Befriending Someone Else's Cat

Sam Allemann - Cat Lover and Foster Carer profile picture

Sam Allemann - Cat Lover and Foster Carer

Cat Lover and Foster Carer

Sam has two rescue cats, Edgar Allan and Fela Cutie, and is also a foster carer for kittens - a rewarding and very cute hobby! Being a writer for almost 20 years, her favourite subject is cats.

Befriending Someone Else's Cat

The only thing more daunting than winning over the in-laws is befriending a loved one's cat. The shrewdest of critics, cats can’t be as easily charmed as dogs. No matter how many treats you offer, how many pats you attempt, or how many toys you dangle in front of them, ultimately, they will decide whether they like you or not.

And it’s not always logical as to who a cat takes a liking to.

That’s why the most cat-averse person has them circling around their legs, while the enthusiastic fan might have their feelings hurt by a cat snub.

Whether the cat is the beloved pet of your partner, potential new date, family member or friend, it’s nice to get them on your side.

Play it Cool

No one wants to look desperate, especially in front of such a cool customer. Cats can smell fear – well, maybe that’s not a scientific fact, but it sure seems true.

Rather than rushing at the cat as soon as you enter their home, let them approach you. They might come closer for a curious sniff, wind their way around your legs or purr, but they also might stare you down or completely ignore you. If that’s the case, don’t assume the cat hates you, or you will always be rivals. Your friendship could just take time and effort.

Avert your Gaze

Staring at a cat can intimidate them, so while you don’t need to focus on the floor the entire visit, be mindful of not making too much direct eye contact.

Slow blinking at a cat is thought to convey friendliness, so give that a go. Yes, you will feel ridiculous, but that’s a small price to pay for what could be the start of a beautiful relationship.

Offer a Hand

A non-intimidating way of getting closer to the cat is to offer them your hand to sniff. If you notice the cat is curious about you, crouch down and hold out your hand near the ground.

Don’t forcibly put your hand close to the cat, but let them approach you in their own time.

Cats get a lot of information from our scent, so this is a great way for them to get to know you. It’s like the handshake of the human-cat interaction.

Serve up their Meals

So technically, this could be construed as blackmail, but cats need to be fed, so why not help your loved one out and do this chore for them? Visit around mealtime and offer to give the kitty their food – it’s the best way to a cat’s heart (just like ours)! It could earn you a purr or loving head nudge from the cat, and some brownie points from their kitty parent.

Always check with their owner if it is okay to feed them and how much they need. Some cats have the uncanny ability to pretend they have not yet been fed, so check first before you serve up another meal to greedy guts.

Play with Them

Cats of all ages can enjoy playtime. Grab a wand cat toy, they are irresistible to cats and enable them to keep their distance. Allow the cat to think like a hunter as you drag the toy across the floor and dangle it in the air. Avoid pulling the toy along the furniture for kitty to pounce and scratch at – your pal probably won’t thank you!

Making an effort with a loved one’s pet can strengthen your relationship, and if you’re lucky, you could also have a new buddy.

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