Cats and Dogs
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Do cats favor one owner?

8 Signs Your Cat Has Imprinted On You

Your cat may have imprinted on you if they follow you around, love to spend time with you, knead on you, purr loudly when they are with you and generally seem to feel safe and content around you.

signs a cat has imprinted on you

Below are 8 signs your cat has imprinted on you:

1. They Follow You

The most common sign that your cat has imprinted on you is that they follow you around everywhere.

cat around legs

If your cat follows you around the house like a kitten follows their mother it shows they have imprinted on you and they feel secure around you.

When a cat follows you around it is because they want to be with you and they know you provide everything they need (food, shelter, safety, comfort).

2. They Slowly Blink At You

One of the ways a cat shows affection is by looking at you and slowly blinking.

What Does It Mean When A Cat Blinks At You Twice

This slow and deliberate blinking is used by cats as a way of communicating and when they do it, it shows that they trust you.

Cat’s don’t need to blink in the same way as we do so when a cat fully closes their eyes or slowly blinks they are showing they feel safe.

You can slow blink back to your cat to show them that you feel the same.

3. They Sit In Your Lap

When a cat has imprinted on you, they like to be wherever you are and that includes sitting on your lap.

lap cat

Your lap is a safe place where your cat can relax while enjoying the warmth and comfort of their favourite person.

Your cat may sit in your lap as a way of simply being close to you, showing affection, and being social.

When your cat has imprinted on you, you’ll often find there is a lack of personal space. Your cat will want to be with you (as close to you as they can be) wherever you are.

4. They Knead On You

Kneading is something that a kitten will do when they get milk from their mother and it is something seen in cats when they feel content.

how are cats knees different to human knees

Kneading is a way of expressing pleasure and happiness so if your cat is kneading on you they are letting you know they are happy.

Cats also knead to mark their scent, alleviate stress and to make themselves a comfortable bed.

5. They Purr When Around You

When your cat is near you they may purr to show they are secure and happy to be around you. Purring is one of the most recognisable signs of a content cat.

why do cats sit on your lap

A cat purrs when they are relaxed, happy, and feel safe.

When a cat has imprinted on you, they will purr loudly when you pet or hold them.

6. They Rub Against You

Your cat may rub on you, for example rubbing against your feet or pushing against your legs. They may gently headbutt you, this is a cat’s way of nudging you and this can be a way of saying hello, showing they love you, or trying to get your attention.

When a cat rubs against it is also a way of marking territory, strengthening your bond and communicating with you.

cat rubbing against leg

Your cat may also groom you, this is a normal thing for a cat as they not only groom themselves but kittens will often groom each other and mother cats groom their young.

When a cat grooms another cat or grooms you, it is a way of social bonding.

Being groomed by your cat is a way of your cat showing you that you’re family.

7. They Check In With You Often (Day and Night)

If your cat has imprinted on you they will regularly check in with you.

This could mean they come into your room at night to snuggle with you, to wake you up for attention, or they simply come in to check everything is okay and then leave again.

When your cat imprints on you, they want to be with you and they are often protective of you.

8. They Show You Their Belly

cat laying on back on kitchen floor

A cat’s belly is a vulnerable part of their body and is something cats are very guarded about. They don’t tend to like anyone touching their belly and will only show their belly when they trust you.

When your cat rolls over and exposes their stomach they are not asking for a belly rub, they are letting you know they feel comfortable with you.

What Does It Mean When A Cat Imprints On You?

When a cat imprints on you it means they have bonded with you and trust you. They feel comfortable around you and show this with their behaviour and desire to be around you.

When Do Cats Typically Imprint?

Cats typically imprint when they are young and in the first few hours or days of life.

A cat will imprint on a human when they don’t have a mother, or when they need food, comfort, or safety.

Although, cats will continue to build strong bonds with humans when they are older too.

Some cat breeds are more likely to imprint on a person than others.

For example, Turkish Angora, Siamese, Manx, and Siberian cats are all very affectionate and are more likely to imprint on people.

senior man holding a cat

Every cat is different and has their own personality and preferences.

If your cat imprints on you, it is a sign of trust and a good bond.

With that said, don’t be sad if your cat doesn’t seem to be very affectionate with you as some breeds are more reserved and don’t express how they feel as clearly as others.

Do Kittens Imprint On Humans?

Yes, kittens do imprint on humans, particularly when their mother is not around. Younger cats imprint on people more easily than older cats.

