Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > Cats > How to Get a Cat’s Attention: 12 Methods That Work

How to Get a Cat’s Attention: 12 Methods That Work

owner stroking and scratching orange cats face

Are you constantly trying to understand your cat? Unfortunately, this isn’t an easy task. As anyone who has a cat in their home knows, cats are strange creatures. One minute your kitty may love you like no other. The next, they may walk around you like you aren’t even alive. It’s simply a part of life as a cat owner. Still, there are times when we want our cat’s attention whether they are openly giving it or not. Getting our cats’ attention when they aren’t in the mood isn’t the easiest thing to do. Luckily, we have a few tips that may help. Read on below to learn a few ways to capture your kitty’s attention that you can try with your cat.


The 12 Methods to Get a Cat’s Attention

1. Take It Easy

We all know how difficult it is to understand a cat. This is especially true if you’ve recently brought a new kitty into the home. It takes time to establish a relationship. Of course, it’s only natural to want your cat’s attention. You may want to be persistent and coax your cat into loving you. Take it easy, though. Your new kitty needs time to learn and get comfortable in their new environment. Once your new kitty has time to settle in, you may find that they are the one that decides to initiate contact and reach out to start forming a relationship.

cat touching his owners face
Image By: VikaJpeg, Shutterstock

2. Mind Your Mood

Cats have an uncanny knack for being able to read our moods. The last thing you want is to cause your kitty any upset. Instead, when working on establishing a relationship and getting your cat’s attention, approach this when you’re in a happy mood. This will help your cat see you as a happy thing. It isn’t great for the relationship between you and your cat if your kitty feels uncomfortable or fearful of your current mood.

3. Kitty Kitty Kitty

When trying to get your cat’s attention, one of the quickest and easiest go-tos is to call out to your kitty. Calling your kitty’s name, if they have had time to learn it, is a great starting point. If your cat isn’t familiar with their name yet, use the name, then add in a few “kitty kitties” to help capture the cat’s attention and let them know you’re wanting to interact.

a domestic cat sitting on a sofa and looks at its owner
Image By: Amerigo_images, Shutterstock

4. Show Your Cat Affection

Petting your cat is a great way to snag their attention when they are obviously ignoring you. You will know what your cat likes better than anyone. Offering them a pat on the head, a scratch to the back of the rear, or a good scratch behind the ears is an affectionate way of letting your cat know you want a bit of their attention.

5. Bring Out the Toys

Even the laziest of cats enjoy a bit of stimulation now and then. If you’re wanting your kitty’s attention, pulling out the cat toys could be the best way to proceed. Feather toys, fuzzy mice, and even crinkle balls are ideal toys to help get your cat active. If your kitty ignores you, however, don’t get pushy. Simply give them time and they will play when they are ready.

gray tabby cat on the floor with its toys
Image By: Noor Khalafy, Pexels

6. Kitties Love Treats

Anyone who has cats in their home knows how a cat will react to their favorite treat. Whether the kitty comes running when you shake the treat bag or you need to persuade the kitty to interact using the treats, this is a great starting point. After offering a treat or two, initiate contact with a few pets or scratches. Hopefully, your kitty will stick around and be thankful for the treats and the attention you’re offering.

7. Groom Your Cat

Many cats enjoy being groomed. This action reminds them of being young kittens when their mothers cared for and cleaned them. If you want your cat’s attention, and they enjoy a nice brushing session, use this to your advantage. After the grooming session, stick around and offer your kitty a bit of love.

Person brushing a siberian cat lying on floor
Image By: Massimo Cattaneo, Shutterstock

8. Use Noises That Attract Cats

Whether we want to admit it or not, all cat owners are guilty of making strange sounds to get their cat’s attention. “Psp psp” is a common one. Other kitty owners use kissing noises, treat shaking, or clapping to let their kitty know they need them.

9. Use Hand Gestures

Holding out your hand often lets your kitty know you want interaction. Lots of times kitties see an outstretched hand as an opportunity to receive pets and scratches from their owner. When your hand is outstretched to your cat you can determine the mood they are in by how they interact with you. A rub against your hand could indicate your kitty wants love. A playful nibble can be used as a way of telling you they want to play.

bengal cat gives high five paw to owner
Image By: Svetlana Rey, Shutterstock

10. Use Your Voice

Certain cats love the sound of their owner’s voice. For those kitties, when you want their attention, all you need to do is softly talk to your cat. When your kitty enjoys hearing your voice, you’ll notice a lot of meowing and running toward you when you begin speaking.

11. The Power of Catnip

No cat owner can deny the power of the almighty catnip. That is if your cat is attracted to it. Yes, there are cats out there who could care less when catnip is brought into the home. Others simply cannot contain themselves. If your cat is the latter, using catnip is a great way to get your kitty’s attention. Of course, you’ll need to wait a bit for your cat to indulge in the herb but once they hit that happy stage, they will welcome your love.

cat playing with catnip toy
Image By: Ellie Burnett, Shutterstock

12. Use Associative Words

Cats are much smarter than many people give them credit for. This is why so many cat owners use associative words with their kitties. For example, using “bite bite” or “yum yum” when it’s time to feed your cat is a great way of letting them know it’s time to eat. If your cat gets familiar with associative words, you can use one for when you want their attention. The words you use can be special between you and your cat.



Keep in mind, that when you’re trying to get your cat’s attention, they aren’t always going to be in the mood for you. While you may try every tip on this list, don’t get discouraged. Your kitty will come around. Even if your cat is very independent and enjoys being on their own, there are times when they will want to interact with you. Continue to show your cat love and, eventually, they will be ready to reciprocate your feelings.

Featured Image Credit: Eliz A, Shutterstock

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets