How to Make My Cat Love Me
See files for Cats
Cats are much more social animals than conventional wisdom suggests. Not only do they love to be given affection, but they need it to sustain their well-being in the domestic environment. We can see it in how they meow at us, follow us into the bathroom and even stare at our every movement. We wouldn't enjoy living with cats like we do if they didn't love us. Which is why it can be so difficult if we adopt a cat which either doesn't seem to love us or is even openly hostile. Even more worrying is when a cat has loved us before, but all of a sudden appears to stop.
At AnimalWised, we look at the question how to make my cat love me? Not only do we look at the ways you can improve the relationship with your cat, we look at how valid this question is in the first place.
How do I know if my cat loves me?
Since humans and cats communicate differently, we need to better understand feline language. Although cats do use vocalizations, some much more than others, their main method of communicating with us is via body language. By using postures, facial expressions and even specific movements, they can convey their mood, intentions and desires to us.
The information cats want to communicate with us is often much more complex than we give them credit for. Although they will often meow at us if they want food, they can also use body language to communicate various emotions. These include loneliness, anxiousness and even love.
We provide more detailed information in our article on how a cat expresses their love for us. However, there are some key ways we can know if our cat loves us:
- Sleep next to us: only a cat which feels comfortable and safe will sleep beside us, since it is a time at which they are most vulnerable.
- Rub against us: rubbing their face and body against us has a practical purpose in that they are leaving their scent to mark territory. However, it is also an expression of love since they are happy for us to be in their territory.
- Shows us their belly: exposing their belly also puts the cat into a vulnerable position, meaning they love and trust us. Most cats will not enjoy us touching the area, but some love us so much they will let us pet them there.
- Defends us: if a cat thinks we are in trouble, they will often come running and even defend us against perceived threats.
It is also important to bear in mind that every cat is an individual. Some will express their love more easily and openly than others. It won't necessarily mean they love you less, but it may mean they are simply not as demonstrative about it. We should also note that cats will need their own time and if they are not in the mood, it doesn't mean they have a problem. If they show us they love us at other times, it should signal a health relationship.
When we don't see any signs a cat loves us at all, we might need to question if there is a problem. If they run away from us when we enter a room, scratch and bite us without provocation or generally act antagonistic towards us, we might see our bond is weak and they do not love us as they should.
Such antagonistic or remote feeling towards their caregivers can be very difficult to understand when we first adopt them into our family. If we have previously had a good relationship and they start disliking us all of a sudden, understanding why may be even more difficult.
Reasons my cat doesn't love me
Before we look at the ways we can help our cat love us, we need to look at why our relationship is cold. Although there is overlap between the two, we are going to look at the differences between newly adopted cats and cats we have known for a long time.
My newly adopted cat doesn't love me
- They don't know you well: whether a kitten or an adult cat, adopting them into a family is a big change for them. We need to give them time to investigate their environment, know who we are and start to build up trust. For some cats, this is an immediate process. For others, it will take some time.
- Trauma: especially if we have adopted an abandoned or abused cat, we need to understand that some cats may have had bad experiences with humans. Such experiences can make them distrustful of us and be frightened. It will take time to overcome these experiences and build trust.
- Poor socialization: not socializing a cat is a form of neglect. Experiencing other animals, people and environments is vital to contributing to their well-being. If they have not been socialized properly, they will likely find it difficult to relate to us.
My cat doesn't love me all of a sudden
Some of the problems mentioned above can affect a cat later in life, meaning their attitude to us suddenly changes. However, it is more likely that something has changed in their life and it has led to a worsening of our relationship.
- You are too affectionate: while this might seem counterintuitive, the way we show affection can cause serious problems for a cat. If we try to hug them, handle them incorrectly or even pet them in the wrong places, it can build resentment until they finally have had enough.
- They associate you with a bad experience: even if we do not know we are doing it, we can create trauma in our cat with our behavior. If we scold them, shout at the min appropriately or use any type of negative reinforcement, we can cause the cat emotional stress which makes them not want to be around us. To educate them effectively, we need to use positive reinforcement.
