An Introduction to Pet Play

I would like, if I may, to intro­duce you to a fas­ci­nat­ing, unusual, and curi­ous topic worth dip­ping your nose into pet play.

Imag­ine, for a moment, that you are no longer human. You might have the sen­si­tive nose of a dog, or a fox, or the sharp hear­ing of a lynx. Per­haps you are an affa­ble, easy-going piglet, or a pony nos­ing at someone’s pock­ets for sugar lumps and apples. Or imag­ine that you are the owner of such an ani­mal, the adored mas­ter or mis­tress who is the source of sugar lumps, apples, and also gives firm and con­sis­tent discipline.

Pet play is a form of erotic role-play, in which one or more of the par­tic­i­pants takes on the role of a real or imag­i­nary ani­mal, includ­ing appro­pri­ate man­ner­isms, and behav­iour of that ani­mal. Other par­tic­i­pants in the role-play may take on the roles of other ani­mals, or of the owner, trainer, rider, or care­taker of the animal(s).

Typ­i­cally, the sub­mis­sive party takes on the ani­mal role. It is, how­ever, also pos­si­ble for the dom­i­nant party to take on the ani­mal role, and dom­i­nate his or her submissive(s) that way — for exam­ple, hold­ing the sub­mis­sive down with a bite on the neck. Equally, a nor­mally meek and timid per­son may “trans­form” into a were­wolf or wicked cat­girl, and take the upper hand.

Peo­ple engage in pet play for many rea­sons, rang­ing from the humil­i­a­tion aspect of reduc­ing or trans­form­ing a human being to ani­mal sta­tus, or the loss of inhi­bi­tions asso­ci­ated with that ani­mal nature, to tak­ing on a role which allows for nur­tur­ing and a change from the usual roles in every­day life. In some cases, pet play is sim­ply seen as a lov­ing, quiet, cud­dling time where there is no need for ver­bal­i­sa­tions, and the sim­ple act of stroking, rub­bing, and hold­ing the other per­son is sat­is­fy­ing or reas­sur­ing in and of itself for those involved.

The most com­mon ani­mals for sub­mis­sives to iden­tify as are ponies (horses), pup­pies (dogs, or wolves), pigs, and kit­tens (cats, or lions, etc.). Other ani­mals such as bun­nies (rab­bits) and cows are less com­mon. More fan­tas­ti­cal crit­ters, such as mer­maids or cat­girls, are also less common.

Ponyplay often involves the prac­tice and train­ing that a horse owner or trainer would put their horse through. Ponies are usu­ally trained in dres­sage, to pull a light cart or sulky, or as rid­ing ponies, to carry their own­ers on their shoul­ders or back. Do be aware that the human back is not strong enough to take the weight of an adult, so rid­ing on the back of a pony who is on all fours is largely sym­bolic, with the rider actu­ally tak­ing most of his or her own weight.

Puppy play may involve the sorts of train­ing and inter­ac­tion that a human would have with a bio­log­i­cal canine, includ­ing obe­di­ence train­ing, going for walks and play­ing games such as ‘fetch’. It often also includes tra­di­tion BDSM ele­ments of dis­ci­pline and pun­ish­ment. Play­ing the role of a puppy means giv­ing com­plete and uncon­di­tional love and obe­di­ence, in return for the pro­tec­tion and loy­alty that a dog can expect from his master.

Kit­ten play is sim­i­lar to puppy play, with the main dif­fer­ences being the dif­fer­ences between how a human owner would inter­act with a pet cat and with a pet dog. A cat might not play fetch, or walk on a leash (although with time, and patience, you can teach them to do both those things), but you wouldn’t hes­i­tate to clean a cat’s ears or face, or feed her, or give her freshwater. In return, she trusts you com­pletely; she knows you’ll take care of her. She requires firm dis­ci­pline, too — after all, you’re the adult in the sit­u­a­tion, and you know what’s best for her. She’s cud­dly and play­ful, but fickle, and some­times inclined to hide under the bed for no appar­ent reason.