How To Get A Kitten To Imprint On You

Imprinting happens when the kitten bonds with you so it’s important to create a strong, positive relationship with them. You can do this by spending time petting, grooming, and playing with the kitten, feeding the kitten and cleaning their litter box.

Being consistent and understanding the kitten’s needs will strengthen your bond and hopefully you’ll be their favourite human before you know it.

Why Do Cats Imprint On Their Owners?

Cats imprint on their owners for a variety of reasons, it is often because the person they have imprinted on is good at communicating with them, plays with them often, feeds them etc.

A cat’s favourite person is going to be a person who treats them well and always makes them feel safe.

Street cats and cats who have been previously abandoned are likely to imprint on their new owners because they feel secure and close to the people who are giving them food, shelter and safety.

Do Cats Usually Imprint On More Than One Person?

No, cats usually only imprint on one person.

When a cat prefers one person over another at home, it is a sign they have imprinted on that person.

They will show more affection to this person and it will seem like your cat has a favourite person.

lady holding a ginger cat

This is a sign that your cat has bonded more closely with that person.

Although most cats will only imprint on one person, some have multiple favourite people and will imprint on them.

A cat can also change their favourite person.

Their favourite person is usually the one that provides food, attention, and understands the cat’s body language the best.

How To Be Your Cat’s Favourite Person

Your cat’s favourite person is going to be the person that pampers them most, but does it in a way your cat responds to.

By this we mean, you understand when your cat wants to cuddle but you also understand when they want to be alone.

This understanding is the secret to being their favourite person.

1. Socialisation

cat person personality

The first step to being your cat’s favourite person is making sure they are well socialised. Socialisation is an important foundation to building trust and strong relationships.

Interact with your cat in various ways such as; playing, grooming, and cuddling.

You want your cat to know that you are a reliable source of positive interaction.

2. Understand when your cat wants space

Being your cat’s favourite person doesn’t mean you are always playing with them or giving them cuddles.

It is vital to know when your cat wants to play or wants cuddles and when they want to rest.

If your cat slows down, moves away, or changes their body language they are indicating to you that they have had enough and want to rest.

You need to respect this and give your cat space.

3. Understand your cat’s communication

As with knowing when your cat wants space, it is also important to understand what they want when they come over to you.

There are many reasons your cat may come to see you from wanting food to wanting attention.

Trying to better understand your cat and their behaviour will help you to build a strong bond with them.

4. Be gentle with your cat

Cats don’t respond well to rough play and chasing games like dogs do.

child playing with ginger cat

Instead, they respond to gentle strokes on their body, neck, and face.

They don’t tend to like their tail or belly being touched and will stiffen their body and hiss if you do something they don’t like.

In order to build a strong bond with your cat you need to be mindful of this during your interactions.

5. Offer treats and positive experiences

Many cats can’t resist a treat.

feed your cat before bed

If your cat associates positive experiences, like getting their favourite treats, with you they will come to you more often for snacks and attention.

Offering food is one of the simplest ways of building a bond with your cat as food is one of their fundamental needs so your cat will naturally start to bond with the person who feeds them.

Do Cats Have a Favorite Person?

There are two kinds of people in the world — cat people and dog people. While some may straddle the line between liking both, in those that have strong opinions is almost always skews one way or the other. And those opinions come with stereotypes.

Dog people are usually seen as more friendly and outgoing (think: golden retriever puppy), while cat people are generally assumed to be more introverted and aloof. While those stereotypes may not fit for people, they do often fit for the animals they represent.

This is especially true for cats. Cats aren’t nearly as outgoing and social as dogs (there are exceptions, of course), which can lead to a lot of misconceptions and confusions when it comes to their behaviors. Even longtime cat owners wonder if their cat even really likes them, or just puts up with them because they are a source of food and pets (when they want them, of course).

In this article, we hope to clear up some of those myths, including whether we really are our cat’s favorite person.

Why Are Cats So Different Than Dogs?

As much as we often wish our cats could be the same, chill, hangout buddies that our dogs are, even cats that we’ve cohabited with for years can be aloof and uninterested in us much of the time. But what makes their behavior so different from their canine “siblings?”

There are actually quite a few differences between the two!

Most of these personality differences have to do with simple biology. On an evolutionary level, dogs have always been pack animals. That’s why they thrive on being near us. To be alone is to be separated from their pack, which causes them some pretty serious biological stress. Cats, on the other hand, have always been solitary animals. They hunt alone, they often live alone, and biologically they just don’t really “need” us.

