Cats have a reputation for pretty tough customers. They appear aloof and disinterested for the most part (until you come bearing snacks or doused in catnip) and if you displease them, the consequences can be brutal.
The truth is cats aren’t as tough to win over as they may appear. You don’t need bribes or clever tricks up your sleeve, just some handy tips and advice to get cats to like you.
Tips on how to get a cat to like you
When you meet a new person, there are appropriate stages to the interaction that govern almost all relationships. Meeting a new person, you wouldn’t immediately tell them your deepest darkest secrets. You would start with an introduction and gradually reveal more about yourself building trust over time. It’s a gradual process that builds over time.
It’s the same with cats. Your relationship will move through various stages until there’s enough trust to become even closer. First, you must establish trust which can take time.
Here’s a list of things you can do to make yourself instantly more appealing to felines and begin to build trust:
Play it cool
If you love cats, it can be challenging to restrain yourself around them. You see a cute kitty and immediately charge at it, making shrill noises, and getting all up in its grill, smothering it with kisses and pets.
Stop! This kind of approach will never end well for you. The biggest secret to becoming a hit with the feline set is to let them make the first move. Play it cool and don’t come across as too desperate for their attention.
Be the cat
Imagine you’re a cat, for a second. How do you think you would feel if an enormous human leaned over you and began touching you and stroking you? Not so great, right? When you approach any feline, it’s important to take a moment to imagine how they are interpreting you. Looming over them like an ominous presence isn’t going to win you any prizes.
Firstly, you’re huge. Secondly, they don’t know you. How can they be sure that you’re trustworthy?
So, how do you bond with your cat? You build trust with cats in a way that they understand. Get down to their level as much as you can. At least try to appear less threatening. Definitely don’t sneak up on them, and don’t try to pick them up without introducing yourself to them.
Read the room
When trying to get a cat to like you, pay attention to the cues the cat is giving you. When they’ve had enough, they will let you know. And this is usually where a lot of problems arise.
Most humans don’t pay attention at this point. They don’t respect the cat’s boundaries and continue to pet or play despite the signals they’re being given. This invariably results in aggressive behaviour from the cat, like biting, scratching, and hissing, and the cat being undeservedly labeled as anti-social or unfriendly.
When you learn to respect the boundaries that your cat lays down, your interactions will proceed much more smoothly. The more smoothly an interaction proceeds, the more likely the chances that the cat will want to engage again in the future.
Air it out
It’s important to give your cat space. No cat enjoys feeling hemmed in or trapped, neither physically nor emotionally. Don’t try to smother your cat with love and cuddles all day. Rather give them space to sleep or groom or stare at the birds in the yard.
It’s very tempting to snuggle up to a sleeping cat – they look so adorable. But bothering a sleeping cat will result in them being a little cranky. And can you blame them?
Cats, like humans, have different thresholds for being social. Some cats prefer more independence while others are a little more clingy and needy. Never try to force your cat to engage when they’re just not feeling it.
Engaging in positive and enjoyable activities with your cat will lead to your cat associating you with positive experiences, thus increasing the likelihood that your cat will want to be around you more.
Play is an extremely important part of a cat’s life. It mimics hunting and is a fantastic outlet for all their energy. Many cat owners are guilty of not playing enough with their cats. In fact, playtime should be scheduled and regular, not occasional, or sporadic.
Playtime is not only essential for a healthy, active life for your cat, but will increase the bond you have between you.
Of course, snacks will also help your cat view you in a more positive light too. Don’t rely on food bribes though – not only could this lead to weight gain in your cat, but some cats aren’t as food driven and these kinds of bribes can stop working.