The Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in the UK has created a video guide to help you interact with cats in a mindful way that makes it a positive experience for both cats and humans.

They call it the “CAT” approach. Here’s what that means.

C = Choice

A = Attention

T = Touch

Because every cat is an individual, not all cats will respond to your attempts to interact with them in the same way.

Choice means letting the cat decide when it wants to be touched and when it wants to be left alone. Attention means that you should be aware of a cat’s body language or other signals that indicate if a cat is enjoying the interaction or is feeling uncomfortable.

Touch refers to an awareness of places on the body where a cat enjoys pets and where it doesn’t. Good locations include the face and head; sensitive places include the stomach and base of the tail. Other areas, like the chest or feet, may depend on the individual cat.

If you are meeting a cat for the first time, get down to its level and offer it your hand. A cat that’s open to petting will usually approach you and rub its head on your hand. Let the cat decide how much petting it wants.

As much as you might want to pet a cat, some cats just don’t like being touched even if they like you and enjoy being near you. If they show discomfort with touch, it’s important to respect that.

One more point to keep in mind, many cats don’t like to be picked up and held, even ones that will sit in your lap.

Check out the full video here:


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