LIFESTYLE
08/10/2013 08:48 BST | Updated 16/10/2013 08:06 BST

Cats Get Stressed When Stroked, Who Knew?

There's nothing nicer than getting home after a long day at work and curling up on the sofa with a cup of tea in hand and the cat on your lap.

But research shows the pleasure derived from petting your feline friend is only one way: cats get stressed when stroked. Yeah, we can't quite believe it either - all these years of purring, damn cats have been lying to us.

According to animal behaviour experts, all kittys hate to be stroked but some are willing to tolerate it.

cat stroke

In fact, cats release hormones linked to stress and anxiety when handled by humans.

"Our data suggests cats who tolerate, rather than enjoy or dislike being petted, seem to be the most stressed," said Professor Daniel Mills, Lincoln university.

Man's Best Friend? Dogs Have Feelings And Emotions Like Humans, Says Study

The conclusion? If you love your cat, leave it alone.

The findings, published in the journal Physiology & Behavior, analysed the behaviour and emotional state of cats living with humans.

But how can we tell what cats are thinking? We spoke to cat behaviour expert Jon Bowen earlier this year who explained how cats communicate. Find out more here.

Pets De-Stressing