How to tell if your cat likes you

Pretoria News Weekend - - NEWS - SU­SAN HAZEL

FOL­LOW­ING our ar­ti­cle about get­ting your cat to like you, here are some tips on how to tell if your cat does like you. First, how can you tell if your cat is happy? Cats can’t tell us how they’re feel­ing, but if we watch their be­hav­iour closely, we can work out a lot.

What things does your cat like do­ing?

Does it have a favourite chair or ledge to sit on? Or a favourite win­dow to look out of ? Per­haps it likes sit­ting on your lap, or play­ing with toys? Most cats love to sleep in a warm place.

The things you see your cat do­ing are prob­a­bly what it en­joys. As long as it gets the chance to do th­ese things, then your cat is prob­a­bly happy.

Pro­vid­ing lots of toys to play with is a great way to keep your cat happy, es­pe­cially if it’s a kit­ten.

For ex­am­ple, you could make them a food puz­zle – cats have a nat­u­ral hunt­ing in­stinct and like to hunt for their food.

Find an empty wa­ter bot­tle and put holes around the body of the bot­tle.

Then put some dry food in and put the lid on – as your cat moves the bot­tle around the food will fall out.

De­pend­ing on their per­son­al­ity, cats can show they are un­happy in two ways.

The first kind of cat might hide away un­der a bed or in a cup­board, and shows no in­ter­est in play­ing or in­ter­act­ing.

If it also stops eat­ing and groom­ing this is likely a sign that it’s not happy.

The sec­ond kind of cat might pace around, or seek your at­ten­tion by me­ow­ing con­stantly. Th­ese cats might fol­low you around all of the time, and de­stroy fur­ni­ture or other things in your house.

Some cats can also uri­nate in the wrong places when they are un­happy.

If your cat shows any of th­ese signs, it prob­a­bly means there is some­thing both­er­ing it. If it’s not eat­ing or clean­ing it­self, or there are other signs you’re wor­ried about, then it might be a good idea to take it to the vet to see if there is any­thing wrong.

How can you tell if your cat likes you?

If your cat likes a cud­dle on your lap and purrs when you pat it, then it prob­a­bly likes you. Cats will choose to hang around peo­ple they re­ally like.

If your cat likes be­ing pet­ted, it will prob­a­bly stay still, close its eyes, and move its head or body so that you rub its favourite places.

This might be along the cheeks or be­tween the ears and eyes.

If your cat doesn’t like th­ese things, don’t panic that it doesn’t like you!

Some cats are friend­lier than oth­ers, and your cat might not like to be cud­dled, the same way some peo­ple love hugs, and oth­ers don’t.

Your cat might still en­joy know­ing that you’re around, even if it doesn’t want to come right up to you.

● This is an ar­ti­cle from Cu­ri­ous Kids, a se­ries for chil­dren, in which The Con­ver­sa­tion gets an ex­pert to an­swer a child's ques­tion.

Su­san Hazel is Se­nior Lec­turer, School of An­i­mal and Ve­teri­nary Science, Univer­sity of Ade­laide

Do you or your chil­dren have a ques­tion about pets? Email it to pta. let­ marked Pets.

Cats choose to hang around peo­ple they re­ally like and en­joy be­ing pet­ted. How­ever not all cats are equally friendly.

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