It’s a pretty great feeling when your family’s cat walks into a room and ignores everyone but you. They make a beeline for your lap, and you know beyond a doubt that you are your cat’s favorite person. Even though cats aren’t as outwardly affectionate as dogs, that doesn’t mean they don’t form powerful friendships with humans. If you are your cat’s Chosen One, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Having a strong bond with a cat is truly special.
Here are a few factors that go into a cat’s decision to choose their favorite person. If you haven’t met your feline’s high standards, consider these tips to help win them over.
Kittens go through an early socialization period when they’re only a few weeks old. During this time, they’re more open to new experiences. It’s a critical time frame, and they often form strong bonds with the people they meet.
But even if you adopt an adult cat, and not a kitten, timing will still play a role in how your cat chooses their favorite person. You can’t expect a cat to trust you right away. Forging a bond takes time, and the person with a head start will usually have an advantage.
So, if you make an effort to bond with your cat during the first few days and weeks that you’re together, you set yourself up for becoming an extremely important person in their life. If you play your cards right, that early bonding could help you seal the deal when it comes to becoming your cat’s favorite person.
But even if you’ve had your cat for years, remember that affections can still grow with time. You might not be your cat’s favorite person today, but that could change in a year, or even a month. By continuing to be there for them, you’ll eventually show that you’re worthy of your cat’s undying friendship.
Friendship with a cat is just like any other relationship: It won’t work without clear communication. Your cat isn’t fluent in your language, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have “conversations.”
Cats like to be on the same page as their people. They like to know what you’re thinking and why you do what you do. Without that communication, there will always be a friendship-threatening disconnect. Your cat will never be quite sure what to expect from you, and that could keep you off that “favorite person” pedestal.
While every cat is different, most of our feline friends feel most connected to the people they understand. They choose their favorite person based on how well they know that person, and how much they can trust them. In a lot of households, the esteemed favorite person is the one who has a predictable schedule and takes time to communicate with the cat.
You don’t need to have long conversations (although there are several benefits to talking to your cat). All you have to do is be clear with your intentions, use the appropriate tone of voice, and throw in a few kitty body language moves, like a head bump or soft stare. With an open channel of communication, your cat will be more comfortable in your presence, and you’ll benefit from a stronger bond.
In addition to being a good communicator, a cat’s favorite person is often the family member who puts effort into spending quality time. Don’t get this mixed up with the person who spends the most time with the cat. There’s a difference between quality and quantity, and your cat knows it.
Quality time is all about strengthening your friendship. It’s fostering a deeper connection than just two living beings who happen to be in the same house–even if one relies on the other for food. In most cases, a cat will feel closest to the person who makes a real effort to get to know them and spend time with them.
That favorite person could be the person who takes 15 minutes every day to twirl the feather wand or toss a catnip mouse. Or it could be the person who brushes the cat, invites them to nap in their lap, or simply talks to the cat while keeping them engaged in their everyday life.
Every cat has a different personality. Some are rambunctious and mischievous, and others prefer the quiet and calm. And just like people, cats tend to make friends with those who have similar personalities.
If you’re always active or loud, a shy cat probably won’t seek out your attention. A cat that loves to play, however, might see you as the perfect person to hang out with.
If you’re determined to get on your cat’s good side, you need to respect your cat’s emotional needs. You need to understand the traits that make them unique, and care for them accordingly.
Whether you are without a doubt your cat’s favorite person or still trying to climb that ladder of affection, the only thing that matters is your cat’s happiness and safety. You can continue to grow your bond every day. All you have to do is put in what you want to get out.