My Cat Likes Being Slapped
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Anyone who has been fortunate enough to have lived with more than one cat will know that no two cats are the same. While there are general traits common to all felines, each one is an individual with their own personal behaviors and characteristics. They vary widely in their food preference, energy levels, vocalizations and, importantly for us, how they interact. Many have their own ways of giving and receiving affection. While they are a minority, some cats even like to be be spanked.
At AnimalWised, we discuss why my cat likes being slapped. We understand the reasons spanking in cats is tolerated and discuss whether it is harmful to the cat.
What is cat slapping?
We often see our cats slap at us or other cats. This is a defensive behavior used to protect themselves when they feel threatened. They can also slap at objects. Without dexterous hands, cats use their paws any way they can to manipulate their environment, including slapping at them.
In this case, we are talking about a cat which likes to be slapped. You can see videos on YouTube with cats being slapped by their guardian, often accompanied by a hard patting sound. The spanking is almost always on the back or butt area. Although this can seem quite violent, the cats may keep returning to their guardian for more. They are not in any obvious pain and seem to want to engage in the behavior.
Cats will not tolerate being slapped on sensitive areas of their body such as their face or their underside. However, some will enjoy being spanked on their back towards the base of their tail. Since they have a larger body cavity in this area, we can hear the slapping noise more easily. It often sounds like a dull thud and sound like the spanking is very hard. This makes it all the more strange that some cats enjoy coming back for more.
Why do cats like getting slapped?
As stated above, not all cats will like to be slapped or spanked. No cat will enjoy being abused. Although some people think it is fine to scold or even physically hit a cat, it is not. This is negative reinforcement which is not only ineffective, but it can lead to both behavioral and physical health problems for the cat.
Spanking is a different action. It is a flat-hand hit which slaps against the flat of a cat's body, usually around the tail and hind leg areas. Not all cats will like to be petted so firmly like this, but others love it. The main reason this happens appears to be personal preference of where they like to be petted.
Do you have a cat which likes to be tickled under the chin? Do they roll over and expose their belly for patting? Cats have certain preferred areas where they like to be petted, but they are all individuals. When a cat likes to be spanked a little on their back, it is something they seem to enjoy. Some cats will not tolerate a spanking action, others will love it.
In the video below, you can see the cat not only likes being slapped on the butt, but protests when it stops:
Is there a sexual reason why cats like being slapped?
Some think there might indeed be a sexual element in a cat enjoying being slapped. Anecdotally, it appears female cats are more likely to enjoy being spanked on the back. The place they enjoy being slapped is near their private area.
Cats in heat can become very frustrated if they are not allowed to mate. In these cases, the cat will look for anything to vent this frustration. Being slapped on the back can be an enjoyable release for a cat in heat, so it is possible they particularly enjoy it for this reason. It is also a reason why a female cat might keep licking her private area.
However, a cat doesn't need to be in heat for this sensation to feel pleasurable. It can even happen if they have been neutered. If a cat is neutered after they reach sexual maturity, they can still exhibit sexual behaviors. They won't be as pronounced as a non-sterilized cat, but the slapping action might still be enjoyable for them.
Male cats can also feel some pleasure from this slapping action. However, if they are sexually frustrated, non-castrated male cats tend to be more aggressive. In these cases, being spanked might not be sufficient to vent frustration.
Is slapping a cat dangerous?
Any interaction with a cat performed too forcefully will cause them pain. If you pet them too roughly, especially somewhere sensitive, they will show you their displeasure quickly. The same will happen for slapping them on the back or side. If you slap a cat hard enough, you may not see any damage, but it is possible you can cause bruising or even create internal damage. Signs of internal damage include an awkward gait or even blood in their urine.
However, if you are slapping your cat firmly, but not forcefully, it likely won't cause them any harm. It could be viewed as the equivalent of a human receiving a ‘tapotement’ style Swedish massage. This is when the person being massaged is variably slapped or hit as a way to release tension, but should not cause any damage.
Should I slap my cat if they like it?
If your cat doesn't enjoy being slapped or spanking, they will let you know about it. Since the action is quite aggressive, they will likely think you are trying to harm them. In these cases, they will defend themselves by scratching or biting you. People who try to persevere will likely damage the bond you have with your cat as they will feel unsafe around you.
For cats which enjoy being lightly slapped, it shouldn't be a problem physically. As long as you don't hit them hard enough to cause damage, it can even help strengthen the relationship you have together.
When a cat has been neutered, it can be a good way to relieve residual frustration related to sexual behaviors. However, if the cat likes to be slapped, but they have not been spayed or neutered, it is a good idea to do so. You should consult your veterinarian for further information, but here is a guide to the advantages of neutering a cat to get you started.
If you wonder whether you should slap your cat on the butt, you will need to gauge their reaction. If they enjoy it and encourage it, it can be a good way to bond. If they do not enjoy it, leave them alone.
If you want to read similar articles to My Cat Likes Being Slapped, we recommend you visit our Behavioral problems category.