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One of my critters flopped down to sleep next to me while I was reading in bed. I absentmindedly reached out and gave the critter a belly rub. As I rubbed it gradually dawned on me that the belly I was fondling had short straight hair. I glanced over and met the eyes of an astonished cat. Uh oh. Oh no. Petting a cat's belly is simply Not Done.

Realizing my mistake, I stopped moving my fingers and tried to withdraw my hand. He brought his two front paws around and rested his claws against my skin, exerting just enough pressure to hold my hand in place without breaking the skin. He then gave me a firm little nip, just hard enough to put divots in my skin without drawing blood. Having made his point, he relaxed the pressure enough that I could retrieve my hand. Whew.
 

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Cats are predators but also prey, and prey doesn’t love to be touched where they are vulnerable. Sometimes I can’t resist touching my cats sparkly white belly, but usually I get the same warning cow pony got earlier.
 
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I've met a good number of cats that love belly rubs. By and large they were either big extremely confident Toms or very dim. Occasionally cats will present their belly as an invitation to play, but I've learned the signs and not to take the bait. That way madness lies. But most kitties are simply trusting your manners and feel safe enough to lounge with the forbidden fur in reach. Imagine their dismay when their trusted human crosses into the taboo! The best kitties give a gentle reminder like yours did, but I hope people don't judge the ones who are less gentle too harshly...

Now that I've left the follies of my misspent youth behind I no longer chase the forbidden fur, but occasionally I'll partake when someone else has already confirmed that the cat in question appreciates it. There's still that small part of me who likes to live dangerously.
 

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Oh dear. My Ragdolls all loved tummy rubs.

Oh well stick to what works rubbing poodle bellies.
 
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