How To Make Friends With A New Cat | Manners Matter

By Category: Cat Behavior, How To Make Friends With A New Cat
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Are you trying to make friends with a new cat? Remember that cat manners matter a lot!

Manners matter when you want to make friends with a new cat.

Manners matter when making friends with a new cat.

How can I make friends with a new cat, Thomasina? I’d love to  become buddies with an indoor/outdoor cat in my neighborhood.
— Hopeful

Hi Hopeful…
I’m so glad you asked! So many humans have such bad manners when they try to make friends with a new cat. 

Like people, we really don’t like it when someone invades our personal space. And tromping up to a cat on the sidewalk and trying to put your hands all over him is a major invasion of his personal space. It’s also a good way to get scratched!

Manners Matter When You Want To Make Friends With A New Cat

Before I answer your question, Hopeful, I have one for you. Does the cat want to be friends? If he dives under a bush or disappears in the nearest storm drain, he’d probably prefer that you be friends from afar, at least for now.

Something else that’s really important is to talk to the cat’s human and make sure it’s okay for you to become friends with him. Some people (our human!) are very protective of their cats and prefer for strangers to stay away from them. 

There’s one more thing to do before you try to make friends with a new cat, too. It’s a good idea to learn some catspeak first. It’s just good manners to say a few words to the cat in his native language.

  • Blinking slowly at the cat tells him you like him and want to be his friend.
  • Yawning sends a relaxed, reassuring message. So does turning your head away from the cat.
  • Looking a cat straight in the eye appears aggressive. You don’t want to do that!

How To Make Friends With A New Cat

Much to our human’s horror, I make friends with anybody and everybody. But I’m not your typical cat. This is how to make friends with a new cat who’s not like me.

      • Sit on the ground or the floor if you’re inside. You want to get down to the cat’s level. We get scared when humans are towering over us.
      • Blink and say a few kind words to him. Remember, don’t look him straight in the eye!
      • If you happen to have treats with you, offer him some as a gesture of friendship. But put them a few feet away from you. He might not want to come too close.
      • Hold your hand out, palm down and let him sniff your hand. We learn to recognize friends by scent. 

    • Let him rub against you, but don’t try to pet him right away. Let him get used to being close to you first.
    • If you’re inside, and the cat is very fearful and shy, playing with him with a wand or fishing pole toy is a good way to make friends. So is lying on the floor and making a trail of treats from wherever the cat is hiding to you. 

It could take several days or even weeks to make friends with a new cat, so don’t give up! If you’re patient, he’ll probably become your buddy eventually.

When You Become Friends

My human typist asked me to add this. When you become friends with a new indoor/outdoor cat, please don’t invite him into your house. His people won’t be able to find him when it’s time for him to come in. And don’t feed him. He has plenty of food at his house, and his family might be very careful about what he eats. One of our neighbors gave me some of her cat’s Meow Mix one time, and our human was beyond upset. We’re not allowed to have any dry food, let alone multicolored Meow Mix! 

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