There are those who might question a cat’s ability to love, but I’m sure that cat parents around the world will tell you that there’s nothing more magical than their kitty’s affection.
Every cat has a unique way of displaying their love to people and many of our feline friends most certainly play favorites. The same cat can ignore everyone around them, and have eyes, meows, and purrs only for one.
If you’ve been lucky enough to be chosen by your cat, you might still be left with questions and wonder why does my cat only like me?
A cat might choose their favorite person because they play with them the most, they feed them most often, or perhaps because they feel safe and secure around that one individual. A cat’s love can be unpredictable, but it’s also very special.
If you want to uncover the mysteries of why cats choose to love just one person then keep reading!
Reason 1: Early Bonding
While it’s quite possible to create this kind of special bond with a cat of any age, kittens tend to form better attachments. By adopting a kitten you’ll probably have the time advantage in order to develop a strong bond, and if during the first three months of their life your kitten doesn’t come in contact with other cats or humans, they’ll most likely associate strangers with danger.
On the other hand, growing up in a friendly environment where they interact with others should result in a more social cat instead, that could easily create bonds. Of course, Dr. Dantas points out that it also depends on the individual cat. Older cats that have been socialized early on or have learned throughout their life that humans can be trusted can also form bonds with other humans, even if it might take a bit more time.
Research done at Oregon State University showed that cats can form both secure or insecure bonds with humans, just like babies and this attachment and fondness can also play a great role in a cat’s preference. I was lucky enough to adopt a kitten and an adult cat and both experiences showed me that while it may be easier to bond with a kitten, a grown cat can have the same potential for love.
While early bonding isn’t required to form a great relationship with your cat, if you were the one that put the most time, effort, and love into raising your kitten then it should be no surprise why they prefer you over everyone else!
Reason 2: You Have Great Communication
When therapists state that communication is key, they may refer to human relationships, but it’s pretty clear that the same can be said about cats and their owners. Understanding our cats might seem difficult, but it’s essential for mutual bonding.
According to Swedish cat lover and phonetics researcher, Suzanne Schötz “cats use both visual and vocal signals to communicate with humans, but they need to vocalize to get our attention.” She also adds that “Many cats and their human companions seem to develop a pidgin language in order to communicate better.”
But what does proper communication mean? Do you need to talk back to your cat or meow back at them?
Some owners do meow back, while others tend to use words, and even though in both cases your kitty won’t understand what you’re saying, they might understand your meaning through the tone, facial expressions, and overall context.
Moriah Galvan and Jennifer Vonk of Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan US, conducted research that found that the animals behaved differently depending on whether their owners were smiling or frowning. A smile received a positive response of purring, rubbing, or sitting on their lap, while frowning was met with less enthusiasm.
So, if you talk with your kitty and you’re good at guessing what they’re meowing back to you, you’ve rightfully earned their appreciation!
Understanding your cat’s meows or at least trying to, can greatly increase the chances of your bonding, but not all of them are chatty, it’s also important to understand what your cat is telling you with their body.
If you’re your kitty’s favorite person this might be a sign that you’re observant and can read their feline language. A relaxed cat, that is slowly blinking, rubbing their face all over you, showing you its belly is a clear sign that you’re doing something right!
What some people oftentimes ignore and then blame cats for being indifferent or even running away from them is that they don’t read their “stop” clues. A cat that’s tense has their ears flat against their head, twitches their tail, and hisses, are all signs of a cat asking to be left alone. Many people miss these first signals, which can also result in aggressive behavior.
So, a simple answer as to why does my cat only like me, might be in a simple fact that you respect your feline companion’s boundaries!
Reason 3: Your Personalities Are A Match
The more I read and learn about cats the more I realize how similar we are, and just as every person is unique in their own way so are our kitties. It seems that another secret recipe for a loving cat-human relationship is compatibility and mutual understanding.
According to a recent study, “an understanding of domestic cat personality could improve domestic cat welfare, by allowing carers to tailor management strategies to suit individual cats since animal personality has been shown to influence behavior, health outcomes, wellbeing, and welfare.”
In other words, what might be acceptable to a social and extroverted cat may be stressful for a shy and reclusive one. So, if you’re an owner that cares about your cat’s psychology and takes their personality into consideration, then it makes complete sense for you to be the chosen one!
Reason 4: You’re The Provider
If you’re the one providing for your cat then there’s a good chance you’ll be the one that they gravitate to!
But our cats don’t care about who pays the rent or who calls to schedule the plumber. Instead, they’re focused on whoever is providing them with tasty food and quality time! While it can be easy enough to regularly feed your feline friend, quality petting, playing, or just hanging out can really make the difference when it comes to your cat’s preferences.
