How To Get a Cat To Like You
You love your cat — but does your cat love you?
Yes, he most likely does. But it’s kinda hard to tell sometimes, isn’t it?
Why Doesn’t My Cat Like Me?
Your feline shares your house with you. You feed her. You give her water. You talk to her. You play with her.
You are her companion. The odds are — she really likes you. But why doesn’t she show it? Why doesn’t she seem more affectionate?
Your cat is independent. Your cat is not too far removed from living in the wild.
She has survival instincts that may get in the way of her acting just the way you want her to be.
Your cat isn’t a dog. Most dogs trust and bond with humans much faster than kitties do.
But with cats, it sometimes takes daily effort and a certain amount of time in order to get your feline to trust you implicitly and to show her affection.
How To Get My Cat To Love Me
So there are things you can do to win over your feline and build a better relationship.
It’s pretty simple. If you are doing things he likes — keep doing them.
And you may be doing things that he doesn’t really like. If you can determine what those behaviors are and stop doing them, you will probably be well on your way to a wonderful relationship.
How Can I Get My Cat To Like Me More? Tips & Advice
Here are some suggestions for showing your cat you love him and getting him to appreciate you more.
Each of these tips may not work with your situation or apply to you, but here is where to start.
Don’t Approach Them – Let Them Come To You
The best overall strategy is to let them make the first move. Don’t always run up to them, let them approach you.
Don’t rush it. Even if she is rubbing up against you, that doesn’t always mean she wants to be aggressively pet. Watch for her to demonstrate trust in you first.
Take your time. Sit back and wait. Be a little hard to get.
Let kitty start and end each interaction until you two are best friends.
Greet Them the Way They Approach Each Other
Household cats generally greet one another by meeting nose-to-nose.
You don’t want to do that, but if you crouch down, sit or bend down and extend a fingertip down at their nose level, this will mimic their accepted behavior as best as we can.
Most felines will sniff your finger. If she isn’t satisfied, she may turn and walk away. But most likely, she will come closer or maybe rub against your hand.
If you receive a positive response, you may try to scratch her head or ear area and hope for the best.
Pet Them Where They Like It The Most
Lots of cats don’t really like to be touched down by their tail, butt, or lower belly.
If he is asleep on your lap, you may be able to get away with it, but be careful.
Felines prefer to be touched on their cheeks, forehead, neck, and behind the ears. The ears are an area where their mom groomed them when they were kittens. They like that.
If they slow blink, purr or knead their paws, you know you are doing a good job.
Pay Attention To When She Says Enough
If you are paying attention, you will notice when she decides that petting time is over.
She may suddenly stop purring. She might raise her head and look at your hand.
Her ears might flatten back a little or her tail will start to twitch a little.
These signals mean she’s had enough. So stop.
If you stop soon enough, she won’t progress to hissing or swatting at you.
If you don’t overdo it, she will only remember the pleasure of being pet, not anything unpleasurable.
Play With Them
Playing with your cat every day is a great way to bond with them.
Find some toys he likes, such as a wand toy with strings or feathers, and show him a good time.
Don’t let your feline get bored. Or fat.
Dog owners take their dogs outside to parks to burn off some energy. Do the same thing with your cat, only do it inside.
Your kitty will associate you with being their play partner. They love owners who play with them.
Make Them an Indoor Cat
There really isn’t any need for most cats to be let loose outside.
Between fleas, ticks, autos, poisonous items, and other cats and animals, going outside is risky.
It seems that indoor kitties are just more attached to their human owners than are the cats who roam outside.
Leave him inside. Keep him to yourself.
Do a Good Job Socializing Them When They Are Kittens
Kittens that receive friendly and positive handling from humans tend to grow up to be more trusting of humans. Funny how that works.
Kittens that got enough attention, affection and were played with will generally be a more affectionate and happy adult cat.
If you are able to socialize your kitten well, you will be on your way to having an adult cat that will love you their whole life.
If You Adopt – Select a Cat That Will Fit Into Your Lifestyle
Try to select a cat that has a personality similar to yours, or one that will work well in your household.
If you have a quiet house, then a quiet or even shy kitty might work out best.
If you have a loud and chaotic house, getting a highly active and un-afraid one would be best.
It’s hard to tell personalities in a shelter or when they are still kittens, but do your best. Maybe you can even take one home on a trial basis and see how it goes.
Become an Expert in Understanding Their Behavior
Be a diligent observer of how they live their lives.
The way they communicate is often subtle. You have to watch and learn.
Observe how they respond to what you do. What do they like? What do they dislike?
If they hate to be brushed — stop brushing them.
Maybe they don’t respond the way you expected them to. Are they misinterpreting some of your behaviors?
Maybe you will have to adjust what you are doing.
