How to Greet a Cat?

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How to Greet a Cat?

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Cats have a unique set of sounds that help them communicate their need to humans. However, they do not use them in cat-to-cat communication. In their everyday communication with other cats, they mainly use body language and their strong sense of smells. To greet each other, they touch their noses. It does not only serve them to show affection, but also to pick up information about an unknown cat. They need more information about a stranger-cat, and their extraordinary sense of smell gives them all they need. After a short investigation by their noses, they quickly find out whether a stranger is well-intentioned and friendly, or not. For that reason, many cat parents think they can enforce affection in cats by greeting them first. Feline experts think it is not a bad idea, but only if done correctly. They warn us that we need to be present, observe cat’s behavior and give them enough space. According to them, we cannot simply approach a cat and touch her nose. We could offer our nose, but not too close. It is crucial to enable a cat to decide what to do. A cat could decide not to react to our attempt to greet her or can simply go away. And we should provide her enough space to do that. To find out more about how to greet a cat, the article “Greeting a Cat: Using Proper Cat Etiquette” gives us the following explanation.

How to Greet a Cat?

A proper greeting is actually very simple. You just need a finger. When you walk into a room where the cat is located, don’t approach him. Just get down on his level by sitting or kneeling and extend your index finger. Don’t put it in his face or wiggle it around like a toy. The purpose here isn’t to have the cat view your finger as something to bite – even in play. Just extend your finger at the same height as his nose.

In the cat world, cats approach each other and engage in a round of nose-to-nose sniffing to determine familiarity and do an initial scent investigation. When you extend your finger at the same height as the cat’s nose, it becomes a surrogate kitty nose. When you hold your finger still and don’t advance toward the cat, you give him the option to approach or not. By giving the cat that choice it immediately reduces his stress level.

When the cat approaches he’ll do a little sniffing of your finger. If he wishes to interact further with you he may rub his cheek or side of his head along your finger (this is a very affectionate gesture) or he may engage in flank rubbing your finger or hand (a respectful way to combine his scent with yours).

Many owners often mistakenly presume that nose greeting is actually cats’ way to say: “I love you.” Cat experts explain that nose touching is only greeting; cats use it to say hello and find out the necessary information. If we are looking for a sign of cat’s affection, then we should search for a head-butt. Experts explain that cats use a head – butt in their early weeks to bond with their mothers. This unique gesture shows more than a simple greeting. While nose touching is a sign of trust, the head-butt is the sign of true affection.

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