Cats are not only curious but they love a good play session. So if you’re the one that most often plays and interacts with your cats then there’s a good chance they’re simply going to like you more. After all, you’re the one providing entertainment and interacting which cats love!
The Opposite Is Also True!
I’m not saying you’re not an awesome cat parent but if the rest of the humans in the household just aren’t bringing much to the table then that probably explains why your likes you more than everyone else.
In other words, you could take each one of these reasons and flip them to figure out why a cat might not like someone else and therefore prefer you! For example, if another human in the house never plays with your cat and doesn’t know how to read your cat’s body language then you’re obviously the clear winner.
In most cases, it’s a combination of reasons that not only make other people in the house less appealing to your cat but also make you the clear favorite.
How To Become A Cat’s Favorite Person?
Since cats are so different you never know how easy it’s going to be to win over their furry hearts, but there certainly are ways to do it. Before you embark on this journey, it’s important to remember that it might take you sometime before you see positive results, but when they do it will be totally worth it!
1. Respect Their Boundaries
The key to any relationship is not only love but respect. Understanding your cat’s personality and what they like and what they don’t will greatly improve your connection. Cats don’t like to be pushed or stressed and they make it clear with their body language, and all you have to do is observe. Over petting, your cat for example will only lead to them avoiding you!
While you’re studying your kitty’s personality, they’ll do the same with you and everyone else in the family. Because they have great observation skills, they’ll know who in the house is quiet, the least engaging, who is fun and playful, and who is on the grumpy side of things. Depending on what they like, they will gravitate to the person who has the best features for them.
Does this mean that you have to change your personality? Of course not, but if you tend to neglect your cat, while a more fun and affectionate member of the family spends their time entertaining the kitty, then chances are they’ll begin to create a bond with that particular person.
2. Display Your Love
Cats might have the reputation of being distant, but people tend to forget that these creatures will give you as much love as you give them back, especially at the beginning of your friendship.
That’s why it’s important to engage with your cat in a loving way. Let them sleep on your lap, talk to them in a loving manner, and slow blink back whenever they slow blink at you. And of course, petting and brushing!
If you try hard enough you will surely unlock your cat’s tender nature, and will be plunged into a magical world of fluffy fur and sweet purrs!
3. Create The Perfect Environment
Perhaps the image of a sleeping cat created this idea in your mind that they don’t need constant attention, and while cats may not need daily walks unless they’re a Maine Coon cat, they still need mental and physical stimuli throughout the day to stay happy.
Cuddles and pets are of course essential, but so is playing with your cat. Playing is part of their hunting instincts and Mikel Delgado, the co-author of recent research on cat’s hunting behavior, supports this idea by saying, “the patterns of behavior are similar, and the things that entice cats to hunt also get them excited about toys.” He also pointed out that, “the more similar to realistic prey the toy is, the more of a response the cat shows.”
One of my favorite toys for interactive play is Da Bird wand. As you might guess from the name, it looks just like a bird and most cats absolutely love chasing this toy around the house. You can check out some of the reviews, along with the latest price on Amazon, by clicking here.
Another research on feline environmental enrichment tells us that “cats maintain their natural behaviors, such as scratching, chewing, and elimination, while living indoors, and they may develop health and behavior problems when deprived of appropriate environmental outlets for these behaviors.”
A clean litterbox, a bowl with fresh water, and appropriate feeding times are also essential for your cat to feel safe and comfortable in their home. With an automatic wet food feeder, you can at least be sure that your kitty has food available in a timely manner without fear of overeating. You can check out some of our favorite automatic wet food feeders in this article.
Hiding areas also have many beneficial effects, especially if you have guests coming over. This way your kitty will have time to recharge or simply hide when they don’t want any human attention. In other words, your cat’s needs should be a priority if you want to be equally special to them!
4. Positive Reinforcement
Finally, to win over your cat’s heart and be their number one human you can use the most successful training technique for cats, and that’s positive reinforcement. With this method, you reward your kitty for their good and “wanted” behaviors.
Because too many treats are not the most healthy lifestyle for a cat, a piece of great veterinarian advice is “gradually wean her off the food rewards and make her settle for emotional ones such as a “good kitty,” a toss of her fuzzy ball, or a scratch under the chin.”
Finally, to win over your kitty’s affection you should never shout or punish them because this will only result in them fearing you and avoiding you. It’s also important to remember that each cat is different, and some might take more time and courting to lower their defenses and create a bond with you, that’s why patience is important.
The bond between a human and their feline companion is beautiful and it can occur naturally if their chosen person treats them well.
That’s why, remember to take good care of your kitty, keep them safe and respect their personality and before you have time to realize it you’ll see that they only have slow blinks for you!
And remember, it’s a love worth fighting for!
Now tell us have you ever wondered why does my cat only like me, or are you still trying to win your cat’s full devotion?