How do cats choose their favorite person?
More importantly, if you’re not that person, how do you become her?
The answer may surprise you!
Read on to learn more about what makes one person more appealing to kitty than another.
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How do cats choose their favorite person?
To understand how cats choose their favorite person, we have to take a journey back to the beginning, when kitties first decided to become domesticated.
Yep, that’s right, they decided. Unlike dogs, we didn’t domesticate cats, they made the choice all on their own. At least that’s what anthropologists believe.
According to DNA evidence discovered about two years ago, cats actually lived alongside people long before the first records of domestication.
Researchers looked at the DNA from cats spanning across nearly 10 millennia, diving all the way back to ancient Egypt.
What does this history lesson have to do with how cats pick their favorite person?
For that answer, we should look at WHY they choose to hang out with us even before we decided they made great pets!
Why did cats domesticate themselves?
As with all ancient history, the reason why cats domesticated themselves is just as much guesswork as it is science-based.
Researchers believe that cats quickly learned that where there are humans, there’s prey.
See, the world wasn’t so “clean” as it is today. Mice and rats made homes in grain stores and among other food.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how that would appeal to cats! They invited themselves to become a part of our lives, and we quickly realized the benefits of a good mouser.
By now, you’re thinking, “Oh! So the person that feeds him is the person he likes best!” Not so fast, my friend. If it was that simple, it wouldn’t be surprising!
From that lesson, we learned that cats are pretty darn good at feeding themselves.
Sure, they’re perfectly happy to let you fill their bowls indoors, but if you turned your cat loose (don’t do this though), he’d manage to survive.
So, how do cats choose their favorite person, then?
If it’s not about the food, then how do cats decide which person is their favorite?
As with all great relationships, it’s all about communication and bonding.
Communicating with your cat
Let’s start with communication, as your cat’s meow actually has a fairly fascinating history!
Did you know that evidence suggest cats learned to meow just for us?
See, cats don’t meow at each other when they have something to say. Kittens, sometimes, but adult cats? Nope.
They use other methods of speaking, like body language, scent, and even touch.
However, they figured out that we just weren’t getting it, so they developed speech! Or at least a kitty version of it.
Since they went through all that work and evolution just for us, it shouldn’t surprise you that your cat’s favorite person is the one he feels can best understand him.
After all, your favorite person is someone that totally gets you, right?
How can you be the person who really gets your cat? Start by learning what certain meows mean.
Tips for understanding your cat
According to experts:
- A short meow means “hey there!”
- A bunch of meows in a row mean “Yay, you’re home! I’m super happy to see you!”
- A mid-range meow means “please feed me” or “please play with me.”
- A long meow means “obey me now, human!”
- A low-pitch meow means “I’m super irritated with you right now.”
- A really high meow means “ouch!” or “Wow, I’ve never been so ticked off!”
- Hissing and spitting means “Back off! I don’t like you at all right now!”
- Purring usually means “I’m pretty content.”
Of course, like people, cat’s “words” are open to interpretation. By spending time bonding with your cat, you’ll learn what his meows mean.
Bonding with your cat
Of all my cats, I have the strongest bond with Alex the Fuzz. Why? Mostly because he thinks I’m his mama.
See, Alex was a feral, born right near our house to “White Feet.” She used to bring them around when she hunted, leaving them in the relative safety of our front porch.
Sadly, when Alex was just about 5 weeks old, White Feet was attacked and killed, likely by a fox.
Alex and his sister Doppy (aka Doppleganger, because she looked just like Alex) stayed outside our home. Doppy was shy and wouldn’t come near us.
Alex, on the other hand, decided that I was to be his new mama. He’d climb on me and nestle into my coat. He also chased my son around, and even came up to the fence to touch noses with the dogs.
After a little more than a week of that, my mother took him to the vet to get him checked out and brought him inside, where he’s lived happily ever since.
Alex loves everyone in the house house, but he loves me just a little bit more. Experts would say that he imprinted on me, but honestly, I think it’s because I paid the most attention to him.
Don’t get me wrong, my son and mom spend a lot of time loving him, but I cleaned him, cuddled him, kept him warm, and nursed him back to health (he had a bad cold).
Obviously, not all cat owners have the opportunity to be imprinted upon the way Alex imprinted on me. Whether you adopt a kitten or an older cat, the following will help deepen your bond.
Tips for bonding with your cat
- Spend real time with him outside just feeding him. Play together, cuddle, and just be present.
- Give him space when he needs it. Nothing kills a bond faster than forced snuggles.
- Establish trust first before you try petting his belly or other “vulnerable” spots.
- Gently brush him (but only if he likes it)
- Pay attention to his signals and indulge him when possible. In other words, if he’s asking for a snuggle, give it to him.
Above all else, respect your cat
If you want to become your cat’s favorite person, you have to give him the respect he deserves.
Whatever you do, don’t try to force it. Let him come to you. Think about how you feel when you just want to be left alone and people keep intruding.
If you take the time to really get to know your cat and his signals, you’ll have no problem becoming his favorite person.