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Consider your cat’s body like a map.
When it comes to petting, it is best to remember that cats as a species are not inherently social or tactile.
The Cat Consent Test is a way to enable your cat to choose whether they want to interact with you or not. Each cat will also have their individual preferences for where and how they like being stoked. By paying attention to their reactions, we can really understand what these preferences are. See the graphics below for the Map of the Cat for typical areas cats prefer being touched, tolerate and would rather you didn’t touch.
By enabling choice through the consent testing, we can promote greater calmness and build trust. See my video example of what the Cat Consent Test looks like.