When we lived in Hermosa Beach in the 60s and had the big black-and-white tomcat Archie, there was a couple around the corner, named Jones, with a female Siamese named Winnie. The people were friends of mine, but Winnie was always sullen when I saw her. She had been spayed, and I figured that she smelled Archie’s scent on me, and since Arch was quite the virile feline Lothario she must have hated him. Can I ascribe Winnie’s attitude toward me to that?
How can you be so wilfully blind? It was you Winnie was after!
Her cold shoulder must really be hurting your feelings for you to remember it 40 years after the fact.
Don’t kid me. I know a sullen cat when I see one.
Dogs and cats are very perceptive. It’s been my experience that cats become very attached to one person, their owner/slave. Anyone else could be seen as an interloper. Dogs not so much.
So maybe Winnie was wise to Archie and his humans?
What about the opposite? My wife says she is neutral about pets, actually she’s pretty negative. One cat we visited jumped in her lap at every opportunity in spite of negative reception; me, who likes cats, it wouldn’t give the time of day to.
With dogs, I believe the breed plays a big role. I had heard that Lhasa Apsos tend to be one-person dogs, and in fact when I became the regular walker of my father’s Lhasa while my father was sick, though she was nice enough to me while being walked, she still barked at me if I tried to talk to my father.
I am on my 4th and final cat, they seem to last about 16 years each. All my cats have liked everyone. They do tend to sull up when they are mad at me about something but I can seldom figure out what they are mad about. My present cat gets mad if she doesn’t get at least a couple of minutes of attention a couple of times a day. I tend to feed and ignore for the most part unless they come looking for attention.
It often seems as if cats gravitate to strangers who are not interested in them and shun those who love them. One explanation I’ve heard is that to a cat, a stare is a threat, as in “I’m keeping an eye on you; I don’t trust you.” And of course those of us who love cats will look at them a lot. The trick is, if you’re looking at a cat, every so often slowly close your eyes and then slowly open them again. This sends the message that you are not an enemy.
We’ve got 2 cats right now. Taz, the Bengal, lurves everyone and expects love in return. Ziva, of no particular breed, doesn’t like anyone but me. She’s been with us 5 years, and she barely tolerates my husband - he can pet her if she’s in certain places, but mostly she runs from him. No idea why - he’s never mistreated her. Last week, my inlaws were here. My MIL is an animal person, and I know it just broke her heart that the pretty fluffy kitteh wouldn’t come out for skritches.
Yet when I go to bed, Ziva will plant herself on my chest, purring like crazy as I pet her, and she’ll lick my hand till I pull it away. But if I dare to pick her up, she can’t get away fast enough. Face it, cats are nuts.
The best way to get a cat to trust you is to ignore it. Just pretend to be doing something else way over here that is much more interesting than the cat. Often, the cat will come talk to you after a while.
(This also works on girls.)