Your cat’s vocalizations are clues to how he’s feeling. If he’s purring, that generally indicates contentment, but not always.
Meowing could be almost anything. Maybe he’s hungry. Maybe he’s saying good morning. Through experience, you will learn the difference.
But growling or hissing means he wants to be left alone.
If he nudges your hand with his head, that’s a friendly gesture. So is wrapping his tail around your ankle.
If his tail is low and he’s hurrying through the room while looking around, he may be worried about something or some other cat.
Don’t Corner Them
Don’t force a cat into a corner or someplace where she can’t simply turn and walk away.
They don’t like the concept of not having an escape option.
Don’t corner them and stare them down, that doesn’t win any friends.
Understand Their Independent Nature
While felines like their human partners, by nature they are mostly independent creatures.
They enjoy their personal space and their independence. They don’t want to be around you all the time.
When they want some alone-time, let them have it. Don’t constantly seek them out and insist they be with you all the time.
Never yell loudly. Never hit them or hurt them.
They don’t understand what you mean. They don’t understand the concept of discipline.
They only understand that you hurt them or scared them. That’s not what you want.
Bribe Them With Treats
Reinforce your kitty’s positive behavior by giving her treats.
Give out these treats on a limited basis to reward a positive social interaction or experience.
When she does what you want — give her a little treat.
She will associate her good behavior and being with you with enjoying a wonderful tasty treat. Good times.
You can use store-bought treats or small pieces of cooked chicken or tuna fish. Whatever works best for you.
Pick Them Up the Right Way
When you pick up your feline, make sure she sees you are going to do it, and then do it slowly.
Don’t run up behind him and swoop him up without him knowing it’s about to happen. That can scare him.
Keep Him Safe & Happy & Protected
Your cat wants to feel safe. He wants to feel like he is in a protected place.
He wants to not feel any threat from another animal.
He wants to have easy daily access to food, water, litter box, sleeping areas and escape routes.
Provide him with his choice of a few different places he could sleep on, in or under. Then let him choose.
A feline that feels safe is a feline that is happy and willing to bond with you.
Be a Part of the Feeding Process
Feeding time is a great time to bond with your pet.
Put his bowl of food down and be there next to it. Be the person in your home who feeds him.
Keep feeding him at the same time of day. If that isn’t possible, feed him at specific moments, such as right when you get home.
Cats can’t tell time, but they know when dinner time is. Try not to vary their feeding times.
Never Neglect Your Pet
Always make sure your kitty has water and food and clean litter when you’re not home.
They need your attention. It’s your responsibility to make sure they have what they need.
If you need to go away for an extended time, make sure you have a responsible and kind pet sitter who will come in and take care of him.
My family went on a three-week vacation once. Whatever the pet sitter did while we were away caused our one cat to start peeing outside the litter box. She continued that behavior for the rest of her life.
Keep Her Business Clean
Cats try to keep themselves clean. They want their living area to be clean too. This includes their litter boxes.
They want their litterbox to be chunk-free and to smell okay.
They appreciate having the same type of litter from day to day, but will generally accept change if it happens gradually.
Brush Your Cat If They Like It
If your feline will allow brushing, then do it. Brushing removes dead hair and anything else that might be in their coat.
It should cut down on hairballs and the amount of hair that gets spread around your place too.
And if she likes it, it can be a terrific bonding time.
Provide Them Scratching Posts and Climbers
Cats scratch things. It’s what they do.
Give them a few great things to scratch on and reward them when they use them.
And if you can provide something they can climb on, they will really enjoy it.
Remember They Are Almost Wild Animals
While we now keep cats inside our homes, that was not always the case.
Up until the last couple hundred years, cats were outside animals. You could find them outside around the barn or field.
We liked them because they chased mice and rats.
Our indoor cats still retain much of the programming they had for most of their existence. They are loners and they are hunters.
If you’ve been around another cat or a dog, they will be able to smell it on your clothes.
Some cats don’t want the smell of any other animal in their home. They may not want to be around you if you have another animal’s scent on you.
Don’t Stare Them Down
Don’t get involved in a staredown with your cat. They don’t like that.
They find long eye contact or staring to be aggressive or kind of threatening.
It can be hard to avoid it. It seems like natural behavior for humans, but felines don’t like it.
So if your cat is scared, turn away and don’t stare.
Once your relationship is rock-solid, then your cat won’t care about you looking at him.
Walk On The Quiet Side
Cats don’t like big noises. It spooks them. So don’t make loud noises.
There is no need to yell at them. You don’t want to scare them.
Just like you wouldn’t use a loud voice when talking to a baby, use your inside voice with your kitty.
Those Long Nose-To-Tail Rubs
Cats like to rub themselves against people they either like or want to mark with their scent.
