Main Cat Communication Discussion

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07:24:15 AM Apr 21st 2014
11:58:16 PM Nov 5th 2011
"Feline - human miscommunications Cats are getting a bad reputation in large part due to humans not understanding their preferences or not knowing their peeves. Cats detest having their spines touched. That is, petting even a socialised catís back and tail can very easily result in scratching without even a warning growl. Seriously, donít do it. Stroking a catís flanks and scratching the top or back of its head is perfectly acceptable. When a cat has gotten to know you, you may pet its chin or its underside, but the back and tail are strictly off-limits in any circumstances. Pull the tail ONLY if you feel you need more visible scars."

Can someone provide a source for this? I've checked the usual suspects, but I can't find anything saying cats react this strongly to having their backs touched. This may also be YMMV depending on the cat.
03:51:57 PM Nov 6th 2011
Well, my cat particularly hates having its spine touched, but I've seen cats which didn't seem to care. Also my cat hates when someone touches its flanks or belly, but is strangely ok with someone pulling its tail. So probably all of this depends on the particular cat.
07:36:33 PM Jan 20th 2012
I have to take issue with that paragraph as well. I've owned literally dozens of cats in my life, and not a single one of them has ever objected to having their back petted or scratched (especially scratched), nor have the cats of any other people I've known. In fact, most cats I've known absolutely *love* having their lower back scratched, especially near the base of their tail. You know what I'm talking about, when they shoot their ass straight up in the air the instant you touch their tail base.
10:31:12 PM Feb 8th 2012
edited by PachiRin
This bugs me. I touch my cat's back and tail all the time, not one scratch on me from doing so. Same with practically every cat I've encountered or owned previously. Should there be a "Some cats may not like their back being touched" or essential re-write of the paragraph that it's highly subjective (and I guess just be careful or ask the owner, if there is one, if the cat doesn't mind)?
10:10:13 AM Apr 9th 2012
Yeah, this needs a rewrite. Every cat I've known that's okay with being petted at all is fine with their back being petted and a lot of them *love* a good butt scratch like Lunar Delta mentioned.
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