If you are a cat person, you know how wonderful and amazing creatures cats are. They are graceful, intelligent, independent, and adorable bundles of joy.
Our cats make us laugh with their silly antics, comfort us with their gentle purr, and enrich our lives with their presence. But sometimes, our little fellow can also make us feel something else. Yes, you’ve guessed it right! A strong desire to squeeze them!!
But, why did we feel that overwhelming surge of love and affection? Why do we get that irresistible urge to squeeze our furry friends? Well, you’re not the only one to feel this way. We all experience this strange sensation, whether you own a cat or just see a cat in front of you.
So, remove all the worries from the head, because you are about to get all the answers you are looking for, and get ready to learn about this strange but common reaction to cuteness. Let’s begin…
What is the urge to squeeze cats?
Have you ever looked at a cute cat, when it crossed in front of you, and felt the urge to pick it up and hug it tightly or pinch its cheek? If so, you’re not alone. Many cat owners and lovers experience this feeling, which is sometimes called “cute aggression” or “squeezing”.
So, what does it mean to “squeeze” a cat? Well, it means to express your affection for it, by holding it gently, squishing its fluffy paws, belly, or cheeks. It’s like “Squee, squee you little softy marshmallow!!”
The urge to squeeze cats is very common among cat people. According to a study by Yale University, about 54% of participants reported feeling cute aggression when they saw endearing pictures of cats. Oh boy, just seeing pictures of those little, cute animals brings about that squeezing urge. Imagine what would happen when we see those fur-balls in real life?!
But is the urge to squeeze cats normal? The answer is yes, it’s completely fine, and it does not mean that you are being violent or cruel with your cat. In fact, it may indicate that you have a strong bond with your feline companion, and you appreciate its cuteness.
Why do people experience the urge to squeeze cats?
Cats are indeed adorable creatures that can melt our hearts with their fluffy fur, big innocent eyes, and cute expressions. And sometimes this cute, overloaded face makes us feel the urge to squish them. But why do we feel this ? Is there any logical reason behind it ?
Well, there is an old-saying that goes “There is no logic in love and affection”. But, there are some possible reasons why cat owners may experience the urge to squeeze their pets.
- Human natural instinctive behavior: Just like cats or other animals, we as humans also exhibit instinctive behavior. “Squeezing” is a natural response when we see cute and cuddly objects or creatures, and cats are incredibly cute, irresistible creatures. It becomes an uncontrollable urge to squish these little furry friends. [click this link to learn more about why do you want to squeeze cute things]
- Releasing the “love hormone”: Another possible reason can be release of “oxytocin hormone”, which is often referred to as “love hormone”. It is released when we engage with our cats like cuddling, kissing, or pinching their soft cheeks.
- Social bonding with cats: Theory shows that we squeeze cats to show our affection and attachment to them. Squeezing enhances our emotional connection with the cat, making us feel closer to them. Moreover, it can be a way of communicating our appreciation and admiration for the cat’s cuteness and personality.
- Personality traits or mood states: Some people may be more prone to cute aggression. While others may feel more inclined to squeeze cats when they are stressed or anxious. And doing that makes them feel comfort or distracts from depression. Just like stress balls!!
Overall, a cat’s cute or appealing features are likely to trigger the urge of squeezing. Additionally, you can be triggered by some specific cat’s behavior or playfulness such as, sleeping, yawning, stretching, or rolling over.
What are the risks of squeezing cats?
Squeezing your cat may seem like a harmless expression of love, but it can actually pose serious risks to both you and your furry friend.
First of all, excessive or improperly squeezing a cat can cause physical injury to their internal organs, skin, or bones, such as bruises, broken bones, and others. Cats have delicate bodies that are not designed to withstand excessive pressure or force.
Besides, it can also cause psychological stress and anxiety to the cat, which can make the cat act out in ways such as biting, scratching, or licking itself too much. Some cats may also learn to fear or hate human touch and avoid being petted or cuddled.
Do you know your excessive squeezing urge can get you in trouble with the law? Yes, you heard me right! Squeezing can be considered as animal cruelty, and owners may face penalties(e.g., fines, jail times, or other legal consequences), or even lose ownership of their pets as a result.
To avoid accidentally hurting your cats, you should be gentle and cautious when showing affection to your feline friends and consider alternative ways to bond with them.
How can cat owners manage the urge to squeeze their cats?
So, if you don’t wanna hurt your little kitty by squishing them like a stress ball, you have to manage your strong desire. But how to do that ? Here are some possible ways to redirect the urge to squeeze.
- Use gentle, and appropriate touch instead of squeezing. For example, you can pet your cat softly on the head, scratch behind their ear, or rub their chin.
- Make sure you pay attention to your cat’s body languages and signs of comfort or discomfort. As some cats may not like being touched at all, so respect their boundaries.
- Use verbal praise or treats to reward your cat for being cute or well-behaved. This can reinforce positive association and strengthen the bond.
- Take a picture or video of your little kitty, and share it with others who appreciate and adore cats. It can help you express your admiration for your cat, without physically harming them.
- Last but not the least, seek professional help if you feel that your craving to squeeze is uncontrollable. You may have an underlying psychological issue that needs to be addressed by a therapist.
What techniques can cat owners use to reduce the urge to squeeze cats?
We know how hard it’s to resist the temptation when we see a fluffy cat in front of us. Their cuddliness, sweet and endearing face can make us feel a strong crave to cuddle or squeeze them. It may seem a way of showing affection, but it can also be harmful for our little fellow.
There are 3 effective techniques that can help you to reduce the temptation of squeezing cats.
- Mindfulness practices: It’s the ability to pay attention to the present moment without reaction. It can help you to be more aware of your emotions and impulses, and choose how to respond to them.
- When you feel the urge of squeezing, you can acknowledge it as a natural feeling, but not act on it!!
- You can focus on your breathing, your senses, or your surroundings, and let the feeling pass.
- Breathing exercises: This exercise can aid to calm down the nervous system, regulate the emotional arousal that may trigger the urge.
- Try the 4-7-8 breathing technique, like inhale for 4 seconds, holding for 7 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds.
- Repeat this cycle for a few minutes until you feel more relaxed and in control.
- Relaxation techniques: This technique can help reduce stress and tension that may contribute to the strong inclination to squeeze.
- Try progressive muscle relaxation, such as tense and relax different muscle groups in your body.
- Start from feet, and work your way up to head. It will release any physical tension.
By following these pro techniques, you can easily reduce your urge to squeeze your cat. So, say bye-bye to harming your cat and adore them without risking their safety.
So, in the end, we hope our little article has given you all the answers you were looking for about the urge to squeeze your little cat. It can be seen as harmless love you’re showing to your cat. But for our delicate fellow, it can be harmful for them.
But with our tips and techniques, you can adore and love your cat as much as you can without this squeezing desire!
Now it’s time for you to share with us your experience, and how you manage your strong desire of squeezing your fur-ball in the comments below.