Is petting a cat while praying okay?

Hey everyone. I know this seems like a silly question but my scrupulosity is getting the best of me. I sometimes like to pet Precious, my cat, while I am praying but I have heard that it is a sin to be intentionally distracted while praying. Is it a sin?

I have nothing to back this up, but aren’t we supposed to “pray continually” or very, very often if possible? It would seem absurd that we can’t pray in the middle of other things. :eek:

You may want to set aside a time to focus only on God, but I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to pray while petting your cat. :shrug:

If we can’t pray while petting our cat, then I’m in real trouble!!:eek: Often time when I’m petting him or even playing with him, I pray. With my cat, I mean. Mine is obnoxious enough that he wants/needs alot of attention. But I often pray a bit of thanksgiving for having him in my life. Also, I have started to volunteer at a Humane Society shelter. There, while helping with the animals I find myself praying that they find “forever” homes.

We should not pet our cats while praying, bit we can pray while we pet our cats :wink:

Seriously, tho, it depends on how much you can continue to concentrate on your prayers while petting the cat :slight_smile: And knowing cats, petting the cat while praying may be less distracting then trying to ignore the cat :lol:

No holly, it is not a sin. Make sure to talk to your pastor as soon as possible if scrupulosity is taking hold in daily living.


Your cat probably very much appreciates the air of calm that you transfer to it when you are praying.

Keep praying and keep petting your cat!

You’re showing kindness to one of God’s creations.

That in itself is a type of prayer.

I’ll second this. Padre Pio prayed the rosary while he was conversing with people. I think you need to relax.

I sure hope it’s not a sin…I pray in the shower daily. :slight_smile:

I pet and play with my cats all the time while I pray! When I pray the Rosary, I go about my business, usually doing laundry or even cleaning the bathroom. If I pass one of my cats, I’ll even stop to pet and play with him/her. I think praying while we go about our day gives glory to God.

Thanks everyone for your answers! They are really appreciated! :thumbsup:

And now, because you asked the question, I’ll be reminded to pray when my cats seek my attention.

I imagine Pope Benedict may have prayed while petting cats…:slight_smile:

From what I remember learning, also just from experience. You can pray mentally and you can pray with the full movements, or physical prayer. I pray mentally quite a lot, most of the time walking through my school halls and doing chores or walking around my neighborhood, normally whenever I get the chance. It’s never a problem to pray, and not do the “full focus” prayer such as getting on our knees and doing the movements. Yet a prayer with the movements is always good to do. I normally do prayers such as those in the morning and before I go to bed, and pray mentally throughout the day. Any prayer you do is better than none! (:

I hope your prayer life is well(:

~ Michelle

sorry for the ‘weird names’ of prayers, I can’t quite remember their respectful names. .

Right now there’s a beautiful long-haired 12+ pound cat lying across my shoulders and purring in my ear. When I sit down and lean forward a bit he thinks that means his favorite perch is available. I’m not going to stop praying - or whatever else I’m doing - because he jumps up there. If I scritch his head he stays on my shoulders, but if I stop scritching him he jumps down onto the desk, stands between my arms, and starts rubbing my face.

He even jumps up on my shoulders when I’m on the toilet. :blush: I do have to push him off then so that I can finish the task at hand.

Yes, we are called to “pray continually” but that does not refer to verbal or mental prayers that we say in petition, thanksgiving, or to worship. To “pray always” means a state of soul–to constantly put yourself in the Presence of God. To be aware always that God is near to us, especially when things aren’t going our way. It is a sort of contemplative prayer rather than constantly saying a “Hail Mary” or even an ejaculation. It is the movement of the heart rather than the mind or the lips. I find that I get distracted easily by the common occurances of every day life. That is to be expected. But, when we become aware of God’s Presence, to acknowledge that Presence with a movement of the heart, or to contemplate for a few seconds or minutes how God is present in your life at that moment is what is meant to “pray always”. Jesus was not on His knees every moment of everyday, but He was constantly aware of His Father’s presence. We are to imitate His example. We will NEVER be able to perfect this practice as we are still earthbound. But, when we draw our attention back to Him periodically throughout the day, we will find ourselves happier and more at peace. Prayer comes in many forms. The highest form of prayer is contemplative–uniting our hearts, minds and souls to Our Savior. Contemplative prayer is us being quiet and letting God speak to us through our hearts. That is praying continually.

Well said Sister Terese ! I pray running, and stop for a moment to cross creeks or say hello. I pray driving on the highway, but still look for the cops. I pray cooking or working on cars, as doing these things calms me so I can focus on God. Sometimes just thinking of God for a moment, like playing hockey, that’s a prayer in itself, my heart tells me so. Having a cat nearby will calm many, just as a baby sleeping on your chest!

Yes! You are maintaining what we in religion call “interior peace”. We obviously cannot focus on God every single second, but to gently recall Him in our hearts or thoughts is what Jesus called, “praying always”. This will bring you much peace and comfort! Well done!

I hope not because when I sit in my prayer-chair to pray, my cat Pete always jumps into my lap.


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