Some recent university studies have shown how we could do better for our furry friends in terms of feeding them and expressing our affection…

Cats obviously like to be petted, but interaction with humans is something they need to get used to over time if it’s to be good for them.

Andres Inkman, Black Ship, Barcelona, Spain
Andres Inkman, Black Ship, Barcelona, Spain

In fact, some of them may react in an aggressive manner to physical attentions whereas others only tolerate physical contact in exchange for rewards such as food or a cosy home.

So here to tell you the best way to pet cats based on scientific criteria is Lauren Robin Finka, a British lecturer at Nottingham Trent University and expert in feline behaviour.

Above all, Finka says, we need to pay close attention to the posture of the cat. Generally speaking, the more sociable ones enjoy being touched at the base of the ears, under the chin and around the cheeks. These areas should be chosen instead of the belly, back and base of the tail.

Tomo, Silk Needle Tattoo, Nagaoka, Japan
Tomo, Silk Needle Tattoo, Nagaoka, Japan

At the same time that we became aware of this study about how to pet cats, we also came across alarming news about the increase in obesity in pet cats. These figures were released by researchers at the Ontario Veterinary College at Guelph University in Canada..

The study – recently published in the Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association – pointed out worrying figures in relation to domestic cats. Carried out with the greatest scientific rigour, it covers the period from 1981 to 2016 and analyses fluctuations in the data over the course of those years. Let’s take a closer look.

Sergio Doce, 12 Lagrimas Tattoo, Mislata, Spain
Sergio Doce, 12 Lagrimas Tattoo, Mislata, Spain

Pure breed cats reach their greatest weight somewhere between six and ten years of age whereas it takes about eight years for a mixed breed cat. The greatest weight increase was found among neutered males who went up by a quarter kilogramme between 1995 and 2005. If we put this into proportion, it is as if a human male had put on about 10 kilos!

Professor Adam Campigotto, one of the main authors of the study, laid the blame on the owners of these cats, pointing out that the fact that they spend all their life indoors prevents these animals from getting the minimum amount of physical exercise they need to keep in shape.

Isnard Barbosa, Legendary Tattoo Studio, Dublin, Ireland
Isnard Barbosa, Legendary Tattoo Studio, Dublin, Ireland

Campigotto also sees the boom in industrial cat food as playing its part: “Too many snacks, for example, can have a great impact on the weight of the animals and far too often, people hand them out in large quantitities as if this were a sign of affection”.

When actually all that the cat needs to be happy is a bit more exercise. Pretty simple, isn’t it?

So enjoy this gallery of the best tattoos dedicated to our four-legged friends!