If you’re a cat lover, you are probably more than familiar with the concept of seeing a lovely looking cat out and about or when you go to visit a friend, trying to befriend them, and seeing the cat stalk away in a huff, or alternatively, show a total lack of interest and faint disdain for your efforts!
Interestingly, cats are also known for making a beeline for the visitors and strangers that actually aren’t really interested in the cat at all, or even worse, actively nervous around them-but the logic behind this, and why cats are apt to act as if you have deeply insulted them when you attempt to pet them-actually makes a lot of sense in cat language, if you know how to speak it!
In this article, we will look at how to greet a cat in cat language in order to get the best potential response out of them, and also, explain why cats are often apt to want to befriend people who are at best, lukewarm about them! Read on to learn more.
If you spot a strange cat out in the street or are visiting a friend with a cat and really want to befriend them and say hello, just about the worst thing that you can do, unless the cat is very personable and confident and apt to respond well!
Standing over the cat, going straight in to stroke them or trying to pick them up is apt to generate a very huffy or even potentially, aggressive or frightened response in the cat, and such an approach is best avoided.
Anything that involves invading a cat’s personal space, standing over them or forcing them into an interaction with you is the wrong way to approach a cat, and even if the cat tolerates your approach, they will not generally enjoy it.
If you are keen to befriend a cat that you don’t know and want to ensure that you go about it in the right way, you have to approach the cat on the cat’s terms and allow them to decide to approach you, or not, as it suits them!
The best way to do this is to wait for the cat to come to you on their own terms, but obviously you may never get your wish of greeting the cat at all if you do this! However, you can find a comfortable middle ground and do everything possible to encourage a cat to come to you without impinging upon their personal space!
Don’t approach the cat any closer than an arm’s length, or further away if the cat moves away from you or otherwise lets it be known that they are not totally happy with things.
Get down to floor level by crouching down (if you are not sitting down already) and speak softly and encouragingly to the cat, and then extend your hand palm up, with just one finger forefront, to allow the cat to sniff it. Do not stare straight at the cat or make direct eye contact while you do this, as that is considered to be rather unfriendly and pushy in cat terms!
When cats greet each other in a non-aggressive setting and on equal terms, they do so by touching their noses together, which places both cats on an equal footings in terms of their vulnerability to each other and ability to learn about each other at the same time.
Letting a strange cat sniff your finger is the human-to-cat equivalent of touching noses for two cats, and allows the cat to learn about you and whether or not they want to get to know you more, in their own time and with no pressure!
Obviously not every cat will decide that they do ultimately want to befriend you in the end, but you stand a much better chance of getting a good reaction if you start with the right approach!
One thing that most people who don’t really like cats, don’t understand them or are actually afraid of them will agree on, is that cats seem to make a beeline for them, even avoiding people who would really love to make friends!
The reason for this might seem to be that cats just love to be contrary and difficult-and no one could argue definitively that there is not an element of this in play too, of course-but ultimately, people who are either ignoring the cat or desperately hoping to be left alone by them are in fact, in cat terms, showing all of the signs of excellent feline manners-avoiding eye contact, not standing over the cat, and not impinging upon their personal space.
So, for those who want to avoid being befriended by cats, acting more friendly might be the key-while for people who desperately want to make a new feline friend, being more aloof can help!