Your Cat Might Secretly Hate Getting Pet

Saddest news ever :(

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Akimasa Harada / Getty Images

Petting your cat seems like a concrete way to show him you love him, but it turns out that he might not be such a big fan of your caresses. A new study published in the Journal Physiology and Behavior finds that felines who reluctantly allow their owners to pet them are likely stressing out about it.

In particular, the researchers were curious if cats’ reaction to petting had anything to do with whether or not they lived with other cats. And indeed, there seems to be a connection. As PhysOrg explains:

Although the number of cats in the home did not predict background stress levels, the researchers found that younger cats (less than two years old) living on their own were more stressed than younger ones living in the larger groups.

Evidence was also found to suggest that the owner’s urge to pet their cat may be a stressful experience.

Basically, your obsession with your cat is kiiind of freaking him out, and that stress is only slightly depleted if your house doubles as a cat colony.

Next time you want to give your cat a massage, maybe just keep your hands to yourself and watch this video instead:

MORE: ‘Bully’ Terrorizing Brooklyn Neighborhood Is Just Someone’s Pet Cat

5 comments
BMoscona
BMoscona

This article is completely making up assumptions based on statistics from the study.  Maybe the solitary cats were more stressed out because they lacked a social element in their lives from other cats? One could draw many assumptions from the study.

dannypox
dannypox

There is much wrong with this story and most of the other stories which covered this study.

Yes, cats do not like unwanted attention. No, that does not mean that cats do not like to be petted. Most do (85 of 120 cats in the study). Determining whether cats enjoy petting was not even the primary purpose of the study. It simply reinforced, what is in my opinion, a well known fact for any non-toddler cat owner.

Yet the media outlets need to meet their site visit quotas, so they completely misrepresent the story in order to achieve this goal. If this were objective journalism, the title would read something like: "Multi-cat households are not a primary factor for cat stress levels, study finds"

Burt
Burt

Does this include the ones who insist on sleeping on your lap and purr loudly the whole time, and get all growly and hissy if you try to get them off? How about the ones who sit next to you while you are on the computer and keep tapping you so you'll pet them? How about the ones who follow you all over the house and keep jumping up head-butting your hand?

Didn't think so.

aisajib
aisajib

@Burt I think the researchers were carrying out the research on a bunch of Grumpy Cats. :v

Openminded1
Openminded1

@Burt My cat does all of that and more he demands affection daily.