It also comes down to the fact that cats, much like Count Dracula , are nocturnal animals (which explains why they are often up all night, meowing and messing with stuff), where dogs are not. Dogs’ sleep cycles tend to coincide with ours a lot more, which is why they tend to socialize with us more than cats do.

Do Cats Actually “Like” Us?

While there isn’t an official cat ambassador we can ask, there have been plenty of studies on the subject that show that cats definitely form strong bonds with some of the humans in their lives. Most cats actually prefer to interact with their person, even more than playing or eating. That’s high praise! It’s also been shown that cats will alter their behavior in relation to how much attention they are getting from a person. They are even sensitive to our moods and emotions.

The strongest proof of this bond comes from a study by Dr. Kristyn Vitale, who is an animal behavior scientist and researcher at Oregon State University. Adapting a research study performed with human infants, human-cat (or kitten) pairs were placed in an unfamiliar room for two minutes. After that time, the humans left the room for two minutes. Once they came back into the room, their cat’s reaction was observed.

Around two-thirds of the cats immediately greeted their owners when they re-entered the room. After that, they went on to explore the room more confidently. This shows that they see their human as a source of comfort and security, which is a major part of what makes the human-cat bond so strong. It is also about the same amount of dogs and infants that did the same thing, which shows maybe they don’t bond so differently after all.

To make matters even more adorable, one last fun piece of cat trivia is that the vast majority of the bonding behaviors that our cats show us are actually derived from the biological mother-kitten relationship . A perfect example of this is how they “make muffins,” or knead us when they’re laying on us and content. The reason that they do this is in their DNA — kneading stimulated their mother’s milk production when they were kittens. They knead to show that they are comfortable with us. Pretty cute, right?

Do Cats Have a Favorite Person?

Ok, so now that we understand cats a little better, let’s answer the question you’ve all been waiting for. Do cats have a favorite person?

If we take a look at all of the information out there, including how much more cats bond with humans than it appears they do, the answer to that question will likely always be a solid “it’s impossible to tell.”

“Favorite” is a human term, like BFF. It’s not a concept that happens in the animal world. While you likely have a much stronger bond with your cat than your next door neighbor would if they came over, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re their “favorite.” However, the good news is, you also can’t really prove that you’re not! No one else has the bond that you have with your cat, which sounds like you’re their favorite to us. Don’t let anyone try to tell you otherwise!

How To Bond With a Cat

Even if you are close with your cat, there are always ways that the two of you can become closer. Here are a few tips from the professionals on how to increase the bond you already share.

  • Give them their space — No matter how excited you are, make sure you’re still going slow and giving your cat their space. It’s hard not to push your human enthusiasm on them, but that’s just not how cats work. It may be good to even provide them with a physical “safety space” that they can go when they really want to be alone. If they’re there, don’t mess with them (we know this is hard!).
  • Let your cat come to you — Similar to giving them space, letting your cat come to you is one of the best things you can do to increase your bond. If you let them decide when they want to spend time with you, it will make them feel more safe and closer to you.
  • Use positive reinforcement — Always have a way to positively reinforce your cat seeking you out. This can be treats or toys, depending on how your cat is motivated. A great suggestion is a laser pointer, because your cat will have fun in your presence but not know you’re the one doing it. They’ll just know that being around you is exciting, which will encourage them to do it more often.
  • Learn their body language — Every cat is different, so take the time to study your cat and learn their specific body language. Generally speaking, cats tend to “talk” with their tails, so pay plenty of attention to it. Tail position (upright = happy, level/down = unsure) and how they move it (fast moving = angry, slow swish = annoyed or ready to pounce) are great things to focus on.

With more than 80 million pet cats in homes in the United States, they outnumber pet dogs three to one. But that doesn’t mean we understand them, and research on their behavior has lagged far behind research done with dogs (favoritism, much?). However, in most cases, even cats we’ve lived with our entire lives can be very difficult to read.

We hope we at least made some of their behavior a little less hazy. It won’t make your cat any different, but understanding them more is a good step in forming a closer bond, on their terms. Cats are great, and it doesn’t take a cat person to appreciate that.

  • Do Cats Have a Favorite Person? Do Cats Have a Favorite Person?
  • Do Cats Have a Favorite Person? Do Cats Have a Favorite Person?
  • Do Cats Have a Favorite Person? Do Cats Have a Favorite Person?
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