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RE: How do you hold your cat?

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Posted by: PHCurious at Fri Mar 21 12:57:42 2003  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by PHCurious ]  
   

>>Boris just turned six months old. We have noticed the huge front feet and just wonder how much more he will grow. My vet simply states that he is going to be a "fair-sized" cat. He is already heavy and quite muscular. But he just won't be held any other way. He also will not sit in the lap either-he has to be upright with his hind feet perched on my tummy with the paws around the neck so he can lick it. Do you have any idea as to why he doese this? He has licked my neck from the time I brought him home. He won't lick anyone else's neck-just mine. I have never had a cat do this.

The only real answer to this question is: Because that's the way he likes it! Only Boris could tell us exactly what he specifically likes about licking your neck, but even if he could speak English, he might not be certain what is drawing him to that particular spot. (We all enjoy some things for which we're not able to pinpoint the pleasurable component. I can't imagine cats would be any different.)

Here are some of my guesses:

Maybe he just likes having access to the same spot every day, and your neck is one area of your body that is rarely covered by clothing. Unlike your face or hands, which are also rarely covered, your neck is less likely to taste like lotion, make-up, dirt, etc...
Another guess--perfume is typically placed behind and underneathe the earlobe because the skin in that spot is often warm, the perfume interacts with the heartbeat there, and all of this somehow makes the perfume's scent travel further. (Don't ask me about the biophysics of this phenomenon, because I don't really know.) But it may be that this area of your body gives off a stronger scent that is perceptible to him than other areas of your body does.
Similarly, anyone who has worn a pearl necklace and not wiped them off knows that the neck area gives off a lot of body oils. (Why? Again, I don't know.) If you don't wipe off a string of pearls that have been adorning your neck, the pearls and the string will eventually disintegrate. Again, there may be something about your body oils that is attractive to him, and that spot is just perfect for him.
Also along the same lines, it's possible that the shampoo or conditioner you use leaves a fine residue on your neck, imperceptible to you but not to a fine-tuned cat. Maybe he's attracted to the smell or taste of your shampoo.
Maybe there's nothing about your neck, per se, that he particularly likes. Maybe it's just being in that position. Sitting on your lap and propping himself up on you like that gives him opportunity to feel your heartbeat, have a stable place to stand or be held, smell your breath, etc..
Finally, maybe it's just habit. He may have licked your neck when you first got him, was praised and petted for doing that, and has learned this as a rewarding behavior.

If only Boris could tell us.

-----
PHCurious
Cat Chat Host


   

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