They will sometimes rub themselves on you from their nose all the way to their tail.
They do this to put their scent on you, marking you as theirs, and it probably feels kind of nice to them too.
Once you are all “marked up” by them, they will accept you more and like you better because you smell like them.
Check Your Body Language
Cats can feel intimidated by a human — humans are so tall compared to a feline.
If you want to make your cat feel less threatened, you should crouch down or sit on the floor.
Don’t be confrontational. Don’t stare at her. Get down on the floor and turn away from her. Wait for her to come to you.
Act calm and don’t make a lot of sudden moves or gestures.
Your cat wants you to be a predictable and trustworthy housemate.
A thing that most cats do is what is called the slow blink.
This is when they slowly close their eyes and then slowly open them again.
When a cat does this, it shows that they are comfortable being around you.
You can return the emotion by doing the slow blink back at them. Just do it once or twice. Don’t get crazy with it or try staring them down.
This blinking behavior is believed to communicate trust and friendliness. It might feel silly, but why not try it.
When a cat lowers its head and slowly bumps it into you, it is showing respect and friendship, and trust.
If you are down on the floor, you can return the favor by lowering your own head and bumping it into theirs.
Go To Sleep
If your cat is jumpy around you, and maybe not totally trusting you yet, just being in the same room as they are and being quiet can be a giant step to having them totally accept you.
And one of the best ways to do this is to just go to sleep.
If you’re sleeping and they’re sleeping, they will become comfortable being in the same room as you, and their trust level with you will skyrocket.
It’s one of the easiest techniques there is.
Teach Her Some Tricks
One way to quietly bond with your kitty is to try and teach her a trick or two.
Cats are trainable. And sometimes they can get bored with their current daily routine.
They should find your undivided attention (and the treats you provide) to be stimulating.
Working one-on-one learning a new trick will be fun for her and grow the bond between you.
How To Make Your Cat Like You
Don’t give up.
It can be frustrating to have a cat that you give so much attention to seem to not care about you.
It seems like you love them, but they don’t love you back.
You just need to keep at it. Try some of the tips above. You’ll get there.
Tips on How to Make Your Cat Love You — Q & A
Why Are Cats Attracted To People Who Don’t Like Cats?
People who are allergic to cats or who just don’t like cats tend to avoid making eye contact with any cat who is in the room, because they don’t want to initiate any type of contact with that cat.
They simply want the cat to ignore them and hope that they don’t come around to them.
But, unfortunately, cats don’t really like people who approach them or stare at them, and they are instead attracted to those who are looking away. They consider someone who is looking away to be showing respect to them.
So they always seem to approach the person who doesn’t want to be approached.
Do Cats Like Having Their Belly Rubbed?
Sometimes cats will roll on their backs and show you their belly.
Does that mean they want you to rub their belly? Probably not.
When they lay on their back, they are demonstrating how comfortable they are being around you.
Some cats will let their owners pet their bellies a little bit, but it is such a vulnerable area, most felines are not comfortable with it.
Why Won’t My Cat Sleep With Me?
It’s hard to know for sure. Some cats are just more comfortable being alone.
Try putting a folded, heated blanket on your bed and put him on it. Some cats simply can’t leave a hot blanket.
How Can I Make My Small House More Fun For My Cat?
Do unexpected things to surprise them.
Place some cardboard boxes around for them to crawl into and explore. Or you can hide individual pieces of dry cat food around for them to find and play with.
Why Does My Cat Just Squirm When I Pick Her Up?
Look, some cats just never develop the urge to be picked up. It never becomes comfortable to them.
You can work on it by regularly picking her up for very short moments and maybe one day you’ll be able to hold her for as long as you like.
Why Does My Cat Sleep on the Hard Wood Floor?
Maybe she just likes that spot for some reason. Sometimes felines just lay down wherever they were standing.
Or maybe she was thinking about playing with a toy that is nearby, but eventually decided it was too much work and just lay down.
How Will I Know My Cat Loves Me?
Oh, you will know when they really love you. They might do these things:
- He will follow you around
- He will bring you a gift
- He will want to be where you are
- He sleeps with you
- He greets you at the door
- He sits on your book when you try to read
- He wants to be on your lap or right next to you
You’re going to have a great relationship with your kitty.
Just use your common sense and have patience. They are complicated little creatures. Good luck.
NOTE: This article is not intended to be any type of medical or veterinarian advice. You should not rely on this article for professional advice. The author of this article is not a doctor or a veterinarian. This author does not know your pet or your personal situation. This article should be considered general information only. The advice you should rely upon for your pet and your situation is the help and advice you receive from your own licensed veterinarian and the professional staff who actually examines your pet. Be sure to talk to your vet about any concern you have with your cat.