Pet play scenes often include some or all of the fol­low­ing activities:

  • Drink­ing and eat­ing from a pet bowl
  • Crawl­ing on all fours, often required to be naked
  • Wear­ing a col­lar, often with spikes or bells
  • Tak­ing com­mands from your mas­ter /owner/trainer
  • Sleep­ing in a pet bed or on the floor
  • Going for walks on a leash
  • Being required to use a lit­ter box, or go outside
  • Being pun­ished for not fol­low­ing commands
  • Being taken to other ani­mal play events and par­tic­i­pat­ing for prizes
  • Dress­ing as the ani­mal, with ears and a tail
  • Like much of erotic play and role-play, ani­mal role-play in an erotic or relationship-based con­text is entirely defined by the peo­ple involved and by their mood and inter­ests at the time of play. It can be an extremely reward­ing expe­ri­ence for both pet and owner.

human pony wearing her mask

The Importance of Touch in animal play

The rela­tion­ship between owner and pet is one of trust and loy­alty, and it is impor­tant to build that trust and loy­alty right from the start. One of the most impor­tant ways to do this is through touch: pet­ting and groom­ing your pet.

Pet­ting

Pet­ting sim­ply means to caress or stroke your pet. Ruf­fling your pet’s fur, or scratch­ing under her chin, or stroking her belly — all these things are pet­ting. Most ani­mals like to be pet­ted, and as your pet grows more com­fort­able around you and her trust in you increases, she will be more relaxed about allow­ing you to touch her. How­ever, it is very impor­tant when pet­ting a new or scared pet, or pet­ting an ani­mal who has just been sleep­ing and may be dis­ori­ented, to go slowly.

Let the ani­mal sniff you before you pet her, so she can become com­fort­able with you. Extend a hand or fin­ger, and allow your pet to touch her nose to your finger(s); in the case of ponies and cows, it is wis­est to extend your entire hand, held flat, either palm up or palm down. If your pet shows no inter­est in your hand or stares at it sus­pi­ciously, recon­sider your inten­tion to pet her; it may be bet­ter to try some other time. How­ever, if the ani­mal sniffs your fin­gers and then rubs her chin or the side of her face against your hand, lips gen­tly at your hand, or brushes her body against you, chances are she is open to being petted.

Dif­fer­ent ani­mals like to be touched in dif­fer­ent ways, but gen­er­ally this is a safe way to begin. Pet the animal’s head lightly with your fin­gers. Focus on the mid­dle of the fore­head and just up into the hair­line, and the side of the head just behind the ears. Use the pads of your fin­gers, and apply gen­tle pres­sure. While most pets like scratch­ing, it’s not a good idea to try it if you’re not famil­iar with the ani­mal. You might scratch too hard, or too fast. Some ani­mals will get fussy if you scratch them in a way they’re not used to. It’s very hard, how­ever, to go wrong with pet­ting with your fingers.

Rub the palm of your hand from the back of the head down the neck and along the back, all the way to the tail bone, then begin again. Apply gen­tle pres­sure, and make it one smooth, slow motion. Don’t touch the tail, or move your hand along to the side. If the ani­mal likes what you are doing, she will show some phys­i­cal signs of enjoy­ment, most likely arch­ing against your hand or lean­ing against you.

While some pets thor­oughly enjoy being pet­ted under the chin, many will get fussy if strangers try. Sim­i­larly, while many ani­mals enjoy hav­ing their chests, breasts, and nip­ples pet­ted, they may become extremely fussy if a stranger tries it, or if they are not in the mood. Pets do vary widely in how much they’ll let you pet, fon­dle, hold, or touch them. It is pos­si­ble to extend this, but it takes patience, grad­u­ally increas­ing the length of pet­ting ses­sions over sev­eral days or weeks. It is impor­tant to stop pet­ting your ani­mal when you choose to before the ani­mals becomes tired of it; a pet who is always left want­ing just a bit more atten­tion will increas­ingly seek you out and will tol­er­ate more and longer pet­ting sessions.

If you have a pet who doesn’t like to be pet­ted or doesn’t like a par­tic­u­lar part of her body to be pet­ted, you could try to win her over with rewards. Food rewards such as choco­late, sliced mango, or smoked fish some­times work, but it is best to deter­mine on an indi­vid­ual basis what the best reward/treat is for your pet. Some pets will respond to ver­bal approval alone, while oth­ers require more mate­r­ial moti­va­tion. Before your pet dis­plays any sign of irri­ta­ble behav­ior at your pet­ting of her, offer her a spe­cial tid­bit of food, or alter­na­tive treat. Pet her lightly for a short time, while offer­ing her treats. She’ll come to asso­ciate being stroked with more pleas­ant things. Stop pet­ting before you see the signs of irri­ta­tion; if you keep pet­ting until the ani­mal reacts badly, you’ve defeated the pur­pose. Each time you work with your pet, try to pet her for slightly longer peri­ods using the treats.

