Approaching a cat

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not all cats we greet know us some are

confident but others are nervous or shy

it is therefore important to make sure

we greet every cat in a way that lets

the cat nor our intentions are friendly

and in the manner they feel comfortable

with our greeting should be an

invitation to the cat to come and greet

and interact if it wishes it is never a

command if the cat chooses not to come

or interact that should be respected and

we should never pursue the cat or force

our interactions although intended to be

friendly upon the cat a cat that is

allowed to choose when interactions take

place and therefore has the opportunity

to decline invitations to interact is

actually more likely to choose to

interact with people again in the future

as it feels in control of such

interactions greeting should start by

making sure your body language is as

least threatening as possible this

involves bringing yourself closer to the

cat's level by crouching kneeling or

sitting on the floor your body should be

positioned at an angle to the cat that

avoids directly facing it this is

particularly important for unknown

and/or shy cats who may feel more easily

threatened slow blinking prevents direct

steering as does averting the gaze

beyond the cat steering is something

that cats can find threatening I was

stretching a hand towards a cat let it

noise you wish to physically interact

coupling this with a chirp sound claw

the greeting vocalization of the cat

makes your invitation to interact as

appealing as possible a chirp sound also

helps prevent startling the cat when its

attention is elsewhere

notice how this cat

is relaxing in the garden responds

positively to the cherub sound before

the person approaches to offer a hand

for interaction if you know the cat's


gently calling it also often works as a

verbal greeting the outstretched hand

should be a loosely class fist an

outstretched finger or an open hand with

palm facing upwards these provide the

cap with something to sniff and or

facial rub on if it wishes to interact

some catch requires some movement of the

hand such as rubbing the thumb against

the fingers or tapping the ground to get

their attention

however fingers should never be quickly

run along the floor as this could

encourage the cat to play with the

fingers if the cat approaches the

outstretched hand times should be given

to allow the cat to sniff and/or rub on

your hand before attempting to stroke

the cat if the cat only comes over to

your hand briefly then leaves do not

attempt to stroke it except the cat has

declined the offer on this occasion but

if the cat does choose to rub against

you you can begin to stroke the cat