I was sitting in my recliner the other day watching TV, when my Cat, Harper, jumped up on the arm of the chair, and started purring. This was his normal signal that he wanted to be petted. I don’t know about your cat, but Harper has, not only a specific time-frame of approximately thirty seconds for petting and gentle scratching, but clearly noted areas of his body, which can and cannot be touched.
Rubbing of the top of his head, behind each ear, along the full length of his back, and continuing to the tip of his tail is okay. Any petting, rubbing or scratching anywhere else, and especially the belly is met with an ear-piercing meow, and the possible nipping of any fingers foolish enough to be close to his razor-sharp teeth.
After Harper’s usual thirty seconds, he got bored, turned to me with a dismissive glance, jumped off the chair, and went in search of food or a warm place to take a sixteen hour nap. His behavior got me thinking, and I called over my dog, Chase. It should be noted that Chase loves to be petted. Normally, all I have to do is raise my arm to about two feet off the ground with my palm facing down, and he will run over, and place the top of his head firmly against my palm. I decided to do a little research on dogs, and how much they enjoy human contact.