Many dog owners who consider adopting or purchasing a cat have some misconceptions about what owning a feline entails.
They often think cats — like dogs — are just loveable to any human that shows it affection. However, this isn’t the case.
Typically, cats are more selective when it comes to which humans they favor most.
So, if you’re wondering “do cats have a favorite person?” the answer is yes. But, why do cats show favoritism to one human and not others?
How did cats evolve to exhibit this behavior? How do you become closer to your feline friend?
These are all questions we are going to explore in this article.
Do Cats Have a Favorite Person? The History of Cats & Human Beings
The start of the human-cat relationship begins thousands of years ago.
According to the experts, wild cats were tamed by humans 12,000 years ago(1.) when they entered the era of agriculture and storing excess grains in the Fertile Crescent.
The storage of grain gave a home to mice, which have always been hunted by our feline friends.
With their prey congregated to a single area, wild cats started living closer to humans. Eventually, humans started domesticating cats and attempting to tame them.
However, it’s commonly acknowledged that cats actually domesticated themselves. Since humans consistently provided a source of food, cats decided it was better for them to stay close.
We are, of course, giving a wildly shortened version of the history and process here.
This tendency can be traced back to why and how cats choose the specific humans to love.
Cats choose who they will love when they consider the personality, circumstances, and resources at hand.
Bonding Early With Your Cat Will Help
That’s why it is important to help your kitten adjust to humans handling them and expose them to a variety of sounds, sights, and smells.
This will help your kitten develop into a sweet and loving adult cat.
Since a kitten will no longer rely on their biological mother, they will turn to you for the same comfort, support, and care.
Cats who have spent a lot of time with their owner since they were a young kitten are usually very closely bonded.
However, some kittens who are handled by a plethora of people may grow into an adult cat who is comfortable around humans, but not overly sweet and cuddly because they are not bonded to a primary caretaker.
On the other hand, a kitten could be sweet and loving to one human they bonded with while being afraid of others.
Personality is in effect here as well. It’s very possible for your kitten to grow into an entirely different acting cat.
Thankfully for those who adopt an adult cat, early bonding is not the only way for humans to form a bond with a cat.
How Do You Know You’re Your Cat’s Favorite Person?
Adult and young cats alike will have different needs and it is your job to anticipate those needs and communicate with your feline.
It’s best for humans to accommodate their cat’s specific communication style.
While you may want your cat to be a snuggle bug, not all cats communicate with touch, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be their favorite person without the pets.
It’s plausible that a cat’s favorite person is the one they simply enjoy being with in the same room.
You will have to learn the most effective way to communicate with your cat over time.
Some cats even create a unique and individualized vocabulary with their humans.
This means that you may be able to tell the difference between a “hello” meow and a “I’m hungry” meow.
How do Cats Choose Their Favorite Person?
It’s no shock to those of us who own more than one cat: each cat is unique. Cats develop their human preferences based on early socialization, personality traits, or even breed type.
It’s best for humans to identify their cat’s quirks and adjust accordingly.
It’s not always easy to decipher why a cat may prefer one human over another. Pay close attention to how your cat tries to communicate with you.
Look for signs of contentedness and comfortability when you show them attention or affection.
If your cat goes out of its way to spend time with you and be in the same room, it’s safe to say you’re the favorite person.
Tips to Help You Become Your Cat’s Favorite Person
Here are some tips if you are trying to win over any kitty’s heart:
- Give them food: Cats feel safe when nourished so food is a great way to win them over.
- Engage in play: Combining exercise and attention helps create the hormones that boost a connection between you and your feline friend. Chances are that once you’ve tired them out, they’ll be more likely to curl up and snuggle.
- Positive reinforcement: Try giving your cat a treat or scratch their favorite spot when they do something favorable. Make sure to respect their space and give alone time when needed. Attention and space help strengthen your relationship.
5 Things to Avoid if You Want to Become Your Cat’s Favorite Person
There are a few things you should avoid if you want your cat to love and trust you. We’ve listed them below:
1. Don’t Get Them Wet
While there are some cats (such as the Turkish Van) who love the water, on the whole, cats hate getting wet. With this in mind, we recommend not forcing them to take a bath, unless it is absolutely necessary.
Cats naturally clean themselves by licking their fur with their sandpaper-like tongues.
If you do plan on bathing your cat in the future, it’s important to get them used to water early, when they are kittens.
You can start by bringing them in the shower. Just be sure to dry them off thoroughly with a towel. Never use a dryer as this can scare them!
2. Don’t be Loud
To elaborate on our last point about hair dryers, you should avoid any loud noises around your cat to prevent scaring them.
Here’s a list of things that produce loud noises and can scare your furry friend:
- Hair dryers
- Vacuum cleaners
- Loud music
- Slamming doors/cabinets
Even speaking in a loud tone can frighten your kitty as they tend to be very sensitive.
This is why cats tend to like women more than men as women often have softer, quieter voices.
Whatever you do, never call your cat to you in a loud tone or clap your hands.
This can stress your cat out and will make it less likely that they will trust you in the future.
3. Don’t Stare at Them
It might be tempting to stare into your cat’s eyes, given how cute they are, but doing so can actually intimidate them.
Staring into a cat’s eyes is something a predator would do, which is why we recommend avoiding it.
Otherwise, your cat will feel as if you’re about to pounce and make him/her your prey.
4. Don’t be Smelly
There is a long list of smells that are a natural deterrent to cats and will cause them to not want to be around you.
This includes the smell of:
- Tobacco smoke
- Citrus fruits
- Laundry detergent
After all, cats love to smell their own scent, which they leave on you when rubbing their faces against you.
If you’re wearing a strong perfume or cologne, or smell like any of the scents listed above, this will cause the cat’s natural smell to be hidden.
5. Don’t Give Them Too Much Attention
Unlike dogs, cats don’t really like constant affection and attention.
They really only appreciate attention when they want it, and not the other way around.
This means you shouldn’t be persistent when it comes to grabbing their attention or smothering them with kisses and cuddles.
This might be difficult, as your furry friend is likely adorable and you probably find yourself wanting to pet and snuggle with them all day.
However, it’s important to give them their space and only show them affection when they are actively seeking it from you.
If your cat is rubbing up against your leg, or plopping down on your lap or chest when you’re laying down, this is a sign that they want your attention.
However, if your cat is off in another room or under your sofa minding their business, it’s best to let them be.
A mutual respect is needed to gain a cat’s trust, so don’t go overboard on attention or your attempts to play with your cat.
Overall, cats and kittens will want to bond with the people who treat them with love and care.
If you’re a great caretaker and respect your cat’s space and quirky personality traits, then you’ll most likely turn out to be their favorite person.