Study: Petting might be stressing out your cat

When it comes to pets and petting, the two have always gone hand in hand. It has always been a universal sign of affection between you and your furry pal.

But, a recent study published in the journal Physiology & Behavior may prove otherwise. Researchers tested the levels of stress hormones in cats that lived alone, in pairs and in small groups in the same home. What they discovered was that cats, whether living alone or in groups, need their own space from both humans and their own kind.

The data showed that when cats tolerate being touched that they are actually the most stressed in comparison to cats that enjoy being petted and cats that dislike it completely.

So what can cat owners do about their pet’s levels of anxiety? The researchers recommend that humans allow the animals to be in control of their environment by giving them a dedicated space to eat drink and use the bathroom – especially if they live in a group. Keep the handling to a minimum and you could see your cat’s attitude turn around.

[NY Daily News]