Can Cats Be Ticklish?

can cats be ticklish?

While playing with your cat, you may have given him a tickle or two.

Sometimes he purred in delight other times he clawed you in disgust.

Now that got you curious; are cats ticklish?


Cats have ticklish spots on their bodies like humans. But unlike humans, cats cannot laugh when tickled. A ticklish sensation may make your cat purr, growl, or hiss. Other cats respond by shaking the head, raising their body closer to you, or sweating the tail.


Are cats ticklish?

cat tickles

Yes, cats are ticklish but they will not respond to tickles in the way humans do.

Cats cannot speak but they will respond with satisfaction (if they like it) or disgruntlement (if they don’t like it) to your tickling.

And of course, cats have ticklish spots on their body and some are more sensitive than others.


Can you tickle a cat and it laughs?

cat being tickle

Humans shriek in laughter when tickled.

Cats don’t believe in wasting their voice or energy that way.

A purr or a scratch is all you are going to get.


It is up to you to discover your cat’s ticklish spots.

This is best done when the feline is in a relaxed mood.

They are more receptive to touch in this state.



If cats could talk, they wouldn’t

-Nan Porter



Also, there are two types of ticklish responses you should know of;

  • Gargalesis
  • Knismesis


Gargalesis is the type of tickle that induces a laugh.

This is what humans, and some primates, experience when tickled.



🐱 Fun Fact

Some scientists discovered that a certain species of rats can experience gargalesis.



Knismesis, on the other hand, is the annoying type of tickling.

The kind that gets you irritated and you wish it would stop.

And you guessed right, this is the type of tickling your furry friend normally experiences.


But cats are not created equal.

Some cats respond positively to tickles while others squirm or run for dear life.

The bottom line, learn your cat’s responses.


Are cats ticklish in certain areas?

Yes, there are certain spots on your cat’s body that feel ticklish.

Though cats are not the same in their responses, the following spots often evoke a response from your feline.


Ticklish part of cats


A cat’s paws are very sensitive.

They use them to sense vibrations on the ground and determine if someone or something is approaching them.

Cats can know if they are in danger or prey is nearby just by feeling the vibrations on the ground with their paws.



Cats leave paw prints in your heart. Forever and for always



The softest tickle on the paws can cause your cat to jolt in surprise.

Some cats will love their paws petted and will respond with a soft purr.


Tickle your cat’s paws and see what sensation it brings them?

If it is joy, then you just unlock a secret pleasure spot for your kitty.

VIDEO: Cat With Ticklish Paws


Top of the Head

The top of your cat’s head, between the ears, is another tickly spot.

Some cats, when petted in this area, will nuzzle their heads towards you for more.

Petting his head gently will cause him to relax and even go to sleep.


Yet, other cats would move their heads away at the slightest hint of a tickle.

You may also notice a cat shiver or shake at the slightest brush of their head.


Behind the ears

Looking for another sweet spot to tickle your cat? Scratch them behind the ears and they begin to purr.

The sensation may cause your cat to lay down and close his eyes, enjoying the tickling even more.


Timing also matters.

If your cat is playing, tickling behind the ears is an invitation for them to scratch or bite you.

Your cat falls to their back and latches at your hand with paws and teeth.

VIDEO: Cat With a Ticklish Ears



The neck is a great place to tickle if you want your cat to relax or fall asleep.

Scratch your cat under the neck or behind.

They will close their eyes and let the sensations carry them.


Rubbing the neck continuously will cause your cat to fall asleep too.

If it is playtime, rubbing the neck would mean something different for your feline.

It could be an invitation to play.

If your cat always wants to play when you tickle their neck, then you have to look for other tickle spots within him.



Learn More:



Between the eyes

Cats are sensitive between the eyes.

Tickling this spot could either make them feel good or get irritated.


Start with a soft slow stroke and see what that does to your cat.

If he closes the eyes and nuzzles the head, he likes it.

If your cat is highly reserved, they may not take kindly to you touching their face.


Tickling the face may be as irritating as pulling their whiskers.

And cats do not like it when you pull their whiskers.


Can you tickle a cat in the tail?

cat tail tickle

The tail is a tricky area as far as tickling your cat is concerned.

Generally, most cats do not like you touching their tails; let alone tickle them.

But if your feline loves it, tickling the tail can leave them elated.


Try tickling the base of the tail and see how your cat responds.

Some cats will lift their lower back to get some more of that tickling sensation.


But if your feline does not like her tail touched, do not tickle them there.

They could scratch you.



The back is a great place to tickle during cat massages.

If you have randomly tried to rub your cat’s back, they raised the back towards you.

It feels good to have the back rubbed and your cat will snuggle closer to you for more.


When not to tickle your cat

  • If your cat seems agitated, tickling them only aggravates them more
  • Do not tickle your cat’s belly, it is super sensitive and will earn you a hiss or scratch. But if your feline likes it
  • If your cat yelps from being tickled a certain are, check for bruises or injuries



Cats are ticklish but they will not laugh as humans do.

They will purr, nuzzle, squirm, or slap your arm away.

If your cat finds tickling soothing, by all means, add it to your bonding sessions.


See Also

Frequently Asked Questions

Cats are more ticklish around the chin, neck, back of the neck, and forehead. While some cats find these areas ticklish, other cats will feel irritated if touched in the same spots. Learn your cat’s ticklish points.

A cat will raise its back to enjoy the back rub more. It may also be a way of being nice to you so you can feed it. Some cats find their backs ticklish and may not want to be touched in that area.

Some cats view being cuddled as a form of resistance. They will try to fight free when you pick them up to hold them. Also, if your cat is sick or in pain, they may not want to be held.

Cats do not like their bellies tickled. The belly is sensitive and any tickling will earn you a scratch.


A pet owner who loves to share useful facts and information about a variety of animals.