Cats far too often get labeled with the unfair stereotype that they are not as affectionate as dogs and difficult to read, but a feline named Jeff is reminding the naysayers that kitties are some of the cuddliest, friendliest creatures in the world.
Jeff, a 4-year-old tabby, was surrendered by his owner to New York City’s ASPCA Adoption Center in late May. Soon after, the ASPCA staff realized this friendly feline has an affinity for hugging.
Jody Salbo, the director of operations of the ASPCA Adoption Center, says that while he was in their care, Jeff would often “come very quickly to the front of his cage to offer snuggles and then go right in for a hug!”
Jeff likes to settle in for long hugs, she adds, and tends to put a paw on either shoulder and rub his face against the person he’s hugging.
Heartwarming pictures and video of Jeff hugging people at the ASPCA quickly made him something of an internet star (excellent timing, considering June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month).
Since his hugging photos went viral, Jeff has been adopted into a loving home and continues to inspire others to open their hearts and homes to shelter cats.
“There is nothing more rewarding than adopting a pet,” Salbo says. “We think Jeff’s story shows that cats are lovable and affectionate, and that shelter cats make wonderful companions.”
Watch Jeff embracing the ASPCA shelter workers in the adorable clip above.
Image and video via ASPCA
Aly Semigran is a lifestyle writer for the world, and roommate of Ruby, the cutest dog in the world.