You have probably petted your cat countless times as a cat owner. But have you wondered why your feline enjoys being patted on the bum sometimes?
Some cats enjoy this sensation because it may stir memories of their mother. Other times, cats may also enjoy a bit of gentle spanking as it creates a pleasurable release, or activates a sense of well-being.
Take note that nobody should really spank their cat as a form of punishment though; that is animal abuse.
Read on to understand whether you should add this motion to your regular petting sessions.
Why your cat likes to be spanked (3 reasons!)
#1 Memory of mom
You may be wondering: do cats remember their mothers? Of course, they do!
Some say that lightly tapping your cat on the rear stirs memories from your cat’s kittenhood when her mom cared for and cleaned her.
Her mom would have licked the cat’s rear to clean her, which also helped decrease pains during urination and excretion.
Your cat’s mom also washed your cat’s rear area to remove odors, which could otherwise draw predators toward the litter.
Your cat certainly doesn’t expect you to provide all of this for her; however, lightly tapping her on the rear can recreate the bond and affection she once shared with her mom, and this is an excellent way how you can make your cat love you more!
#2 Sensitivity to touch
Others say that there may be a sexual aspect to patting your cat on the bum. Female cats, especially those in heat, may be more likely to enjoy this sensation because it’s in their private zones.
Sometimes, cats in heat experience irritation if they’re not mating; so, being patted on their bums may provide a pleasurable release for them.
Cats in heat may also seek to provide this pleasurable release by licking their private zones.
Also, just because a spayed cat doesn’t have periods doesn’t mean it will not feel frisky down there.
Cats don’t have to be in heat to experience this patting as pleasurable; they can also experience it as enjoyable even when spayed or neutered.
Cats are sexually mature around six months of age and can continue to show sexual habits after they get fixed.
These sexual habits will not be as pronounced in spayed or neutered cats; yet, the light patting motion on their rears may still be gratifying for them.
#3 Acupressure point
Some say your cat likes being patted on the bum because there’s a nearby acupressure spot called the Bai Hui acupoint. This acupoint is found along your cat’s spine, which is between your cat’s hip sockets.
Acupressure practitioners say gently stroking this area will activate the acupoint, delivering healthy and positive energy down your cat’s spine and into her limbs.
This is said to also provide pain and stress relief and encourage overall wellness in your cat.
Should I be worried if my cat enjoys getting spanked?
When to NOT worry
There are some cats — such as yours! — who may enjoy the sensation of being lightly patted on their rear. Some cats enjoy this sensation because it may create a sense of well-being.
Your cat’s rear is connected to her limbic system, which manages her behaviors and emotions; so, if your cat enjoys being lighted patted on the rear, she’ll appear calm and content during your petting session.
There are other ways to tell if your cat enjoys being lightly tapped on the rear. If you have been wondering why your cat rubs against your legs, that could be why!
You may notice that her tail is straight in the air, and she may be swinging it. Her ears may be forward and upright, and she may be purring.
You may see her knead with her paws by pushing them forward and backward. These are signs of approval that your cat is receptive.
When you SHOULD worry
On the other hand, hard spanking can harm your cat. Spanking is typically an aggressive motion, so your cat may think that you are attempting to hurt her.
She will alert you if she is not enjoying how you are interacting with her. She may try to defend herself by using her claws to scratch you or showing her teeth to bite you.
If you persist in engaging with your cat this way, especially when she has shown that she doesn’t enjoy this activity, it can diminish your bond with her.
Don’t they feel pain when you smack their bums?
No real spanking, of course!
Cats will experience pain in their bums and hind legs if you are rashly spanking them; this kind of action is unwarranted.
However, some cats experience a pleasurable or enjoyable sensation when being gently patted on their rear.
As a cat owner, it’s essential to remember that all cats are unique in the same way that all people are unique.
Your cat will show you what she enjoys and what she doesn’t. You need to pay attention and listen to your cat.
Signs of pain
Cats are excellent at hiding their pain, especially from their owners. You can look for some signs if you are unsure whether patting your cat on the rear is causing her pain.
Some cats will howl at night or consistently meow if they are in distress; others will do the opposite by becoming silent and more distant from their owners.
If your cat starts hiding from you, this may be a strong indication that she’s experiencing pain.
Cats in pain may shrink away when caressed and sit in a contorted position. They may also become aggressive through scratching or biting; sometimes, they may hiss and flick their tails.
Cats in pain may also begin to overly lick a particular area of their body, causing fur loss.
As a cat owner, any change in your cat’s normal behavior is something to pay attention to. You certainly do not want what you intended as an affectionate gesture to create pain in your cat.
Remember that you can always reach out to your veterinarian when you have questions or concerns about your kitty.
What to take note of when petting my cat’s back
Whether you are a new or seasoned cat owner, making your petting sessions a daily practice is a good idea. You can also use this opportunity to notice what your cat enjoys and doesn’t enjoy.
Some cat owners may want to write down that information to remember everything. When you finish your petting session, you may even want to reward your cat with a treat to affirm the bond that you share with her.
Generally, for each petting session, take note of the following three things, especially when you’re stroking your cat’s back.
Give your cat options
Avoid forcing your cat into a petting session; you can do this by giving her options. Start by kindly extending your hand toward your cat, and allow her the opportunity to approach you and interact.
If your cat wants to engage with you, she will come toward you and rub her face and body on your hand or against your legs. If your cat doesn’t engage with you, you can honor her choice by not petting her at that time.
Allow your cat the option of choosing how much you pet her. You can do this by beginning to pet her and then stopping every few seconds to monitor her reaction.
If your cat gently bunts you, she may be inviting more petting from you. If not, she may have had enough interaction.
Monitor your cat’s behavior
Monitor your cat’s behavior and reactions toward you. If you start a petting session and begin to wonder whether your cat is bored or needs a break, there are several behaviors that indicate she may want to pause the petting session. Your cat may:
- stop purring and shift away from you
- flatten her ears or move them backward
- shake her head
- lick her nose
- start grooming herself
Again, pay attention to your cat and give her a break if she’s not appearing to enjoy the petting session at that time.
Be considerate of your cat
All cats have preferences in the same way that all people have preferences. Be considerate of your cat’s preferences by petting her where she enjoys being tickled.
If this includes being lightly tapped on her rear, then lightly tap her in that area. Proceed with regularly monitoring her reactions and giving her options to continue or discontinue a petting session.
As a cat owner, you know your cat the best. If you notice your cat may enjoy being patted on the bum, you are now aware that it’s because this motion may stir memories of her mother, create a pleasurable release, or activate a sense of well-being.
You only need to be worried about making this motion if you notice it may be causing your cat pain.
Remember to give your cat options, monitor her reactions, and be considerate of her preferences; you’ll have an unbreakable bond for years to come.