In russian we have a word "приласкать" - verb, which we can use to say, "treat with much tenderness". Usually with animals that means they'll start following you around. What is the English equivalent?

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    When you say "with too much tenderness", do you mean "in a way that is actually bad for them", or something else? We sometimes use the phrase "killing them with kindness", like "I know you like giving your dog treats, but you are killing him with kindness - it's not good for him and he is getting fat." But I'm not sure if that's exactly the meaning you're looking for. – stangdon Sep 29 '17 at 19:40
  • @stangdon No, the opposite. give too much kindness - good thing. – SovereignSun Sep 29 '17 at 19:43
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    too much = excessive – Tᴚoɯɐuo Sep 29 '17 at 20:08
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    @SovereignSun: You mean to say: "I've been speaking Russian for 29 years". And "excessive" and "too much" are indeed synonyms. Your sense that "too much" does not mean "excessive" is wrong. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Sep 29 '17 at 20:11
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    Let me throw "coddle", "pamper" and possibly "indulge" into the mix. – Gary Botnovcan Sep 29 '17 at 21:04

English might use different words depending on the details of the situation. For example, my cat likes to curl up and sleep with me, in which case I say:

I like to snuggle/cuddle with my cat.

In other situations I give him treats because he likes them, in which case others might say

I indulge my cat


I spoil my cat

At other times my cat likes to follow me from room to room, or rub himself against me when he wants attention. In which case I might say:

My cat is very needy.


My cat wants love.

All of these may be implied by that single Russian word, but in English they are separate.


If the Russian is specifically physical, meaning, "if you pet this animal it will follow you", I would go with "caress", as it implies physical contact that invites continued contact.

If it is more metaphorical, where you do something that appears kind but is actually not good for the recipient, I would suggest "spoil". However, someone who is spoiled generally demands that the preferential treatment continue, and has little loyalty to the person spoiling them. If the recipient is more made into an (unwanted) follower, perhaps "indulge".


There is, in addition to @Kirt suggestions, the expression, "care killed the cat", meaning that doting on something (the cat) can have negative consequences.

  • I've never heard "care killed the cat" in all my years of reading and speaking English, it's listed as "archaic", and care was apparently used in the sense of "worry", so I don't think it fits at all. – stangdon Sep 30 '17 at 3:23

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