Why do cats prefer certain people?

Why do cats prefer certain people?

by Elisa Black-Taylor

Annabelle is now my cat

Annabelle is now my cat

Annabelle is now my cat Furby and cat friend Marley Jasper & Tom chose Laura

This article is discussion about why cats prefer certain people and the sometimes unpredictable decisions a cat will make on who (s)he chooses as that special someone in her life.

I'm sure most of you have experienced this. You've wanted a cat for a long time and paid a visit to the local shelter. Or perhaps one just wandered into your life from out of nowhere. You shower your new baby with love and affection. You feed it the best food, buy the toys you think kitty will enjoy, and basically become a servant for your new cat.

Then it happens. Your cat goes over to your spouse/roommate/child and makes itself at home on THEIR lap. This person who may even push the cat off the bed or lap and refuse to have anything to do with your kitty is now your cat's new best friend.

I want to tell the readers here who have had this happen that you are not alone. Please tell your own story at the end of this article. I've been hearing of many cases such as this over the past few months and want to assure you that it's unlikely anything you've done. It just happens.

My daughter and I are going through this with our deaf cat Annabelle. Laura was so excited about adopting a white deaf cat. She wanted her as her own personal cat to nurture and sleep with. Which Annabelle did for the first few weeks. Then without warning Annabelle decided she wanted to sleep with me. She also sits on the sofa arm by my side whenever I'm in the living room. Her cat carrier is now on my bed since she made her decision to make me her human. Annabelle sleeps in her carrier until I get out of bed, then she follows me to the living room.

Laura has cats who are partial to her. Tom and Jasper are the main ones. And of course Lola. Even Furby seems undecided these days on which of us he prefers. Lola and Jasper even go with Laura when she visits family in another town and leaves me with a cat colony to manage single-handed.

Furby also has a new lady friend named Marley whom he enjoys sleeping beside.

I could read up on cat psychology until I'm blue in the face and never truly understand the reason a cat will choose one person over another. Let's face it. Only the cat knows the answer to this dilemma.

One article I read suggested male cats prefer women and female cats prefer men. Which may be true to an extent except in my household there's only my daughter and myself. Most of my cats have never even met a man except for the vet.

We even share our home to a few cats who don't care for human company at all. These cats sleep with the other cats and seem happy with that situation. Every so often one of these cats will come over for a head rub. Otherwise, they choose other cats as their companions rather than a human.

In the past I was very partial to male cats. They always seemed to enjoy sleeping in my lap more than the females. Now I have as many female lap cats as I do males. I don't know if cats have changed over the years or if I'm the one who changed.

Cats also get a little vengeful toward those who discipline them or have to give them pills. They will often go to another person in the household as if to say "Ha, I'm not going to have anything to do with you until I decide to forgive you." Which can take from a few hours to several days.

I'm not going to suggest to the readers here to buy more treats, toys or cat furniture. Apparently cat's don't determine who they want to spend time with by the money spent on them. Cats, by nature, are independent and have their own secret philosophy.

Please share how your cats choose their favorite people in your household. I think we'll all find ourselves on the ignored end of a cat relationship.


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Why do cats prefer certain people?

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Jul 28, 2011
their choice, not mine
by: Rebecca

I love stories where I read it and think "yes! that's me too".
I adore cats, always have, we had a family cat when I was 8 then moved overseas - I pestered my mother non-stop for 4 years until she let me adopt one from a family friend. Phillip, on the other hand, had bad experiences with cats and was a self-confessed Dog Man. Until he met my Pixel. Over 15 years they grew really close - she was always MY girl but she loved him and he grew to love her. That did it. Now as far as cats are concerned He's Da Man... cats that fear strangers come to HIM for a headrub. Our 2 special boys, Boofycat was all HIS, and Basil - although he adores me - leaps off me and runs to Phill as soon as he appears.
And my brother... was not going to adopt a new cat, likes neighbours' cats as you get all the purrs and no reponsibility. Until "puss" decided she was going to live with him. And give birth on his porch. She's now re-named Snuff, spayed, flea'd, wormed, vaccinated, and finally fat & happy. Totally ignores her previous people and her several offspring!

Jul 27, 2011
by: Vandita

I have had this happen to me, not once but twice!! My brother found a little kitten last year and brought him home, he said he would drop him off at the SPCA the next day, of course I wouldn't let him do that, SPCA put animals to sleep within 2 days or sometimes 24 hours. I begged my mother to let me keep Pookie, I got the permission but there was something up, even though I held Pookie, hugged and kissed him, he didn't return any affection. In fact he loves my mother more then he loves anyone else, he always follows her around the house, sleeps on the sofa beside her, as soon as he sees her he runs off after her, of course I was a little upset but he doesn't care whether I am upset or not!! Norris is another case. When he was a kitten he had diarrhea and no one wanted to hold him, he always jumped on my lap for a snuggle but somehow after he got better he took to my sister! Was I frustrated? Yes, after showing him love and affection he started following her!! But now he is getting back on track ;) he's 6 now and he sometimes sleeps with me on my bed, he jumps on my lap and starts drooling. I know we will never be able to solve this mystery, only they know why they behave like this. Cats are the BIGGEST puzzle ever!!

Jul 27, 2011
A Tough Call
by: Alex Hamilton

I feed all 7 cats, I'm here at home most days. But whatever calico cats I have at the time (2 at the moment), they just can't get enough of my husband. Maybe partly because, of course, they're female. But he can pick up and carry these two around all day, and they'll never let me get away with that! I had a Russian blue that really didn't care for either of us, just wanted to be near you. And then one day, she was having tooth problems, and I accidentally pulled it out (it was very loose). After that moment, she never left my side. I guess it's the situation, the smell, and just some attraction that only the cats can determine.

Jul 27, 2011
Good Question
by: Michael

This is a very good question and an important one but I don't see it asked that much.

I don't know the answer. All we can do is guess. But that said the attraction between people is about "chemistry" and that is pretty vague too.

I think it must be a combination of factors. One might be smell. Our body odor is a factor I am sure. Cats have a great sense of smell, much better than ours. A lot of what they do is based on how something smells.

Individual cats will prefer certain smells. Another factor is probably how we handle and interact with a cat. All cats will have a preference as to how they are handled and how we interact with them, generally. We don't know those preferences. We get to learn about them but we can't ask and get a precise answer as to what they are.

So by pure chance someone will do the right thing and become a friend.

As I said I am guessing and it would make a nice research project for some scientists.


Why do cats prefer certain people? — 2 Comments

  1. lol I stole my moms cat not literally I wake up with her in front of my face she walks in my room like she owns it and she wont sleep with anyone but me and if im gone she sleeps in the laundry basket outside my room my mom jokes saying sushi is your cat now thanks a lot for stealing my cat

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