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Discussion Starter #1
My husband has a new and, I must admit, funny thing he does with Murphy. When Murphy is on a wood floor, my husband grabs him by the scruff, says "Want to play kitty roomba?", and swishes Murphy around the floor like a mop. Murphy runs over to let him do it, purrs, stays in that one position so he can get swooshed around, and when it's over stays there and looks like he's hoping for more.

How do you know if something might be hurtful to them? Can I assume that, based on him eagerly participating and not running away, that he likes it? Or could it be a sad thing, like he's just glad to get that attention from my husband? Does he know he's playing? I just wonder if there's such a thing as them doing something to be a good sport, even if it might hurt them.
 

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Without seeing it, it is very hard to judge but my instinctive reaction to tyour description wa to be worried. Please remember that purring can be a reaction to pain as well as pleasure.
 

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I would say if he doesn't run AWAY or try to leave in any manner he probably doesn't mind. From my limited experience they may tolerate things they don't like but they wouldn't seek it out if they didn't enjoy it.

I certainly don't think Murphy is going to willingly be hurt or upset for attention. ;) I'm sure he gets enough from you that he's not that desperate.
 

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Murphy runs over to let him do it, purrs, stays in that one position so he can get swooshed around, and when it's over stays there and looks like he's hoping for more.

How do you know if something might be hurtful to them? Can I assume that, based on him eagerly participating and not running away, that he likes it?
My vote is that he likes it. We do this to Muffin too. He'll be lying on the floor, staring at us and purring away (silly boy...) and one of use will go over to him, grab his back feets (that he sticks up in the air for this) and spin him around in circles. He purrs louder, and will walk over to you, flop onto the floor, and wave his back feet at you to ask for it. It's one of his favorite games.

He also loves being tossed in the air, like people do with babies. It's a game he only does with my SO. He'll go over to 'daddy', and my SO will pick him up under his armpits, and toss him into the air. His tail lashes, and he makes an alarmed face, but if his daddy puts him down after only one toss he gets agitated and runs back for more. *shrugs* He's enjoyed it since he was a kitten.

I think it's Rachel's Magneto that likes spankings??? Doran does too. If I want to play tag with him I'll pat his bum hard, so you hear a solid 'thump thump' but not hard enough to bruise or hurt, and Doran gets super excited, sticks him bum out for more, then rockets away. He does a lap around our main level, then comes back for more. I do that a few times to get him really wound up, then I'll chase him. I whap him again when I catch him, then I turn and run away and he chases me. He LOVES it.

I've said this before to, but one of the games the cats seem to really like is the 'annoy the kitty' game my SO plays with them. He'll sit near them, not looking at them until they look away, then he'll poke them and pretend he wasn't doing anything. Think like a little brother being annoying. Then the kitty stares at him, purposely looks away, and tries to catch him when he goes to poke them again. Another version is when he holds his finger close enough to their ear that he's just brushing their ear hairs. Eventually they'll get bored of this part, and then they'll play that game where they try to put their paw on top of your hand, then if you put your hand on their paw they put their paw on top, ect.
I have no idea why, but our cats do come up to my SO and ask for these games to start. Doran or Muffin will walk up to my SO and put their paw on his hand, the start of that game, or they'll walk up to him sit next to him and pointedly ignore him. It's hard to explain without seeing it, but it's obvious to me that they enjoy the games. I make a point of watching their body language, and making sure they aren't actually irritated and bothered, but they always go back for more!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
He'll sit near them, not looking at them until they look away, then he'll poke them and pretend he wasn't doing anything. Think like a little brother being annoying.
Easy for me to say, but this cracks me up. :)

Thanks for the reality check. I'm on the protective side with Murphy . . . okay, I'm off the charts on the protective side, so I always err on the side of -- NO! That might hurt him! But then boys will be boys, and pretty soon you have a husband swooshing your cat around like a mop.
 

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Haha! Mow likes his back end thumped as well. I can 'PATPATPATPATPAT' really hard above his tail and he just gets more and more excited. Eventually he goes into overdrive and chomps (while still begging for more pats)on me.

I put MOwMOw on his back on the bed with a hand spread over his belly and the other spread across his chest and press him into the mattress and bounce him three or four times before letting him go. Kind of like gentle CPR compression. The bed springs him up on the last bounce when I let go and he takes off zooming around and yowling for me to chase. If I say to him "Ima BOUNCE you!" He starts lashing his tail and flips over onto his back ready for it.
 

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You know sometimes I think Ritz condescends to sit on my lap because she knows I really like it when she does. Then she rolls onto her back and requests a belly rub.
Ritz is a skittish cat and afraid of her own shadow sometimes so I can't play the games you mention. Once she "played" with a plastic garbage bag and a carton of eggs: Ritz, 0; Eggs, 18.
 

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Patting a male cat on the base of the tail is like masturbation for them. Same with a dog; but with dogs it is male or female. I try not to get them excited in that way.

I have one cat that likes to be twirled in a circle while they lay on their back on the floor.

I had one little longhaired black and white that loved to have her fur gently pulled. The breeder said her mother would pull the kittens' fur when she groomed them. Sapho loved to have her fur gently yanked and would collapse in a purring puddle on the floor. The breeder stopped breeding her mother because she felt the mother was performing kitten abuse during the grooming. The mother did not groom herself by pulling her own hair; just the kittens'.
 

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i think cats will tolerate some things from very small children occasionally (but you can't count on it so i don't let small children get close to my cats if they are visiting) but i don't think they let adults do things they don't like without complaining or at least running away.

every cat i've ever had likes to played like a bongo. i don't mean over the base of their tails, just on their sides or wherever, in a rhythmic way but of course not hard enough to hurt. i also wave them in the air if i'm lying in bed by holding them and lifting them as high as they will go, but baci won't let me do this. i like to make them "dance" but i don't do it very often. some people say making them dance is torturing them but i don't think so as long as i don't do it for a long time or if i can tell they don't want to. i also play fetch sometimes and palm the ball or toy instead of throwing it. i know that's a messed up thing to do because they're like, "WHERE?" but it's so funny. then i throw it.
 

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Sounds like Murph-man is having fun. I doubt he would let it continue if it bothered him. But I will say that some cats will do things just to please us humans...I used to put hats on Onyx and she would sit there giving me the evil eye, she'd raise a paw to try and take it off and I would just quietly say "no" and the paw would slowly come down. A few minutes later she would slowly try again...and I'd say "no" and the paw would come down. Yes...I can be a mean mommy...
 

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Patting a male cat on the base of the tail is like masturbation for them. Same with a dog; but with dogs it is male or female. I try not to get them excited in that way.
...Where on earth did you get this idea? I can say with certainty that this is just silly. I've pet/scratched/patted many dogs and cats like this and they all like it, yes, but I've never seen anything to even hint at it being what you describe.

IMO they like it because they have a lot of nerve endings in that area, and it's also a place they can't easily scratch for themselves when it itches. I'd liken it to having someone scratch your back in a spot you can't reach. It feels good, but not the way your describing.

I've never met an animal that seemed to get sexually excited by this AT ALL. Since I worked at PetSmart for three years I've met a LOT of dogs, and I scratched many of them on their lower back. Not ONE had this type of reaction. My cats certainly don't react that way.

Excited and enjoying it, yes. Masturbating...hardly.
 

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I'm no expert on cats but I've been around intact male and female as well as spayed dogs my entire life. Many of them stud dogs and brood cats and it can't be compared to masturbating. Otherwise male dogs would walk around with very obvious evidence of excitement everytime someone scratched them or smacked them on the backside.

A silly comparison.

I've seen MowMow excited (poor Book) and how he reacts when he's feeling...friendly... and it's not even remotely the same thing.
 

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My sister told me something similar - that scratching or thumping the back at the base of a girl cat's tail makes them raise their butt because they're (in her words) "Getting ready to do it."

If that's not the case it makes me feel a bit better about it.
 

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Even if that's the case there's a world of difference between an obscure subconscious "getting ready to do it" and "is like masturbation for them".
 

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My husband picks them up over his head and looks up at them and talks to them. Sometimes he wags them back and forth over his head. I'm like, put him down, you're scaring him! But the cat really doesn't seem to mind. Men just naturally play "rough" I guess. I think the cat gets that they're playing. My cats sure as heck play rough with each other. He also does the bounce them in the mattress thing. My poor cats have to tolerate the kids too. I guess if they hated being carried around like a sack of potatoes they would stop going around the kids and asking for it. I have to put limits on the carrying around because it annoys the heck out of me even if it doesn't bother the cats, which I feel like it does on some level.
 

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Whenever Io's in boxes or bags she lets my partner "Take her to Mars." He picks it up and zooms her around, showing her high places and things she can't normally see. She seems alright with it and will jump in a box and cry until someone pays attention to her.

Sometimes (especially when she's in bags) it makes me nervous because I imagine the bottom falling out and her going flying.
 

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My sister told me something similar - that scratching or thumping the back at the base of a girl cat's tail makes them raise their butt because they're (in her words) "Getting ready to do it."

If that's not the case it makes me feel a bit better about it.
The only time that I would say there's anything to this is if you have an intact female who's in heat. If you've ever seen this behavior it's very obvious. Jitzu used to crouch low to the ground, stick her bum up, and yowl. A previous roommate (who I had several serious talks with after I saw this, and I in NO WAY think this is ok to do, just to clarify) used to use his foot to pu8sh her bum down. When a cat in heat is in this pose her spine goes rigid, so by pushing her bum down he would end up lifting her front end off the floor, then she would scream (like the female does after mating) turn around and launch herself at him (as though he was her mate).

If a female is in heat touching her back there does encourage her to go into the mating posture, so in THIS CASE it would be pre-mating behaviour. But...if it is pre-mating then any cat who had this done should crouch into the mating pose, which they don't do. They arch their backs into the touch and lift their hips up high, trying to get more contact. I've never seen that behavior in a female in heat, they slink away from the contact and crouch.

My husband picks them up over his head and looks up at them and talks to them. Sometimes he wags them back and forth over his head. I'm like, put him down, you're scaring him! But the cat really doesn't seem to mind. Men just naturally play "rough" I guess. I think the cat gets that they're playing. My cats sure as heck play rough with each other. He also does the bounce them in the mattress thing. My poor cats have to tolerate the kids too. I guess if they hated being carried around like a sack of potatoes they would stop going around the kids and asking for it. I have to put limits on the carrying around because it annoys the heck out of me even if it doesn't bother the cats, which I feel like it does on some level.
I think the important thing to realize with this sort of play is whether your cat likes it or not, and the difference between cats. My SO would NEVER play with Jitzu the way he plays with the boys. He knows that she would absolutely hate it. Torri too, he does play the toss game with her, but he never plays too rough with her otherwise because my SO knows she's not that kind of cat.

Muffin and Doran we can basically do whatever we want to (think cat-zooka...Muffin'a back legs tossed over my SO's shoulder, his front legs held together and his front end pointed at a target, usually me, then he get's 'loaded' like a shotgun, and 'shot' at me. Muffin LOVES this game.) but SO knows Torri and Jitzu aren't the same way.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
My husband picks them up over his head and looks up at them and talks to them. Sometimes he wags them back and forth over his head. I'm like, put him down, you're scaring him! But the cat really doesn't seem to mind. Men just naturally play "rough" I guess. I think the cat gets that they're playing. My cats sure as heck play rough with each other. He also does the bounce them in the mattress thing. My poor cats have to tolerate the kids too. I guess if they hated being carried around like a sack of potatoes they would stop going around the kids and asking for it. I have to put limits on the carrying around because it annoys the heck out of me even if it doesn't bother the cats, which I feel like it does on some level.
You sound like me! I'm all, "Watch it! He doesn't like it!", and I seem to be outnumbered by the two boys involved, my husband and Murphy. Murphy loves him otherwise, too.

I thought I read somewhere here that cats' spines are very sensitive, and you shouldn't pat them or tap them on the spine?
 

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Un-neutered queens do respond to being rubbed in the spinal and pelvic area above the tail. I don't know if it's true but it used to be said that it could help them finish ovulating a bit more quickly.
 

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You sound like me! I'm all, "Watch it! He doesn't like it!", and I seem to be outnumbered by the two boys involved, my husband and Murphy. Murphy loves him otherwise, too.

I thought I read somewhere here that cats' spines are very sensitive, and you shouldn't pat them or tap them on the spine?
i don't know how sensitive they are but out of all animals, their spinal columns & neurological anatomy is the most similar to humans, so that's why they've done a lot of research with them for spinal cord injury. i pat mine, i don't pound them, and so far i've never paralyzed any of my cats.:D
 
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