Raising a cat can be tough. Most dogs you meet on the street will trust you with their lives. But when it comes to cats, you need to earn their trust. And you’ll need to do it carefully because in just one wrong move, you could destroy the trust you have built.
Cats and dogs are very different animals, both historically and behaviorally. Dogs were domesticated 100,000 years ago, while cats were domesticated 5,000 years ago and have only been house pets for a couple hundred years. Jackson Galaxy, author of Total Cat Mojo, said, “We always default to looking at cats through dog-colored glasses.”, meaning that we always expect cats to like us instantly.
One way to get a cat to like you is to pretend you don’t like it. Many agree that cats tend to head towards the person that doesn’t want their company. Usually a person’s first move is to pat a cat on the head, but it would be better if you pat it under the chin and behind its ears. You shouldn’t even look the cat in the eyes. It also helps to be at the same level with a cat and not tower over it. Tom McNamee, author of Inner Life of Cats, says, if you sit down with the cat, “the cat gets the idea that you’re an ally.” Another way to get your cat to like you is to use food to bribe it. Put a treat on the floor and lure it towards you. You could also try sitting next to the food bowl.
In the end, you could also just raise a friendlier cat. An under-appreciated study shows that if you start handling a cat at two weeks instead of the standard seven weeks, then the cat will be better socialized as an adult. In addition, leaving the cat with its mother for the first twelve to sixteen weeks could help it be better socialized overall.
If you are thinking of getting a cat, following these tips could help you raise a friendlier feline.