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Why Do Cats Have a Favorite Person?

By Stacy Painter
published: September 24, 2020 - updated: May 13, 2021 • 2 min. read
couple holding a cat

Key Takeaways

  • Cats tend to favor one person over others even if they were well-socialized as kittens.
  • Cats are expert communicators and gravitate towards people that they communicate well with.
  • Look for communication cues from your cat, such as your cat approaching you in search of food or petting.
  • You can be your cat’s favorite person by socializing together early on and respecting his/her personal space.

If you’ve ever lived with cats in a household of multiple people, you may have noticed that some cats tend to prefer a particular person over others. Whether or not a cat has a favorite person and how strong that preference is varies with each cat depending on several factors, including how well socialized the cat was during its first few months of kittenhood.

When looking back to cats’ domestication, the bond between people and cats likely began when cats learned that humans are a good source of food, protection, and companionship. But what makes a cat prefer one person over another?

Why cats choose a favorite person

The reason a cat will gravitate toward one person, in particular, may come down to communication. Though cats are often portrayed as aloof and independent, they are quite the communicators, and they have a special appreciation for people who can understand their needs.

In addition to meowing for various reasons, cats also use many body language cues to express how they are feeling. If one person can better communicate with a cat and understand what it is trying to say, the cat may be more drawn to that person.

Your ability to adapt to your cat’s preferred method of communication can influence the success of your relationship. Every cat is different, so the appropriate response to your cat’s meows and body language signs may include physical interaction, playtime, respecting their space, or (of course) food.

Aside from being able to communicate, a cat may choose someone as their favorite simply because they provide the best lap for catnaps.

Protect your pet

How to be your cat’s favorite person

  • Socialize with them from the beginning. Teach your cat that you are a reliable source for social interaction by offering play, cuddles, or just gently talking to them if they are shy.
  • Respect their personal space. Social interaction is essential, but some cats also need alone time. If your cat wanders off to hide or nap, give them a bit of time to decompress.
  • Look for communication cues. Your cat may approach you when seeking something, such as food or interaction, whether that’s in the form of playtime, cuddles, or just basking in your presence.

Remember that building a solid and lasting relationship takes time. Some cats may be quicker to bond than others, but remain patient and give your cat space and time to adapt and build their trust with you.

Stacy Painter profile
By Stacy Painter

Stacy has always been an animal lover and has worked in the pet industry and pet insurance specifically for over a decade. As a writer since early childhood, content writing for Healthy Paws pet insurance was a natural career path to combine her two passions. She currently lives in Florida with her boyfriend and Taiwanese rescue dog, Kaya.

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