Do domestic cats select strangers who dislike them over cat lovers?

It is said that if a bunch of strangers come into the home of a domestic cat and sit down, the domestic cat, if they are confident enough, will walk up to the stranger who dislikes or hates cats and jump on their lap. I may have exaggerated slightly but the point is that they may tend to select the person who does not want to be selected. And this thought came to my mind when I was wandering around the website. I bumped into the headline on a post: “My dad said he does not like cats. Here’s how he spent his whole time while visiting me”. The photograph posted below the headline is below.

Daughter said that her father has made it clear that he does not like cats

Daughter said that her father has made it clear that he does not like cats. So what happened? Photo: Reddit user: u/giraffethumb.

Clearly the Reddit user’s cat does not have the same opinion about humans as her dad has about domestic cats ?. Her dad looks a bit fed up with it but I think he’s actually enjoying the relationship. He has his hand over the cat. This is a clear sign that he quite likes or greatly likes her cat being on his lap.

Perhaps he is changing his mind about not liking domestic cats. But why did her cat jump on his lap? The theoretical argument, and it may be a practical one too, is that people who dislike cats don’t want to look at the cat as he enters the room.

Whereas cat lovers stick out their hand and try and interact with the cat or perhaps try and take hold of him/her, the person who dislikes cats does the opposite and retreats and recoils. They might not look at the cat and stay passive.

Useful links
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This is the kind of behaviour that might attract a domestic cat. In a group of strangers, a cat is likely to be slightly unnerved at least. People becoming animated and trying to foist themselves on a cat may be too much for a domestic cat. They may try to avoid it. And in doing so they may go towards the person who is passive and trying to avoid the cat.

The cat is not selecting a person who dislikes cats per se. They are selecting a person with a warm lap and who doesn’t appear to be threatening. Passivity equates to non-threatening behaviour. Perhaps they perceive this person who dislikes cats as friendly which is obviously attractive.

And it is said that too much eye contact can be off-putting to a domestic cat. They see it as a sign of possible hostility from a predator. I think that argument is actually over-egged and an exaggeration. But there may be something in it.

People do say that if you are faced with a predator when walking in the wild, such as a mountain lion, you should not look them in the eye and neither should you retreat and run.

So this is the possible reason why this beautiful grey cat is sitting on this man’s lap which, I have decided, he is thoroughly enjoying even though he dislikes felines ?.

Below are some articles on ‘strange cat behavior’.

Cat humps family dog or tries to!

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Infographic on 'strange cat behaviour'

Infographic on ‘strange cat behavior’

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Ticklish cats!

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My cat refuses to get on the couch or bed unless paper is provided to sit on. Why?

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My cat eats bird seed

My cat eats bird seed

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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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