HOW TO: Get a Cat to Like You
It's pretty common for cats to be compared to dogs, but they couldn't be more different. I've got two cats and they're maybe the most loving cats to ever live, and like basically everyone. But not all cats are like that. Not most cats actually.
Like Lifehacker says, humans have been breeding dogs for 100,000 years, while cats have only lived with us for about 5,000 years. So as someone who just introduced a special new someone to their beloved cats, here's a few pieces of advice various experts gave on how to get a cat to like you (click on the link for some more handy tips):
- Don’t look the cat in the eyes. And don’t come straight at it. Wait for the cat to come to you, while you look down at the floor.
- Don’t tower over the cat. Slump your shoulders, hands in your lap, or sit down on the floor. “Have the owner sit with you,” says Inner Life of Cats author Tom McNamee. “The cat gets the idea that you’re an ally.”
- Don’t make noise. Talk very quietly. Keep noisy kids or dogs away.
- Don’t thrust your hand out at it. Once a cat gets used to your presence, you want to gently offer it a finger to sniff, but you need to do this stealthily. Don’t point or hold your palm out. My Cat From Hell host Jackson Galaxy recommends a move he calls the “Michelangelo,” where you dangle your hand with a finger hanging out. "Your fingertip looks like a cat nose," says Galaxy. “And you can introduce your nose to their nose.”
- Don’t rush. Watch for the cat to demonstrate confidence with you, says Galaxy, by walking through the middle of the room or rubbing up against you. Take your time building up to a pet. “You don’t want to pat them on the side or bop them on the top of the head,” says McNamee. Go for the cheeks and behind the ear—spots with glands, where kittens get licked by their mother.
- Don’t give up. “If the cat runs away, you haven’t lost the game, but you’ve lost a round,” says McNamee. Galaxy adds, “In my show, you’ll see my first encounter with these cats seems to go horribly. I can always get them to forgive me.”