Introducing Visitors to Your Cat.
It’s back to school time, and that means you can have more activity in your house. Scouting meetings, afterschool play dates, and tricker treaters mean you may welcome more individuals in and out of your front door. But how does your cat feel about that?
For instance, did you know that cats consider eye contact an act of confrontation? It’s no wonder that many cats tend to disappear when new people come into their territory. All that looking and staring! What’s up with that?
Here are 5 strategies to keep your company and your kitty comfortable and contented when meeting people for the first time:
Ignore and don’t touch. The best advice to give anyone coming into your home is to totally ignore your cat. Even members of your family who are very familiar with your cat should never try to comfort him by petting or talking to him.
Look the other way. Don’t make eye contact with the cat. When a new person comes in and doesn’t look directly at the cat, your cat begins to learn that newcomers might be okay – or at least not threatening. Reward her with a small treat left on the floor near her. She can investigate and take it at her leisure.
Leaving so soon? Give your cat access to hiding places – a cat carrier or a favorite shelf or an open door to another room – for times he’s overwhelmed by people.
Sit beside me. Sitting face to face makes your cat feel threatened, so choose a seat where you’ll be beside the cat. Sitting on the same level as the cat (for example, the floor or a lower seat) can invite a kitty to come closer.
Can I have your attention? Friendly cats may approach visitors first and rub their bodies against their legs. For visitors who don’t care for that kind of attention, keep a few favorite toys close by to distract. Or if your visitor loves cats, this kind of cat-initiated affection is an invitation for that person to pet him.
Spending extra time with your cat now can help him feel more comfortable whenever guests come calling. If you have any questions about your cat’s behavior or general health, give Town N Country a call. We love hearing from you. And we don’t consider eye contact a threat!