw massages when I pick her up.
My oldest boy, another ginger very gently pat my arm to let me know he wants attention.
My Roscoe used to hug me and call me mama!!
Punky likes to crawl up onto my chest and press her face into my neck and under my ear. And then I hug her right back.
one of my cats, sophy likes to sit with me half on me and half on the arm of the chair just so I can scratch the side of her face, and the top of her head, domino hugs me, while pepper likes to cuddle, and will wrap her self around my hand.
Kushie hugs my hand to keep me close when we fuzzle.
My cat Feisty will wake me up in the middle of the night by using my hand to pet herself. She also hugs. My other cat, George, loves to snuggle, but will not tolerate being picked up.
My Bobby Seale (RIP) would always hug my neck,whenever i picked him up. His adopted sister Moon will get in my lap and stand on her hind legs to hug me when I sit on the couch. She bestows on me the slow blink,the head bump,the cheek rub,and sometimes when I wake up,she is asleep between my arm and my side,with one of her forelegs thrown across my chest. Cats are just the best!
My travels love’s to hug as well as lay all stretched out on my back when I’m laying on the floor. And I his brother sage likes to lay on my feet whenever I go to the bathroom. He is really shy but as soon as where alone together he goes from shy runs and hide cat to I want to rub myself all over you. Lol there such sweeties.
I’ve had a few ‘huggers’. Right now, I have Thunder – a stray/feral that adopted me some time ago. He loves to be held, and when he’s ‘up’, he’ll kind of drape his head and shoulders over MY shoulder, and push his head – HARD – into my neck and jaw. We call them head hugs.
I’ve had a couple of ‘bathers’ too. My first, JJ, and my Dewey (now) will hold my head – with claws if necessary – and lick or chew on my hair.
Fluff is pretty resistant to my giving him kisses, but at least once a day, he’ll visit and turn his face away a bit – that’s MY cue to give him a kiss on his cheek. Once he gets it, he’s happy to go on his way – playing with his brothers or whatever – but the kiss is on HIS terms!!!
They’re a unique group…
My 2 yr old Katie, gets up on her hind legs and puts her paws in the air when she wants to be picked up for cuddling. I love it.