Cat Massage: A Hands-On Guide

Cat massage is a great way to help your cat relax, and can help protect your cat's health by making you more aware of what's going on with his body. In addition to relieving stress, cat massage can help improve your cat's circulation, can reduce swelling and can help your cat recover from illness. Massage is especially beneficial for elderly cats, as it helps prevent diseases and can ease the symptoms of arthritis. Here's how you can give your cat a massage.

1) Stroke Your Cat The Way He Likes Most

If you've had your cat for any length of time, then you're already aware how he likes to be stroked. Begin the massage by stroking your cat in his favorite way; this helps him prepare for the contact he'll enjoy during the cat massage. While you're at it, you can check your cat for skin conditions, ticks, swellings, and growths.

2) Begin With the Head

Scratch behind your cat's ears one at a time. Rub the entire ear gently between your finger tips, if your cat will allow this. Begin with one ear, then gently scratch the top of your cat's head before moving on to the other ear.

Scratch the side of his face, below his whiskers, then move on to rub the underside of his chin before gently scratching the other side of his face. Return to the top of the head. Scratch behind each ear, and again rub each ear gently between your thumb and fingers if your cat will allow this. Gently scratch the top of your cat's head.

3) Massage From The Top Of His Head to The Base of His Tail

Once you've finished scratching the ears, the top of the head, the sides of the face and the underside of the chin, then give your cat a long, deliberate, gentle stroke from the top of the head, all the way down his back, to the base of his tail. Repeat this stroke several times. Make sure to keep your movements slow, deliberate, gentle, and firm.

4) Massage Down His Back Only

Stroke down your cat's back only, from his shoulders to the base of his tail. This stroke should be deliberate but gentle. Repeat it several times.

Keep your hand wide so it spans his entire back. Keep your movements deliberate, slow, gentle and firm.

5) Massage Down Your Cat's Back And Down His Tail

Repeat the same stroke as before, but this time, stroke down the tail as well. Keep your hand wide while stroking your cat's back.

Squeeze the tail gently, but deliberately, in your hand. Repeat this stroke several times. Make sure to keep your touch gentle but firm, deliberate, and slow.

6) Massage Your Cat's Entire Tail

Now, stroke the entire length of your cat's tail. Squeeze the tail gently but firmly in your hand. Repeat the stroke several times, and remember to keep it slow.

7) Respect Your Cat's Wishes

When giving your cat a massage, remember to respect him at all times. If your cat doesn't like being touched in a certain way, then avoid that stroke for his comfort.