Learn cat body language and find out why they go to non-cat people

Posted by Maggie the Moggie. December 16th 2014.

While it’s widely assumed that cats love people who love them back, this is not always the case. Many cats actually show affection towards humans who don’t seem to like them back and it’s all to do with body language.

To understand this phenomenon, we must first get a glimpse at cat body language and the signs cats show when they love someone – and therefore why they sometimes love someone who doesn’t seem to like them back.

A cat’s body language

Cats have many different behaviours and their body language determines many things – from how they feel to what they need. Some of the most common acts you should understand include:

•    Purring: in the wild a mother cat will purr to her kittens to assure them that all is ok, in reply the kitten will purr back. However, kittens also purr when they are sick or injured

•    Leg rubbing: smell is really important to cats and by rubbing itself against you it is picking up your unique smell. By rubbing against your leg, your cat is actually greeting you by recognising your smell whilst rubbing its own onto you

•    Teeth chattering: cats tend to do this when they see or hear something they can’t get to, like a bird on the other side of the window. This can therefore be a sign of either frustration or excitement

•    Rolling over: this is a sign that the cat would like to play, although a bit of rough and tumble with your cat may leave you with some scratches! Don’t take this the wrong way, as rolling over and inciting play actually means the cat trusts you and welcomes physical contact

•    Kneading: in order to stimulate the flow of milk from the mother, a kitten kneads their mother’s body with their front paws. This behaviour can continue into adulthood and cats can mimic this behaviour with their owners – an act which means they feel secure and dependant on you

•    Bushy tails: cats have the ability to bush up their tail giving the impression they are much bigger than they actually are. They usually do this with an arched back and a sideways stance as a sign of aggression or fear

Why do cats prefer non-cat people?

It’s all about the body language. Cat lovers will stare at cats, move towards them, talk to them and attempt to play with them. This may be ok if the cat knows the person but if it’s someone unknown, it’s easy to understand why the cat would prefer someone that is less forward.

A non-cat person will avoid the cat, not reach out to them and have no interest in talking to the cat. This body language won’t be threatening or frustrating and will encourage the cat to greet the person and investigate them on their own terms.

Therefore non-cat people may find cats going straight to their legs to rub themselves upon it!

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