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A close-up photo of a brown tabby cat with large, expressive green eyes and a pink nose. The cat is being held up, with a blurred background of indoor settings.
Pet Blog

How to Get My Cat to Like Me

Cats’ independent behaviors often get them a reputation of being aloof and indifferent, but the truth is they need attention just as much as any other pet. Let’s get something out of the way first, as much as you think your cat(s) hate you, they don’t. If they’re acting a little unfriendly it’s not because they’re plotting an escape or revenge plot, it’s usually because something in their environment has made them uncomfortable. You can determine how your feline feels via their body language. You can combat these situations by approaching them appropriately and playing with them on their terms.

Introduce Yourself Properly

The biggest way you can get your cat to like you is to introduce yourself to them properly. It’s like those unread articles people on LinkedIn share that say, “a good introduction can go a long way.” Cats introduce each other by touching noses, and you can simulate this interaction with your finger – E.T. phone home style. Meet the cat at their level and slowly offer your finger for them to sniff, touch or even rub noses with. This kind of interaction is a successful introduction that lets them meet you when they’re ready.

Keep it Cat-sual and Nonchalant

After introductions, you may want to just smother them with love, but this is where you should do the opposite. Play it cool and act aloof towards them. Those with aversion towards cats and those with cat allergies will tell you that cats seem to be attracted to them. That’s because, just like the ex-boyfriend who keeps calling after every break up, cats love what they don’t have. Don’t make eye contact with your cat, avoid hovering over them and don’t try to make noises to call them over – despite the namesake, cats are not a fan of catcalling. You’re essentially going with the Katy Perry school of thought and playing hot and cold with your cat. Giving them the cold shoulder will make them crave your attention which you can give once they approach you.

Feline Fun time and Proper Petting

Now that they’re choosing to hang out with you and vying for your attention, you can start giving your cat all the love you desire. The best way to enhance your bond is to play with your cat. Short play sessions with something like a wand toy or ball-and-track toys will stimulate their minds and entertain them. The important key here is to know when to stop. When your cat becomes less interested in playing, then it’s time to quit. Constantly trying to regain their attention after they’ve become disinterested is a major turn off for cats (and most people on Tinder). Cats will come to you when they want to play again so just let them do their thing. Now with your established relationship, you may find instances where your cat will want you to pet them but be sure to do so gently and with insight. Generally speaking there are more places they like to be pet than not but a relevant study found cats especially enjoy pets on their forehead and cheeks.

The biggest thing to remember about getting a cat to like you is to react appropriately to how they feel. Just like with people, you can’t force a cat to like you. Analyze your cat’s body language to determine how they feel before proceeding. This can be a little difficult for first-time cat owners, but once you understand that cats will greet you and seek attention on their terms its more likely you’ll experience those moments of affection you’ve been craving. Feeding habits can also help you establish a quality relationship. Surprisingly, you should not overfeed your cat to gain its affection. A balanced diet makes them happier and more likely to be excited to be with you. Soon you’ll earn your feline friend’s trust and they’ll be nestling up in your lap as you binge watch shows on Netflix or walking between your legs as you try to get something from the fridge.