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Friday, June 4, 2021

Hug Your Cat Day

Today is International Hug Your Cat Day. I love hugging Truffle and Brulee (when they will let me) because they are so soft and many times they will begin purring and it's so calming.

woman holding two silver shaded Persian Cats
Mom Paula hugging Brulee and Truffle as kittens (2011)

As much as I would love to hold and hug my cats all the time, it's not really what they want. Many cats tend to struggle to get loose when held or may react by scratching or biting. There are some researchers who believe that cats view a human "swooping down" to pick them up is like a predator "swooping down" in the wild, which may provoke a stress response in a cat (Wooten, 2020). Sarah Wooten, DVM recommends only hugging your cat if she doesn't show any signs of stress, such as trying to get away, swishing the tail, scratching, or hissing. Dr. Wooten says if you want to hug your cat, you should do it the correct way by hugging them on her on her own terms.  

Dr. Rebecca Jackson, staff veterinarian at Petplan Pet Insurance states there are some breeds who are very affectionate such as Burmese, Ragdolls, and LaPerm cats. Dr. Jackson shares that cats who allow you to hold them easily and purrs loudly are probably happy with hugging.

Much of the literature recommends only holding your cat as long as she will tolerate it.

blonde female holding silver shaded Persian Cat
Mom Paula hugging Truffle

Personal Experiences

Truffle

Truffle is a very loveable cat. As a kitten, she loved being held and staying close to me. Most of the time, she is extremely comfortable in my arms, but will let me know she's ready to get down by moving around and meowing. As she is getting older, she will actually come to me, look me in the eyes, and emit a soft meow. This is her signal that she wants to be held. I will pull her up into my arms and she will snuggle in for a long time. Truffle will also allow me to pick her at other times and lets me hug away.

Brulee

Brulee is a different story. She has always been a little wiggle worm. She would allow me to hold her in short time periods, but became restless within a couple of minutes (if that long). Brulee will let me know she wants to be held by coming to me with a cute and squeaky meow. She will only allow me to pick her to be held and cuddled if she approaches me first. She will melt into my arms and produce a loud purr. It seems like she will stay there forever and eventually, my arms get tired and I must put her down. This is a very rare occurrence, so I savor these moments. If I try to pick her up any other time, she struggles to get down.

woman holding a silver shaded Persian Cat


If you have a cat who is comfortable with you picking her up and snuggling, enjoy this special day and any other day. If your cat doesn't like to be held, find other ways to let her know how much she means to you. 

Does your cat allow you to hug her?


Resources

Lock, Cheryl. March 9, 2018. Do Cats Like to be Hugged? PetMD. Do Cats Like to be Hugged? | PetMD

Wooten, Sarah, DVM. November 5, 2020. Why We Shouldn't Be Hugging Cats. PetMD. Why We Shouldn’t Be Hugging Cats | PetMD.

Would you like to comment?

  1. Flynn loved to be hugged but wasn't a lap cat. Eric was the opposite although he did like the occasional hug.

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  2. I don't like to be hugged, though that doesn't stop the mom from trying. ~Ernie

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  3. Sweet photo. Raz doesn't mind hugs but Noelle doesn't like to be held at all.

    The Florida Furkids

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  4. I can hug The PO'M and Manny at any time, no matter what.
    Chili Bruce needs some petting and purring, to warm him up prior to hugging.
    Sweetie whips out her murder mitts when embraced, but I do it anyhow...who cares about a few scars?

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  5. Happy Huggy Day sweet girls!

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  6. I don't really enjoy being held by people for very long, but I will tolerate it for a while on therapy cat duty. I'm happy when my human holds me like a football and carries me around the house. That's how she used to carry me during my cat show competition days, so I have good memories of that hold.

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  7. My cats will approach me or sit next to m\me while I'm on the computer or reading (or eating) and we get some good snuggling then. They don't care for being picked up.

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  8. Sweet photos. Happy Hug Your Cat Day!

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  9. Our cats are quite different from one another when it comes to being held. Pippen is very similar to Brulee. She will come to me when she wants to be held, letting out the cutest little mix of a meow and a purr. When I give in and pick her up, she just melts in my arms and purrs SO loudly. However, she has no interest in being held by anyone else - only me. Jinx, on the other hand, is not a cat that likes to be held. She loves attention but only when she has the freedom to move about at the same time. If you do have to pick her up for any reason, she becomes VERY vocal.

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  10. Yeah, it seems that cats only accept attention on their own terms, don't they? Some dogs do too but in general, dogs are attention sponges.

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  11. We love that photo! We hope you had a wonderful Hug Your Cat Day!

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  12. I'm not a big fan of being held and hugged. Mom tries. Dad tries. They'll jut have to make do with me loving their laps. I guess I'm just not the holding/hugging type and that's that.

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  13. When I had cats I had one that loved cuddles and the other two did not although they all slept on the bed close to me at nights, they are so cute and funny with their personalities

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  14. Our cat loved to sit on our laps, but I don't think he was the hugging type. My sister's cat, Clayton, enjoys hugs with her, but is standoffish with other people. Another one of my sisters is fostering two cats and one is very affectionate, the other prefers some distance, but blinks so hard at my sister that she almost falls over.

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  15. Bear LOVED to be hugged AND held in my arms. Ellie's okay with a hug here and there - but won't let me wrap my arms around her in bed. I miss that about Bear so much. Thinking of you and Brulee and hoping she got a few bites to eat.

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