Some say it’s May 31st and others insist on June 4th. While the official date of Hug Your Cat Day is hotly debated each year, at Vet Organics, we happen to know every day is Hug Your Cat Day. So, this week and next, be sure to post, comment, share and tag us in your best Hug Your Cat Day pics.
And to get things rolling, we wanted to share some of the best tips and inspiration for purrfect feline-friendly affection.
Does My Cat Like to be Hugged?
Cats are surprisingly similar to humans when it comes to hugs. Some love the snuggles, and for others, it’s an exercise in futility. How can we tell? If they don’t run or squirm, it’s probably a good sign they are open to it. If they purr, we know it’s hug-a-thon time. Just keep it gentle. Bear hugs are for bears.
Reasons to Hug a Cat
Uhm, do we need a reason beyond Hug Your Cat Day? For those who aren’t convinced, here are a few points to consider.
- Physical contact is known for raising spirits, endorphins and catecholamine levels. Cat-echolamines are molecules including, dopamine and epinephrine, some of the hormones that help us rest and feel happy. So, hugging our cats really can be our happy place!
- Strengthen the pet-human bond for a more satisfying, healthy relationship. Soft, loving hugs can be the key to helping our cats feel loved and secure, especially in new surroundings. Plus, we can find comfort and escape in moments spent being present and focused on our friendly felines.
- Cats help their humans live a pain-free life. Well, they aren’t miracle workers, but the vibrations emitted from their purring has actually been found to improve bone density in humans and those sonic “good vibrations” can actually help decrease pain.
How to Hug a Cat
No sneaking up or surprising our cats is a great first rule of thumb. Petting our cats softly can be a good way to approach them to see if they are feeling snuggly. Remember that holding them too tightly is a no-no. It’s all about hugging our cats on their terms and in a way that’s comfortable for them. A little soft-spoken praise can go a long way. And short hugs are the best way to start out until we learn about our cat’s preferences over time. Squirming or pulling away means it’s time to let go. Maybe try again later when things are calmer.
Watch for behavior that seems more akin to excitement or nerves. If our cats are showing indicators better-resembling anxiety, we may consider the environment or other factors that are making them uncomfortable. We can consult a vet or behavioral specialist for tips and advice. And we can try all-natural home remedies, such as EcoBalance® Calming Extra-Strength Liquid for Cats.
What About Kitten Kisses
Similar to hugging, not all cats are onboard with kissing. Knowing that cats don’t kiss like humans, is the best place to begin. We often go in with our lips because that’s the human kiss, but for cats, a better approach is nose-to-nose. And remember, cats consider face-touching, whether it’s nose-to-nose or cheek-to-cheek, to be a very vulnerable position. Go in slow and if they pull away, we know we can try again later, or recognize the many other ways cats show affection.
When our cats knead us with their front paws, it’s a sign of contentment. They also like to rub their heads on their hoomans as a way to mark their territory. In a loving way, that is showing us their offer for a sense of belonging and accepting of their pet parent.
But I Don’t Have a Cat to Hug on Your Cat Day
Yes, an obvious downside to Hug Your Cat Day is the possibility that we don’t have a cat. But that just means there’s a great opportunity to consider adopting a new feline into the family. Just remember to choose a fur-baby that doesn’t seem to mind some gentle snuggles. Or we can always join a friend or family member with a hug-friendly cat.
So, whatever happens in our day-to-day, we can participate in Hug Your Cat Day a little more well-informed. And we may just find that hugs from our cats really are therapeutic, healthy, and the best happy place to rest our hats.