- Routine changes: cats are creatures of habit and any change to their routine can mean they get angry at us. If we bring a new pet into the new home, it can be one of the most antagonizing experiences for a cat. This is why it is very important to introduce new cats properly. Big events such as moving home can be trying experiences, but even little changes such as using different cat food can create problems.
- Lack of basic care: if we do not provide a cat with all of their necessary basic care needs, it can lead to resentment. If we stop providing food, grooming, affection or anything else they need to maintain well-being, it can make them stop loving us.
- They are sick: while we can't take it personally, an illness or disease can lead to a change in our relationship. We need to take them to the veterinarian to have them examined and treat the problem.
Can I make my cat love me?
We ask in this article how can you make your cat love you, but this question is a little inappropriate. The problem is that forcing a cat to love us will not work. If we love our cat and think showing them more affection will make them reciprocate, then we don't know cats. If we think we can make a cat love us by will alone, then it is likely to be counterproductive and will only end in frustration for both parties.
Fortunately, there are ways we can help foster or repair a relationship with our cat. Instead of forcing the cat to love us, we need to understand them, both as a species and as an individual. By respecting their nature and catering to it, we can help them learn to love us with ease.
How can I make my cat love me more?
The solution to behavioral problems in cats, and not displaying love to their human guardians is considered a behavioral problem, depends on the root cause. If you cannot identify the problem yourself, then the first thing you will need to do is speak to a veterinarian. They will examine for any physical problems and, if there are none, they can recommend the next course of action. This will likely involve speaking to a feline ethologist.
Once the problem has been isolated, the treatment will be determined. However, there are some general tips to encourage your cat to love you. They include:
Give space and time
When we bring a cat into our home, we are eager to pamper them. However, if we want the relationship to start off in a positive way, we need to take a step back. Give them time and space to explore and get to know their surroundings. If we crowd them before they have become comfortable, they will see associate us with negative experiences rather than love.
To gain the trust of your cat and earn their love, you will need to create an environment which is safe and secure. Let them know you are there for their benefit by providing food and looking after their needs. Let them come to you can don't pick them up until they approach you. Let them down if they in any way feel threatened.
Improve their environment
One of the main causes of behavioral changes in cats is anxiety. Cats that live indoors can be just as happy as those that go outside. However, they sometimes suffer from stress because they cannot satisfy their basic instincts (e.g. hunting and climbing). When this happens, their character changes and they may even attack us.
If you are worried why you cat doesn't love you, enriching their environment can go a long way. You can provide:
- Scratching post: felines need to scratch to care for their nails, mark territory and relieve stress.
- Platforms and Hideouts: since they love to keep an eye on their prey from high places and hide in dark spots.
- Hunting and stalking toys: some toys stimulate the instinct to chase and catch, such as fishing rods or hanging objects.
- Intelligence games: these are toys or objects that hide food and cats have to use their intelligence to eat it.
- Social interaction games: if you want to make your cat love you, you must play with them. Do so at least 2 times a day for about 10 minutes or more.
Ensures their well-being
To make your cat love you, ensure their basic needs are met. Poor nutrition can lead to psychological problems as much as physical. We also need to ensure we don't bring too much noise or unwanted excitement into their lives. This can cause serious stress and result in the cat hating you.
Providing basic hygiene needs by brushing their coat regularly and looking after their paws, ears and eyes. If we ignore these problems, they can breed resentment. Provide them with a suitable place to rest and don't distrub their sleep unnecessarily. Adult cats sleep an average of 16 hours a day. If the sleep isn't of quality it can serious damage their mood and well-being.
Monitor their health
Although they live indoors, cats are exposed to infectious diseases that can cause changes in their behavior. Therefore, it is important that they are vaccinated and dewormed properly. Additionally, we must remain attentive to any symptoms of illness and go to the vet for routine check-ups.
If you consider that your cat has everything he needs and does not show you affection, he may have a health problem. To rule it out, consult a vet. Only a professional can help you solve this problem and will advise you on how to make your cat love you.
If you want to read similar articles to How to Make My Cat Love Me, we recommend you visit our Basic care category.