5 Science-Backed Ways To Get a Cat to Like You April 14 2020, 1 Comment
Cats aren’t always the easiest creatures to read. Their signs of affection can often be subtle, so much so that they’re easy to miss. It is part of the reason many people make cats out to be mysterious creatures. But ask any cat lover - it's pretty easy to make friends with a cat. You just have to know the best ways to go about it! Here are 10 tips for the best ways to buddy up to your favorite feline.
1. Play hard to get.
According to two Swiss research studies, when you see your cat and really, really want to pet it - it's best to hold back and let the cat call the shots! A Swiss study done in 51 homes showed that when humans sit and wait, often focusing on something else, like a book or phone, a cat is more likely to approach. The study showed the cats were also less likely to withdraw when people responded to their approach.
Yet another Swiss study found that human-feline interactions both last longer and have a more 'positive' tone when the cat both initiates the bonding - and also decides when it ends. Basically, if you play hard to get with your cat, you might find you're suddenly irresistible!
2. Pet them where they like to be pet.
Most cat owners can attest that cats are sensitive to touch. And like people, cats have spots where they prefer not to be touched. A small study conducted in 2002 actually showed that cats displayed positive responses, such as purring, blinking, and kneading their paws, when they were pet in certain areas. The places that cats tend to enjoy being petted are those where their scent glands are concentrated.
Ever wonder why your cat rubs on you or their favorite cat bed? When a cat does this, they are leaving their scent behind and letting everyone know, "This is mine!" Spreading its scent makes a cat happy and content because it makes his environment smell familiar and feel safe.
3. Approach them like a cat.
Cats communicate mostly through body language and scent. Most friendly felines greet each other with a nose-to-nose sniff. Yes, they boop each other hello! If you want to increase your bonding with your kitty, try greeting them the way they would greet other felines. Mimic this 'boop' behavior by offering up a non-threatening fingertip at their nose level. Don't shove your finger in their nose, instead gently offer up your hand. Many cats will walk up and sniff your finger, and chances are they'll give it a rub with their cheek! Success! That's basically a kitty handshake.
4. Make time to play with them.
A recent study on what really attracts cats suggested that cats preferred human interaction over food - however, upon looking closer at the data, the study suggests that what really attracts cats to humans was the presence of an interactive toy. The most preferred toys were a wand toy with feathers, strings, or other prey-like attachments that evoke predatory behavior. For example, this extendable wand toy features feathers that when moved back and forth, imitate the realistic flight of a bird.
Ideally, you'll want to find a toy that is fun for both you and your cat. The Mouse Hunt Toy (pictured above) is an interactive toy you can control from your phone while your cat does all the work. It's a fun, enriching way to play with your cat after a long day at work.
5. Keep your cat indoors.
The indoor vs outdoor debate is a long one. But a study conducted in Italy revealed that cats who remained mostly indoors are more "in sync" with their owners than cats that were allowed outdoor access anytime they wanted. The indoor cats in the study were allowed one hour of access (supervised) to a small garden every day. The indoor cats were shown to be more active during the day and less active at night, when their human counterparts like to sleep!