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Home > Cats > How and Why Do Cats Choose Their Favorite Person? Facts & FAQs

How and Why Do Cats Choose Their Favorite Person? Facts & FAQs

cat snuggling with owner

If you live in a house with other people, you may have noticed that cats generally tend to favor one person over the rest, so much so that it may take months for a new face to win over the cat’s affections. Cats can be selective about human companionship — even more so than dogs — and there are several interesting reasons that this is the case.

How do cats choose their favorite person, and is it true that cats imprint on that one person? We wanted to get to the bottom of these questions and find out how and why cats are so discerning when it comes to showing their affection. Read on to find out more!


How Do Cats Choose Their Favorite Person?

Cats are notorious for being aloof animals, showing affection only when they feel like it, as opposed to the well-known constant affection and neediness common among dogs. However, a cat having a preference for one person in the home does not mean they are not securely bonded with the other people around them — they are simply more attracted to the person who makes the most effort.

What this means is that in general, the person who takes the most time to interact with, understand, and respect the cat is the person to whom the cat will be most attracted to.

Cat welcomes his owner at home
Image by: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

Why Do Cats Choose a Favorite Person?

Of course, there could be other reasons for your cat’s discerning habits. Another reason that cats may be more attracted to particular people is due to the cat’s breed and overall personality. Docile, calm cats will naturally be attracted to people who have the same temperament, as opposed to excited, loud, and active people, like children. On the other hand, playful, active cats tend to enjoy being around kids who will engage and play with them.

Early socialization and bonding are also key factors. When kittens are very young, they will bond with the person who takes care of them and interacts with them the most after being separated from their mother, as this person is now their figure of safety and comfort and becomes their trusted caregiver. Of course, this can go the other way too, and kittens that are exposed to just one person from a young age may become fearful of new faces, or kittens brought up around many people may become aloof and not bonded to any one person in general.

Therefore, it’s not surprising that cats tend to bond with one person over another.

Every Cat Is Unique

As any cat owner will tell you, all cats are unique, and it’s a combination of the aforementioned factors that cause cats to bond with one person. While imprinting on kittens may be a factor, adopting an adult cat frequently results in a powerful bond too. A cat may also have had a traumatic moment in their life, and a certain person was there for them at that point, creating a powerful bond that cannot be matched with another human.

The way that your cat has been raised, their environment, their breed, and even the other animals in your home (or lack thereof) all contribute to your cat’s unique personality and will have a profound effect on their character and personality.

cat sleeping on owner's lap
Image by: Karpova, Shutterstock

How to Become Your Cat’s Favorite Person

Since there are identifiable factors that make a cat want to bond with a particular person, it’s possible to use these and become that person in your cat’s life — or at least very close. That said, it’s important to avoid smothering your cat with too much attention, especially without their permission, as they are likely to simply become suspicious. Earning your cat’s trust and affection will take time, attention, and communication.

Here are a few tips to win your cat’s affections:
  • Feed them. If you are not the person who feeds your cat every day, you may want to consider taking over that position. It’s natural that the person providing nourishment to a cat will be highly valuable to them and is likely to win their favor.
  • Spend more time with them. Spending more interactive time with your cat is sure to win their affection. It’s less about what you do than it is about simple quality time, and playing with toys, training, or even relaxing on the sofa are all great methods of bonding.
  • Positive reinforcement. Reinforcing the positive aspects of your cat’s behavior is a great way to earn their affection. When they behave well, give them a treat or affection, and if they choose to come to you with affection, reciprocate it.
  • Give them space. Respecting boundaries is vital in any relationship, and the same goes for your relationship with your cat. Interacting with your cat is important, but knowing when they need space and giving it to them is equally essential.


Final Thoughts

There are many reasons that a cat may choose their favorite person over another, from their breed and personality to socialization and matching personalities. This is not set in stone, however, and there are proven ways to create a solid bond with your feline. You may still not be their all-time favorite, but you’ll still have the joy of a loving relationship with your feline!

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Featured Image Credit: cottonbro, Pexels

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