Smooches and Hugs for Kitty: A Good Idea?

Lisa Selvaggio
by Lisa Selvaggio
Does your cat let you hug and kiss her? Some people think it’s fine, while others keep their affection to themselves.

Hugs and kisses are signs of affection that humans use to tell each other they care. But do they translate into cat speak? Does your kitty like it when you hug and kiss her, or does she find it annoying?

Kisses for Kitty?

Your cat can show you affection in a few different ways. She may, for example, look at you while blinking slowly, letting you know that she feels so comfortable around you that she can let her guard down. She might lie down next to you, or on you, to spend some quality time with you. Or she might rub her face on you or start kneading while sitting near you. And, according to Jackson Galaxy, your cat might even combine a slow blink with a little nod of the head, or maybe a slight bow of the head, to greet you and say, “I love you.” So mimicking some of these gestures, like the slow blink, could be a great way to communicate with your kitty and let her know that you love her too.

Related: To Your Cat, You’re Just Another Cat

But when it comes to how a cat reacts to kisses, it seems that the conclusion is simply that every cat is different. For example, one kitty might make it a point to get close to her owner’s face and ask for some smooches, while another will shy away when you get your face too close to her body, especially if you get too close to her face. So it could be a matter of what your kitty is used to, as well as being able to read her body language to figure out if she’s feeling uneasy with all of the kissing or if she’s enjoying the physical contact and recognizing it as yet another sign of affection.

How About Hugs?

In terms of hugs, the same general rules apply: every cat is an individual, so reading your pet’s body language will help you assess if your furry friend is digging the hugs or trying to get away from the hugs. If you wrap your arms around your kitty gently without squeezing hard, she may be just fine with it. But if you wrap your arms around your cat and you are squeezing too much, holding too tightly, or holding the hug for too long, your pet might feel vulnerable and uncomfortable and try to get away.

Related: What Does It Mean When A Cat Wags Its Tail?

If your kitty tolerates a little hug, that’s great! But if she starts to vocalize, if she attempts to get away, if her tail starts wagging in an effort to display her annoyance, or if her body gets tense, these are all signs that you need to back off. And with so many other ways to show your kitty affection, you certainly don’t need to force a hug on her.

Take Cues from Your Cat

There really is no single answer for whether or not kisses and hugs are a good idea for cats because, for some kitties, they are, and for others, they aren’t. It really comes down to spending time with your pet, getting to know her personality, and respecting your kitty’s preferences for shows of affection.

Lisa Selvaggio
Lisa Selvaggio

Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.

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