Cats are super affectionate. But their affection isn't always obvious. Sometimes, cats form bonds with one person and not another, and yes, it is possible for your cat to have a favorite person. If you suspect your cat is playing favorites, you might want to figure out how to rank at the top of their people list.
Why Cats Pick a Favorite Person
We can tell cats pick favorites because of the ways they communicate with us. Even if your cat is normally independent, they might consistently pick a certain person when they seek out attention. Not all cats do this, but it is fairly common among feline owners.
Cats often look for the person who understands how they communicate. Someone who can read a cat's body language is more likely to be their favorite than someone who doesn't pay attention to it.
Cats also respond to their primary caregivers more than other people. They quickly learn who pays attention of them, who feeds them, and who tends to their needs. It's all a part of bonding with your cat.
Why Do Cats Sometimes Only Bond With One Person?
If you find your cat is only bonding with one person, take the following factors into consideration:
- Socialization: The experiences a cat has during their critical socialization period, generally between 2 and 7 weeks of age, play a significant role in their behavior as an adult. If a cat has positive interactions with one person during this time, they may develop a strong bond with them.
- Personality: Every cat has a unique personality, and some cats may naturally be more inclined to bond with one person.
- Trust: Cats are more likely to bond with people who make them feel safe. If a cat perceives one person as consistently providing for their needs, like food and affection, they may develop a stronger bond with that person.
- Consistency: Cats prefer consistency in their environment and daily routines. If one person is primarily responsible for meeting the cat's needs and providing for their daily routine, the cat may form a strong attachment to that person.
- Positive reinforcement: Cats are more likely to bond with someone who engages in positive interactions, such as petting, playing, and speaking to them.
- Positive interactions: If a cat has primarily positive experiences with one person, they may develop a strong bond with them.
- Quality time: The amount of time a person spends with a cat can impact the bond that forms between them. If one person spends more time with the cat than others, the cat may develop a stronger attachment to them.
Aside from these factors, your cat bonding with only one person could be something as simple as that person being their favorite to cuddle with. Cats are complex social animals and a lot of factors go into their bonding process.
How to Be Your Cat's Favorite
If you want to be your cat's No. 1 person, start with how you interact together. There are a lot of things you can do to stand out as your cat's favorite:
- Spend time with them: Cats love attention. Give them the cuddles, petting, and play they love - on their terms. Don't try to force it, and follow their lead.
- Be the person who feeds them: The best way to your cat's heart is through their stomach. They'll notice you're the one who feeds them, and they will even ask you for food when they're hungry.
- Keep your interactions positive: Cats are sensitive creatures. Ensure every interaction with your cat is positive, and avoid scolding them. They'll pay you back with love.
- Give them a slow blink: Learning to read your cats signals and responding to them is essential to the bonding process. One way is to master the slow blink, which shows your cat you care about them.
- Bond with them early: If you get your cat when they're a kitten, you're already on the fast track to being their favorite.
- Listen to their vocalizations: Don't ignore your cat's signals. They meow specifically for our benefit, as a way to communicate with us. Pay attention, and earn their trust.
- Talk with them: Cats don't understand English, but they'll quickly learn to respond to your tone of voice. Talk to them in a loving and calm way to show them you care.
- Attend to their needs: When you learn to read your cat's body language, you'll figure out what they're asking for. Stay consistent, and make sure they have what they need to be healthy and happy.
Often, the fastest way to your cat's heart is to be their primary caregiver. They see how much you care, and they respond by ranking you near the top of their list. It's a slow process, especially for a rescue cat, so take the time to work on your bond.
Remain Patient and Show Them Love
If you want to be your cat's favorite person, you have to put in the time. However, if you take the necessary steps, you will find your bond getting stronger. Cats are more on the independent side, so let them set the pace and don't forget to analyze their body language to determine how they're feeling. Learn your cat's boundaries, give them what they need, and reciprocate when they need love. Before too long, you'll see your cat coming to you when they want affection, and you'll know you are their No. 1 person.