Petting Station for Cats – Make Your OwnKeith
How to make a cat petting station for your furry moggy.
Cat owners knows that cats love being stroked. This is something that is common to many mammals. But why and how? A paper in Nature by Sophia Vrontou and co-workers addresses the “how” question – that is, what are the underlying mechanisms – looking at mice. The opening sentences are limpid:
Stroking of the skin produces pleasant sensations that can occur during social interactions with conspecifics, such as grooming:. Despite numerous physiological studies, molecular defined sensory neurons that detect pleasant stroking of hairy skin in vivo have not been reported.
They identified a particular set of sensory neurons that innervate hairy skin in mice and are activated by stroking, not pinching, and were able to show that this stimulation is apparently rewarding for the mice.
Why do Cats Like Their Chin Rubbed
Your mogs has scent glands in her chin, which is why you might notice her rubbing it on anything and everything around her. These scent glands produce a natural pheromone that your cat uses to mark territory and other pets with a calming scent. While humans can’t smell this scent, your pet uses it as a way to identify members of her family, and that includes you, according to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Veterinary Medicine. By scratching her chin, these pheromones get on your hand and she can smell them while you spend time with her, making for a relaxing, bonding experience.
Scratching under your kitty’s chin simply feels really good for your pet. Keep in mind that when she grooms herself, the only spots she can’t lick with her sandpaper like tongue are on her face and head. While she cleans these areas as well as she can with her paws, having you touch these areas feels just like another cat grooming her. This may also remind her of being groomed by her mother as a kitty cat. Either way, it’s extremely relaxing, and most cats appear to enjoy the contact on the chin area. In fact, a pleasant cat massage should include scratching under the chin and ears.
Watch the video and make your own petting station.