How Cats Choose Their Favorite Person

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Split view of two cats: Leo, the Maine coon x Norwegian forest cat, on the left, and a fluffy white cat on the right

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If your home contains a feline family member as well as humans, you might find it’s a bit of a competition about which particular person the cat likes most.

Everyone will likely believe that they’re the most deserving of the cat’s affection, maybe because they do all the feeding or clean out their litter box every morning. So, do cats have a favorite person? And if you’re a cat owner, how can you make sure it’s you?

Do Cats Have Favorite People?

It might seem hard to believe if you don’t own a cat, but many cats do seem to choose a favorite family member. You’d think it would be the person who does most of the caring for them, wouldn’t you?

But actually, the person your cat has the greatest affinity for might not be the person who cares for them the most, who feeds them, or who pays their vet bills!

Quite often, a cat’s favorite person is someone who doesn’t like cats that much at all! In some cases, it seems like the harder you try to get your cat’s affection, the less interested they are. It’s the people who avoid them and don’t invade their space who might end up being the favorite.

Signs You’re Your Cat’s Favorite Person

hold cat

If your cat is fully relaxed and falls asleep, that’s the ultimate display of trust.

Cat behavior is quite complex, and cats bond in different ways. Therefore, there are different ways that your feline friend might let you know that you’re their favorite. One indication might be if yours is the lap they choose to curl up on when given a choice.

And if they fully relax and fall asleep, that’s the ultimate display of trust. Equally, if they rub against you and give you affectionate headbutts, known as bunting, it means you’re doing something right! Many cats purr when they’re around their favorite family member.

Another way you’ll know is if they’re the feline version of your shadow, and you can’t do anything around the house without them keeping you company.

Why Do Cats Choose Favorite People?

When cats choose their favorite person, it’s a sign of trust. For them, being around or even in contact with someone they fully trust means that they can completely relax and rest at ease because they feel safe from harm.

After all, if they let their guard down, they’re relying on you to protect them. But being your cat’s favorite human doesn’t just mean being a safe place to sleep, you’re also someone they can enjoy having fun with during playtime.

Also Read: 8 Purrfect Games You Can Play With Your Cat

How To Help Your Cat Trust You More?

If you want your cat to trust you more, try to read their body language. If they’re flicking their tail or have their ears back, they don’t want to be approached. If you barge straight up to them or grab them for a cuddle at a time like this, you won’t get a great response!

It’s far better to wait until they’re showing signs of wanting to interact by chirruping at you, rubbing against you, or purring. It’s always best to let them approach you, and you can even buy some ‘cupboard love’ with a treat or two as positive reinforcement when they come to you for a cuddle.

When you watch your cat’s behavior, you can also work out what they enjoy doing. When you know what activities or cat toys your cat loves, you can try to share these moments with them.

It’s also a good idea to acknowledge your cat’s dislikes and modify your own behavior. Try to be calmer and quieter when your cat is around and avoid sudden loud noises or big movements that might put them on edge.

You can also enhance this calming effect by using calming sprays and diffusers, some of which will even help to solidify your cat’s bond with you. You can find calming products like Pet Remedy and Feliway on Amazon.

Finally, you should create a safe space for your cat. If your cat retreats to this space, you should respect their desire for alone time. Remember, each time you respect your cat’s communication and acknowledge their body language; you show them that you understand them and can be trusted.

Final Thoughts

Everyone wants to be their feline’s favorite family member. Especially if you’re a cat lover, it’s natural to want to feel the love is reciprocated. It can feel a bit offensive if you do everything to keep your purry puss happy, but they choose someone who doesn’t even like cats to be their favorite!

Don’t take it personally, though; there’s plenty of room for your friendly feline to love you as well. If you spend some time responding to their body language, you can develop a strong bond, and, who knows, you might even become their new favorite in the family!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do cats usually pick a favorite person?

It’s very common for cats to pick a favorite person. Unsurprisingly, sometimes their favorite person is the one who spends the most time playing with them, feeding them treats, and giving them a fuss. However, it's also quite normal if your cat’s favorite person is someone who isn’t that obsessed with cats, or even someone who doesn’t like them! After all, cats are contrary creatures!

How do you know if you’re the cat’s favorite person?

Your cat’s favorite person is usually someone they trust. They might let you know that you’re their favorite by falling asleep on you or rubbing against you and marking you with their scent. They might leave you little presents from their latest kill if they're a hunter. They might even spend most of their time following you and meowing … or that might just be because they want more food!

What does it mean when a cat chooses you?

When a cat chooses you as their favorite, it's a massive compliment. It means they value your bond, and they trust you completely. Cats are usually on high alert and rarely relax for fear of attack or intruders. However, if they regularly snooze on your lap, they’re letting you know that your lap feels like a safe space, and they trust you to deal with any predators.

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About Dr. Joanna Woodnutt, MRCVS

Dr. Woodnutt is a small animal veterinarian and cat behavior and nutrition writer. She's passionate about helping owners to learn more about their pets in order to improve animal welfare. In her spare time, Dr. Woodnutt takes consultations on the small island of Guernsey.

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11 thoughts on “How Cats Choose Their Favorite Person”

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    1. Lynne

      This all makes sense but my cat isn’t a lap cat never has been and how can I tell she loves me the most because she follows me in the bathroom meowing LOL

  1. KB

    My cats seem to love my husband and I equally. They follow us around, get under foot, purr loudly and happily, and everything else. The only time when I’m more the favorite, is at bedtime, because I don’t roll around much, and if I do, I’m cautious about it.

  2. Niki

    Our family cat loved me, slept under the covers with me and brought me food presents but, utterly and completely adored my father. Could hear his car from ages away, and no matter what she was doing, rain or shine would sit on the gatepost waiting until he turned in the driveway, then ride to the house on the bonnet of his car. She would even climb on his knee in the bath. She tolerated my mother who fed her but, completely ignored my brother.

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta

      Wow, what an amazing visual! I hope you got some nice pictures of her riding on the bonnet—that must have been quite a sight to see. If you do have any, please feel free to share them in the community here. Adorable. Thanks for sharing.

      1. Niki

        Sadly no. It was in the days when photos involved rolls of film and a trip to the chemist to get negatives developed. I would never have been allowed to “waste” my parent’s money on one of the cat. One of my father’s nicknames for the cat was Mrs Oil Painting, because of the beautiful classic Siamese cat pose she struck when sitting. To my mother’s horror my father came home one day with an actual (and certainly VERY expensive) painting of the cat that he had had done in secret from a photo. Both cat and father passed away many many years ago but, l still treasure the painting and the memories of both of them.

  3. Tony

    I don’t know how you guys can work in a vet because you couldn’t put me in a vet or SPCA or shelter or any of those places because it would get too depressing. I’d get attached to too many of the cats & dogs to where I wouldn’t want to leave them & I couldn’t be around them when they were very sick either. That would get too depressing, too!

  4. Avatar photoCarol Dunn

    I have a new cat. We just got her. I am concerned that she may walk on our glass-top stove. Even when it is turned off it remains hot for quite a while. Is this something I should worry about? The stove is the same height as the countertop

  5. Eva Lawrence

    I brought home a cat and was looking for the same information but couldn’t find any. I had looked up PetCareRx and PetMD, but gladly I found some info here. Thanks for sharing.