How to Befriend a Cat

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Introduction: How to Befriend a Cat

About: I'm an experimentalist, a scientist and I have a tendency to do things just for the sake of doing them, or to find out what they're like. I love life, show me something I can feel good about. I've got an ...

Cats are strange creatues, but they have weaknesses.
Hold out your hand and let the cat sniff it.
Then rub the back of the cat's ears.
Use both hands on the cat's ears.
When the cat starts enjoying your attention tickle it under the chin.
Hold onto the cat's tail, without pulling, allowing the cat to pull against you. They almost invariably lie down and become ameanable to belly-tickling. They then tend to gnash you with their teeth & scratch... But you've got'em.

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    What if the cat you like is outside a keeps its distance from you but gets closer each time you see it?

    130 Comments

    hold out your hand so the cat can scratch it.

    I scare away the cat, so I'm going to give this ago. Thanks!

    I assume when you say "hold on to the cat's tail" doesn't mean to actually hold it but barely surround it with your hand with a light "grasp" then let it gently slip out as the cat walks away. Not quite sure how to explain but I *do* get it and it does get their attention in a non-threatening way.

    I recommend not grabbing the cat's tail... Unless, of course, you'd like to get scratched... Also, don't try to pet the cat until it allows you to pet it. Let the cat approach you, and crouch down to show that you don't want to hurt her. Be quiet and still if she rubs against you, then gently pet its back.

    OK, this is going to sound pretty weird, but it does work. It's a method I've developed for attracting cats from a distance of up to 50 yards or so and very rarely fails. 1) Make what I can only describe as a 'hissy whistle' by opening your lips very slightly and slowly sucking in air. This sound is rich in ultrasonic harmonics which attract the cat's attention. 2) Look at the cat then squint and look away for a few seconds. Make the noise again and do the look, squint, look away again. Keep doing this and the cat will pretend to ignore you, but will slowly sidle in your general direction. 3) Look as if you've lost interest, but occasionally make the noise and do the looks again until the cat comes close to you. 4) As it approaches, look away, but leave your hand hanging down. The cat will come and start rubbing against it. You can then start with Lemonie's methods, although I'd be very wary of touching the tail or tickling the tummy of a cat I didn't know - You can get a lot of puncture wounds that way ;¬) Looking directly at a cat wide-eyed is an aggressive move, hence the squint and look away. If you watch two cats who know each other, they will do exactly this. You are befriending a cat by using it's own body-language.

    6 replies

    It's not weird at all. In their language, a slow blink or wink indicates non-threatening behavior. It is often used by cats to say 'I love you' to their people or to fellow cats. I might not be what you'd call a 'cat whisperer', but I am slowly learning the meanings behind their actions and vocalizations.

    Here's an interesting fun fact: cats can make over ninety more distinct noises than dogs, but adult cats generally use body language to 'talk' to other cats. This means that a cat's mews are usually aimed towards humans or the kitten's mother, rather than its fellow felines.

    never tried a hissy whistle, but the "squint" (in my case, a slow blink while gently staring into the cat's eyes) is really good for connecting with a strange cat.  I've heard people who fancy themselved to be "cat whisperers" call it "kitty kisses".  whatever. I find it helps to relax my facial and shoulder muscles with a conscious effort (if that makes sense).

    Basically, try to mimic the kitty Buddha-gaze that dog people find so annoying. lmao

    I must try both methods.  My bf has a cat that initially dislikedme (he's a real momma's boy) but once I got my chihuahua cross becameactively hateful.  He will bite and scratch me when my friendleaves the room!!!  Had to stop bringing the dog over, too, coz thecat would lie in ambush for him and have him screaming in fear. Now we have a stand-off situation but I do tend to try and starehim out!  

    Thanks guys!

    Interesting. I've been thinking of deteting / removing this for a while. L

    I just came across your Instructable in the side-bar when I was answering a question.
    Give the method a try and let me know if it works for you. The 'hissy whistle' should vary a bit, with squeaky bits and sort of mew-ey bits in it.
    (Of course this may all be tosh and it's just my animal magnetism which attracts them ;¬)

    P.S. Best not to do this in public places otherwise the men in white coats may be paying you a visit.

    Cute! My cat is prone to tail injuries, so might not do the tail thing! Meat!

    Very good! Does this make your cat noticeably friendly, or just make it not just well...... Hate you anymore?

    Explain why our cat is just semi-wild which actually has her territory in our territory which is our house, and she's extremely friendly. That includes her kittens. We keep her outside because, well, she's semi-wild. Besides, her kittens need looking after. Also explain why she understands human language (weird right?). Only one of her kittens survived though :(

    3 replies


    (Old thing, old thing - 2007)
    I'm not knowledgable enough, to give you a good answer, but how did you come to have your cat?
    Domestic cats learned how to manipulate humans a long time ago, most of it involves being cute and little...

    L

    Let's see. That was years ago, before I even joined this site... Oh yeah, we just found her in our garage, still a kitten.


    I'll guess that she has the natural instincts a cat has, but that you have effectively domesticated her.

    L

    You can also let a cat with good taste listen to Opeth. Instant purring.

    2 replies
    This is Opeth....