Kathryn Lindsay
August 10, 2015 3:28 pm

Apparently, there are humans out there who don’t like cats. While I can’t relate, I have noticed that whenever my cat-hating friends are around my furry felines, my cats just can’t get ENOUGH of them. I’m sure you’ve seen this too. No amount of pushing, prodding or avoiding discourages the kitty from settling down upon this poor stranger’s lap or rubbing up against their calf. Turns out, there’s a (probable) reason for this.

Somebody asked Quora (a website for asking and answering any question imaginable), “How should a stranger behave to a cat to become his friend?” The answer is the exact opposite of what you’d think. According to user Dian Meriwether, whose response got the most upvotes, you gotta play hard to get.

For someone who luuuuuuvs cats, this sounds so, so very wrong. Obviously you’re supposed to pick them up and smush their little face with kisses, and feed them all the kitty treats, right? WRONG. In reality, the people who hate cats are actually doing everything right. Distance and brevity is everything a cat wants from a human companion, starting with eye contact. Meriwether explains this below:

She then goes on to describe petting (a little goes a long way) and even blinking (do it slowly). Nod when you enter the room, but don’t approach. Always get permission before touching. Give a stroke, and then walk away. This not only keeps the cat curious, but actively wanting more attention from you. This means they’ll follow you, curl up with you, even head-butt you in order to make sure you never forget that they’re there.

If you’re still feeling a little jealous of your buddies who basically have their own (unwanted) cat squad, never fear. There are other ways to win over your cat’s love. Such as: talking very softly, waiting until s/he is done with grooming before petting them (no, but, seriously), and getting to know their cat body language.

While it may be difficult for cat lovers to restrain themselves, sometimes that’s the best way to have a successful owner-pet relationship. If that bums you out, just remember: you can stare at Internet kitties all you want.

(Image Flickr)

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