Cats have a bad reputation for being the aloof ones of the pet world. They’re not as obviously exuberant as dogs and tend to appreciate personal space. It’s hard to tell what a cat’s thinking behind that apathetic gaze and standoffish behavior. If you have a cat that’s particularly indifferent toward your existence, you’ve probably wondered about why they don’t like you. Cats are complicated, but with the right insight, it’s possible to break through their detached demeanor and build a friendly relationship. Here are a few tips to try.
#1 – Speak the Right Language
The only language you and your cat share is body language. You want to show them you’re friendly and non-threatening, and you can use body language to make your point. Instead of looming over them, make yourself as small as possible. Crouch to meet them on their level and avoid stretching your arms out away from your sides. Remember eye contact can be conveyed as a sign of aggression, and overbearing attention is intimidating. No matter what move you make, keep it slow and calm.
#2 – Play Hard to Get
Every cat lover’s first instinct when faced with a prospective feline friend is to rush over and dole out cuddles. But before you entrap your cat into an unwelcome embrace, remember aloof cats value personal space and are easily startled. Being too forceful with your intentions will either cause the cat to lash out, run away, or quietly contemplate your demise. Reign in your enthusiasm and let them come to you. Sit on the floor with your hand outstretched and wait patiently for them to make the first move.
# 3 – Work on Wooing
Convincing a cat to like you is a lot like persuading a person to date you. You want to get to know their likes and dislikes and show them you care about what makes them happy. Feline personalities can be as diverse as humans’. Spend time observing your cat and take note on how she likes to spend her time and how she feels about specific things. You can’t have this conversation over a slightly awkward dinner date, so this process might take trial and error.
#4 – Keep Calm
While a dog is already jumping and ready to play the second you walk through the door, cats tend to appreciate the quieter things in life. They’re not interested in exuberant interactions or a lot of sound or movement. Those things are more likely to send an aloof cat running for the safe haven under the bed rather than your arms. You want your cat to view you as a centralized source of calm. Try not to show anger or frustration when Kitty is watching and be a positive, stress-free part of their life.
#5 – Treat Responsibly
One thing cats have in common with dogs is their love of food. When all else fails, it’s okay to resort to a little bribing. Cats tend to like the hand that feeds them, but that doesn’t mean you should be doling out treats all day long. Use them strategically as a reward for a good social interaction. Choose healthy treats your cat will get excited about, but remember to consider that extra calorie intake when planning their meals.