Critter Culture
Win Your Cat's Affections With These Strategies

Win Your Cat's Affections With These Strategies

Critter Culture Staff



Cats get a bad rap for being aloof and unaffectionate, but cat lovers know there are a few tips and tricks to get on a feline's good side and make a friend out of these notoriously nonchalant creatures. Getting a cat to like you can be even more rewarding than securing the easy love of dogs. Here's what you need to know about becoming besties with your new kitty.


Hello kitty

Solid relationships are built out of small moments. Get the basics right by mastering your greetings. Cats greet other familiar cats with kunik. They rub noses to begin their interactions, and you can imitate the gesture by bending and slowly reaching your hand out towards your cat's nose without touching it. Your kitty might sniff at you before working up towards a rub or a lick. Keep up these gentle hellos, and you'll get some acknowledgment.

man and cat bonding Drazen_ / Getty Images


Pick up on signals

Listen, we all have our moods, and there are certain things we just don't like. Your cat's the same, and you must learn when to back off. Not all cats will want to be petted when they first arrive at your home. Your cat might make it obvious when it's displeased by hissing or biting, or you'll notice other hints of discomfort such as swatting, ear-flattening, or tail-twitching. Your cat will warm up to you when you're mindful of its boundaries and attentive to its needs.

American shorthair striped cat with a dissatisfied face Kilito Chan / Getty Images\


Early socialization is the key

Kittens need exposure to humans within the first two months of their lives. Even a few minutes of daily positive interaction can make a difference to cat behavior over the long term. Socialization develops inter-species trust and breaks down fears. Cats enjoy attention and playtime, and if you shower your kitty with both, it will see you as a member of its family and love you before long.

Woman relaxing reading a book while her pet kitten peeks over the top of it looking at the camera. SolStock / Getty Images


Personalities matter

Cat personalities vary just as human ones do. You and your fur baby need to be on the same wavelength. If you're rescuing an animal, spend time figuring out whether you'll be a good match before committing to an adoption. You can foster the cat and see how you get along in your home environment.

Adopted kitten taking his first steps out of a pet carrier to his new family and home NickyLloyd / Getty Images


Play it cool

Cats are curious and like socializing, and they also like the chase. If you give your cat space, it will come to you when it wants company. Cats simply need time to get used to new faces, and they're not keen on people who are too touchy-feely when they haven't been given the green light. When cats are comfortable, and no longer view you as a potential threat, you might spend hours with a heavy animal on your lap as you watch TV or work. Be sure to provide a clear exit route so your cat can depart the scene when it feels like it.

woman stretching at home with cat in lap Jessie Casson / Getty Images


Know what feels good

Cats prefer being stroked on specific areas of their bodies, like their foreheads, cheeks, and behind their ears, while avoiding the belly and tail. What do cats do when they're having a fantastic time? They purr, knead their paws, and slowly blink those inimitable cat eyes. You know you're on the right track when you get these reactions.

Woman strokes cute ginger cat sleeping in bed Konstantin Aksenov / Getty Images


Provide enrichment

Cats are intelligent animals and won't be content to spend every waking moment staring out your windows. Once initial wariness is out the way, the fun gets going. Use stimulating toys to brighten your cat's day, release some of its predatory energy, and keep it mentally and physically healthy. Food puzzles are great, as are simple devices like lasers. Your cat will love chasing the red light and appreciate you for facilitating the game.

A young small grey tabby kitten is playing with laser pointer on the floor at home. Evgeny Zhigalov / Getty Images


Don't look into your cat's eyes for too long

Dogs have evolved to make and sustain eye contact with humans. This is not true for cats, who see prolonged eye contact with anyone as a sign of hostility. So, don't hold your cat's gaze. Take your cue from your lil' buddy's slow blinks, and blink your way into its heart.

cat blinking Susanne Alfredsson / EyeEm / Getty Images


Grooming pals

When they're not tending to themselves, cats often groom each other. Join the groom fest and your cat's clique by purchasing a cat brush and getting in there like Marcia Brady. Gentle strokes coupled with a soft and calm voice are welcome but don't overdo it. Either way, your cat will let you know when it's had enough.

person brushing cat fur cunfek / Getty Images


How to get someone else's cat to like you

If you're cat-sitting, try not to meet a new cat while the scent of other animals lingers on your clothing. Spray pheromones on your shoes to calm your new companion, and don't loom large over it. Sit on the floor and look around so the cat can check you out. Be patient and come armed with treats and bribes.

Woman and cat, top view iprogressman / Getty Images


What Is Cushing's Disease in Dogs?

What Is Cushing's Disease in Dogs?

Get your paws on the latest animal news and information