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Experts explain which human behaviours irritate our cats most.

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1. Tummy rubs
1. Tummy rubs
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Petting on the belly is generally not welcomed: “Most cats don’t like to be stroked on their tummies,” says animal behaviour researcher Dennis C. Turner, who edited what’s considered the “cat bible,” The Domestic Cat: The Biology of its Behaviour. How can you tell?

“They will (try to) depart the scene or hit you with one of the front paws (with claws extended!),” he says, or they might bite (Turner emphasises that cat bites need to be thoroughly disinfected).

Then again, different cats have different preferences, says Kristyn Vitale, a postdoctoral researcher at Oregon State University, in the Human-Animal Interaction Lab.

“Other cats love when a person pets their belly.” Just be ready to back off if the cat gets annoyed.

Cat behaviourist and author of The Cat Whisperer, Mieshelle Nagelschneider, reveals seven of the most common mistakes cat owners make—and how to fix them.

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