Sex

Part of the joy of own­ing a human pet is tak­ing advan­tage of the com­bi­na­tion of ani­mal sen­su­al­ity and human intel­li­gence and phys­iog­nomy. Female pets are, like female humans, more or less con­stantly in heat and recep­tive to sex­ual over­tures. Male pets, like tom­cats and male humans, are randy a lot of the time, and per­fectly pre­pared to become randy at a moment’s notice much of the rest of it.

How­ever, the same caveats apply to sex­ual and erotic pet­ting or your ani­mal as to any other sort. Allow her to get used to you, and relax; it is usu­ally a good idea to start with non-sexual pet­ting and move to sex­ual pet­ting once your pet has shown her desire to be touched, by rub­bing her face or body against you. Every pet is dif­fer­ent, and it is up to the indi­vid­ual to move cau­tiously, and dis­cover how best to engage with his pet.

Do note that kit­tens and fer­rets will tend to scratch and bite dur­ing sex unless pinned with a bite or a firm grip on the back of the neck. This scratch­ing and bit­ing is not intended to be com­bat­ive, in most cases; it is merely the animal’s reac­tion to extreme stim­u­la­tion. Pup­pies, ponies, and other ani­mals do not tend towards sim­i­lar behav­iors, although they can become quite vocal at times.

human cat hugging her master's knees

Grooming

Stroking or caress­ing your pet is an impor­tant first step in build­ing her con­fi­dence and trust in you. Once your pet will hap­pily and will­ingly allow you to touch her, you can begin to intro­duce grooming.

Groom­ing is very impor­tant, for sev­eral rea­sons. First, groom­ing keeps your pet healthy and reduces shed­ding. Pets should be brushed and bathed reg­u­larly, to keep their skin and hair healthy and shiny, and keep them smelling fresh and clean. Cows accus­tomed to it will need to be milked daily, or their swollen udders may cause them some pain. Sec­ond, groom­ing your pet allows you to exam­ine them closely for any injuries, inex­plic­a­ble lumps, fleas or par­a­sites, and so forth. Most pets will not vol­un­teer to see a vet, and it is the respon­si­bil­ity of the owner to ensure that if a visit to the vet is required, you know about it. Thirdly, groom­ing your pet allows you to spend qual­ity time bond­ing with them. It is an inti­mate time, but also a relax­ing one for both of you, with no real demands made on either of you.

You wouldn’t hes­i­tate to clean a cat’s ears or face, to feed a horse a piece of apple or car­rot from your hand, to bathe your dog, and then brush his coat until it shone. These things com­mu­ni­cate in mean­ing­ful ways the trust between an ani­mal and a human. A pet depends on their owner for food, water, safety, health, and for every aspect of their well-being, and in return gives their com­plete trust and faith to their owner.

Try set­ting aside a few min­utes every day, either in the morn­ing or the evening, to groom and pet your ani­mal. While brush­ing or comb­ing, talk to her about your day. Try using a dry­brush for the less furry parts of your pet’s body, and a comb or soft bris­tled brush for her hair. If you always do this at much the same time, in the same place, your pet will take com­fort in the reg­i­men — and so will you.

Incor­po­rate teeth clean­ing, ear clean­ing, and/or nail trim­ming into your rou­tine. Trim­ming your pet’s claws or hoofs every few weeks is an impor­tant part of main­tain­ing your pet’s health and pro­tects her, you, your fam­ily and vis­i­tors, as well as the fur­ni­ture. If you aren’t able to trim all 10 nails at once, don’t worry; few pets will be patient for more than a few min­utes, so take what you can get, praise your pet for coop­er­at­ing, then be on the look­out for the next oppor­tu­nity to cut the remain­ing nails. Mas­sage is also a won­der­ful way to con­nect with your pet, and it will not only improve your werecat’s health, but it will also relax you, too.

Keep­ing a pet is a big com­mit­ment, requir­ing not only atten­tion and dis­ci­pline from you, but also affec­tion, patience, and time. Groom­ing and caress­ing your pet are essen­tial to build­ing the bond of loy­alty and trust between pet and owner. The more time you spend with your pet, sim­ply relax­ing and enjoy­ing one another’s com­pany, the more reward­ing you will find the experience.

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