Chances are, you already know just how to greet your own feline companion, but saying hello to someone else’s cat is a whole different story. Cats can be picky when it comes to who they show affection toward, so it’s important to approach an unfamiliar feline carefully. Below are four tips for properly greeting a cat:
1. Let the cat make the first move: Immediately approaching or reaching out to a strange cat can result in the claws coming out. Let the cat approach you and pay attention to body language. If the cat gives you a friendly gesture like rubbing against your legs, that’s usually a good sign that it’s okay to interact.
2. Pay attention to your own body language: Avoid prolonged eye contact, as this can be intimidating. Instead of crouching over the cat, just reach a hand out and let the cat investigate. ,
3. Pet the cat’s head, neck or side: Once the cat feels comfortable enough with you, gently stroke the cat’s head, neck, or sides. If the cat tenses up, stop petting.
4. Use treats: If all else fails and the cat’s owner is okay with it, dropping a couple treats nearby is sometimes a good way to encourage an uneasy cat to socialize.