Cats are as mysterious as they are adorable. We can never really tell what a cat is thinking or what it feels at a given moment. However, when it comes to your cat hugging you, it’s actually not that bewildering as cats usually hug us for specific and simple reasons. Most cat owners have had this thought at one point. You’re just sitting in your chair, enjoying your time, and all of a sudden, your cat just comes out of nowhere to snuggle with you.
That’s when you start wondering, “Why does my cat hug me all the time?” Well, we’ve read many articles and studies created by arguably some of the most knowledgeable individuals in the field of cat behavior. In this article, we’ll be discussing why your cat hugs you and which breeds like hugs the most, plus various other relevant points.
Why Your Cat Wants to Snuggle
As you probably know, cats, much like humans, have different personalities. While it’s not yet fully clear whether a cat’s genes play the biggest role in forming its personality. We can definitely tell that different cats behave in somewhat different ways. Cats like different things and react differently to certain situations from one another. One reason for this is that not every cat is raised in the same way or the same environment.
The first few months of a kitten’s life most often play a huge role in how it behaves around humans and even around other cats.
Those first couple of months are the cat’s socialization period. During this period, a cat will either learn to trust humans and other creatures or become suspicious and closed down. Of course, this will depend on whether or not the kitten interacts with humans and other animals during that period. Simply put, If you introduce a cat to humans when it’s little, it will learn to trust them and be open to playing with and being fed by them. Similarly, a cat that learns to trust humans when it’s little will often cuddle, snuggle and hug them, regardless of its age.
So, with all that in mind, let us take a look at the three main reasons your cat seems to always want to hug you.
1. Your Cat Wants to Express Its Love and Appreciation for You
Cats, much like humans, will often want to express their love. However, unlike us, cats don’t have that many options to express how they feel. If you’re a good cat owner (which you very likely are, since you’re reading this), your cat will often want to show you how much it loves and appreciates you and everything you do for it. So in return for giving them food and shelter, your cat will give you long-lasting hugs. Your cat sitting in your lap, headbutting you, snuggling with you, and purring is its way of showing you how much it loves you. So basically, whenever your cat seems to be feeling cuddly, know that all’s going well between you and them.
2. They’re Looking for Warmth
Another reason your cat hugs you so often is that it wants to feel warm. This is very simple; when your cat isn’t physically active, its body temperature starts to drop. So to maintain or increase its body heat, your cat will often look for and snuggle with you. In addition to snuggling with humans, cats will often snuggle against each other for warmth.
It is for this reason that your cat enjoys sitting on your keyboard so much. It gets to feel the warmth generated by the computer. It will also be right in front of you, making it feel like the center of attention. Who wouldn’t want that?
3. They Want to Feel Protected
This one might come down to habit and instinct more than anything else. As we’ve mentioned above, a cat learns a lot during its kittenhood. Kittens are accustomed to needing someone to snuggle with when they sleep. This is because a mother cat will most often bundle up and cuddle with its kittens as they fall asleep. This allows the kittens to feel protected, comfortable, and warm. These three factors could be essential for a kitten to fall asleep. It’s one of the things cats never grow out of. Resultantly, most cats will want to cuddle while they sleep, regardless of their age.
Therefore, your grown cat will hug you when it wants to fall asleep because it trusts you to protect it as its mom would have, and your hugs make it feel safe.
Do Some Cat Breeds Like to Hug More Than Others?
As briefly mentioned above, we don’t yet have a clear idea of what genes affect the friendliness of a cat. We’re not even sure if genes play a major role in how cats behave and how comfortable they are around humans and each other. However, we have definitely noticed that some cat breeds seem to be more snuggly than others.
The breeds that seem friendliest and show the most interest in hugging humans are usually the more calm and sedated ones. This makes sense as you wouldn’t expect an energetic Bengal to be as cuddly as a Persian cat. This is according to cat behavior expert Sally E. Bahner.
With that being said, the cat breeds that seem to show the most interest in hugging humans are Ragdoll, Siamese, Scottish Fold, and of course, Persian. There are many more breeds that are also friendly and snuggly, though, so we’d recommend looking them up.
Finally, older cats are likely to be into cuddling and hugging you as they wouldn’t be as active as they once were. So make sure to give your older and ill cats their fair share of care and attention.
Benefits of Cat Hugs
Snuggling and hugging your cat is scientifically proven to have health benefits for you and your cat. Let us examine some of these benefits.
1. Gently Stroking and Talking to Your Cat Improves Its Health
In 2014, a study showed that cats who don’t get attention from humans shed much more and are more likely to suffer from respiratory diseases than those who are gently stroked and talked to. This means that you should give your cat some love and attention.
2. How Humans Benefit From Being Hugged by a Cat
It’s not just the cat that benefits from a cat hug, but the human as well. Hugging your cat is beneficial in many ways.
When your cat hugs you, your brain releases oxytocin, just like when you hug another human. You most likely know a little about oxytocin and how it’s called the “love” or “cuddle” hormone. Essentially, oxytocin helps you feel calm and lowers your stress. This means that when your cat hugs you, it actually benefits your mental health.
Additionally, snuggling with your cat, rubbing its belly, and gentling it also benefits you. This is because your cat often purrs during those activities, and listening to your cat’s purrs is scientifically proven to have health benefits. Cat purrs usually fluctuate between 20 and 140 Hz. This frequency is medically proven to be therapeutic, lowering stress, anxiety, and depression. Additionally, it helps you breathe more comfortably and lowers your blood pressure.
Hopefully, this article helped you to understand your cat better, and now you feel more informed about him. Whether your cat is hugging you for warmth, affection, or safety, it’s doing it to you out of all people. Not just because you’re the person in its vicinity, but because they trust and love you. If you weren’t a good owner, then it’s unlikely your cat would want to snuggle with you. Our point is you have every right to feel good about yourself whenever your cat hugs you. Because it means you’re treating it right.
Thank you for reading our article, and again we hope you found the answer to the question “Why does my cat hug me all the time?”.
Finally, just remember to make sure you’re giving your cat the attention it so badly needs. In return, you’ll find yourself showered with hugs and cuddles.