Hug Your Cat Day is Saturday but even the most affectionate cat probably doesn’t want to be hugged. Don’t worry – there are other ways to spoil your cat to show him you care. Here are 5 ways to hug your cat without squeezing him.
Sharpen the Claws Cats need scratching posts. They scratch to remove the old claws to make room for new claws. But they don’t scratch posts just to sharpen their claws – they also love the motion. Even cats that don’t have claws paw furniture just like they’re scratching. It’s like getting a good stretch. Giving them something to scratch is a big, metaphorical hug.
A Spot in the Sun Cats love a nice warm spot in the sun. Their normal temperature is about 102°F but, according to the Chicago Tribune, they remain quite comfortable at higher temperatures and the more outside heat they can absorb the more energy they conserve. By conserve, we mean take a nap — in the sun. So find the best sunbeam in the house and position the cat bed in its rays and your cat will experience something better than a hug.
A Hole to Hide in Cats love to hide in tiny spaces. It’s mostly based on instinct: in nature, it helps cats hide so they can stalk their prey. It also provides a safe place to sleep for the 18 hours a day they have their eyes closed and aren’t monitoring their own predators. For domestic cats, under a sink or a dark corner of a small closet are safe places to pass out where predators (or terrorizing toddlers) can’t find them. You don’t have to give them a hole; a good box – large or small – will suffice.
A Perch to Bird Watch Bird watching is almost as fun to a cat as a good cat toy. They can sit at the window and watch the birds play for hours at a time. Though they can’t get to the birds, the feeling of going after the tiny, twittering animals is very exciting. If you want to give your cat the ultimate hug, put a birdfeeder directly outside your cat’s favorite window; it’s endless feline fun.
Brush Lastly, since your cat likely won’t take a hug, a good grooming may be welcomed. Cats love keeping clean and having all of their fur in order. It is a learned behavior – cats learn to lick themselves from their moms – but it’s also a necessary behavior. Grooming keeps cats cool and it spreads a natural secretion that protects them from the elements. But cats need help once in a while – a good brushing reduces hairballs and shedding… and a gentle brushing can be as relaxing as being pet and way better than a hug.
Even if your cat rejects your attempt at a hug, there are countless ways to show your cat affection. Remember: every time your cat rolls on the ground, rubs up against you or sounds off with a loud purr, your cat is showing you affection; it’s only fair to return the love.