How do cats choose their favorite person?

How do cats choose their favorite person? Understand that cats are often depicted as unfriendly, hostile and dismissive pets. This isn’t generally true; they can be very friendly and cuddly. However, it is common for cats to be relatively blunt and stand-off ish. They know what they want and will voice their opinions clearly via both vocal communication and body language, regardless of how this might make you, the owner, feel. In other words, cats are relatively strong-minded animals – they know what they want and will act accordingly to get it.

Favoritism

Regardless if you are a first time cat owner or you’ve had cats all of your life, cats have their favorite people or a certain person that they like more than others. For example, families with a pet cat often find that their cat tends to prefer the company and affectionate of one family member more than the rest of the family. This can even be the case when all family members treat the cat with the same level of love and respect; despite this, cats still sometimes seem to choose favorites.

Cat behavior

As we know, cats are very self-assured. Compared to other domesticated animals (e.g. dogs), cats have retained a significant amount of control over their own lives. They are generally not well-trained, if at all, and largely spend their time amusing themselves, with the common addition of a household cat flap meaning they can even come and go as they please. Compared to dogs, pet cats actually have a lot of freedom and personal choice.

Despite this apparent freedom, cats are very picky and selective animals. It is common for pet owners to expect their cats to want lots of cuddles and affection, however this is often not the case. Even if your cat is perfectly content with his lifestyle and the care and freedom you give him, he still may not often want to cuddle up on our lap. Dogs, by comparison, are generally much more friendly and often readily befriend anyone that welcomes a cuddle or a lick. Cats do not generally behave in this way – they are often very reserved around unfamiliar people and even sometimes around their owners and own family too.

Bonding

To earn the approval of your pet cat and perhaps even the odd cuddle, it can help to bond with him from a very young age. Between the age of 4 – 9 weeks old cats are very open and susceptible to their surroundings and to those around them. What a kitten experiences during these weeks will likely impact on their behavior as adults. Thus, it is common for people who rescue older cats from adoption shelters to have a harder time establishing a strong bond with the cat. This is not always the case – there is no simple formula to understanding cats and their unique behavior. However, if you are able to socialize and play with a kitten from a very young age you are perhaps more likely to develop a strong bond with him for years to come – potentially even becoming his favorite human one day!

Trust

Cats often seem to have trust issues. No matter how hard you try, regardless of what you do, it is sometimes impossible to truly befriend a cat and maintain his trust. They are seemingly suspicious animals, something that many owners perhaps don’t realize or anticipate before adopting a new cat.

Whilst you may often feel helpless when dealing with a cat, the best option is to be patient and gradually earn his trust. You cannot force yourself upon him; cats will be cats! Instead, simply provide everything that your cat requires (food, water, bed, toilet area etc) and be there when he needs you; but do not be overly enthusiastic or expect anything in return. Forcing cuddles and expecting attention from your cat will only frustrate and deter him; this is more likely to push him away than encourage him to choose you as his favorite! Your best bet is to simply look after you cat well, gain his trust and simply appreciate his company as he chooses – be that from a distance or up close and cuddly.

Emotions

Cats are complicated, as discussed. They can be hard to read and understand since they generally do not display their feelings and emotions as blatantly as other animals. For example, you might expect your cat to be more friendly and affectionate considering everything that you provide to him. This is nothing to worry about though – it is important to understand that cats are often perfectly content and grateful, despite not making this clear or giving you big cuddles every night!

In fact, even when cats seem to have a clear favorite, it is quite likely that they actually appreciate anyone who looks after them and treats them well. They may, nevertheless, seem to favor certain humans over others; but if you are providing everything that is necessary then you are doing all you can and that is enough. Cats are, quite simply, very complicated and like to choose exactly how and when to show their affection. This is something you cannot change – cats will be cats!

Separation anxiety

Even when cats are not overly affectionate, it is still possible that they are very strongly bonded to you and the people close by. Many cats actually develop separation anxiety as a result of being overly attached to certain humans. This can cause major distress and upset and is often relieved by introducing another cat into the family.

Conclusion

All cats are unique; and many of them are quite complex. There is, of course, no single formula by which we can understand their behavior and, for example, why they often show favoritism towards certain humans over others. Favoritism is linked to a variety of factors and depends on the given circumstances in every case. The key thing to understand though is that cats are generally unpredictable; they are often very reserved and difficult to understand, even when happy and healthy. Thus, communication is key. This requires a lot of patience on your behalf, as well as ensuring that you provide sufficient space for your cat to come into its own. Understanding body language is essential for a healthy relationship between you and your cat – and that works both ways. Being aware of these simple things, as well as trying to bond with your cat from an early age, will put you in line for potentially being a favorite of his – but just bear in mind that cats will be cats and we may never understand any rationality behind their seemingly complex behaviors.

 

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