How To Get A Cat's Attention

If you're a dog owner, all you have to do is yell, "here, boy!" and your furry friend will come running. Kitty parents aren't so lucky. Cats are extremely independent and have no problem ignoring you unless they want something. But sometimes a cat mom or dad needs some love and attention too. So how exactly do you get a cat's attention? Let's find out.

Adorable tabby kitten looking up and meowing
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Is my cat even listening to me?

Have no fear, your cat can hear you! Studies show that cats recognize their owner's voice and will respond by turning their head or moving their ears. Kitty responses are subtle. They do not make a big deal out of hearing your voice like a dog might but they can indeed hear you.

Why cats ignore humans.

Cats can hear us but don't seem very interested in the things we say. Cat owners are sure to tell you it's hard to get a kitty's attention. They're either sleeping, eating, resting, or just can't be bothered. Don't let this feline behavior hurt your feelings. Cats sleep an average of 12-15 hours per day. While they are awake, they tend to keep to themselves and only come around when they need something whether it's food, water, a clean litter box, or some good old fashioned TLC from mom and dad.

Cats ignore us because they were never bred or trained to listen and obey like dogs. Cats operate out of natural instinct and if there is no immediate danger, they see no need to communicate. When there is danger, they will let you know through body language or the occasional hiss. If everything is fine, however, they just don't see the need to chat with us.

Portrait of sweet sleep white cat
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How to get your cat's attention.

While it's important to understand why cats seem to ignore humans, it's still possible to get their attention! The first step is speaking their language and knowing what will work for your specific kitty.

Man and cute cat
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Be relaxed: Attempt to bond with your cat and get her attention when you are relaxed. Chances are if you're calm, she will be too. If your cat can tell that you are relaxed, she is more likely to get close to you.

Stimulate your cat: Playing with your cat may be the quickest way to get her attention. Whether you present her favorite feather toy or your own fingers, stimulating your cat is sure to make her alert and give you some playful attention. Just watch out for bites and scratches!

Petting: If you want to get attention from your cat, a surefire method is to give her attention first! Rub between her ears or scratch under her chin and she will be snuggling up next to you in no time.

Word association: If you really want to enter the world of cat training and get some attention out of the deal, train your cat to associate a certain word with feeding time or treats. Say a specific word to your cat before you feed her. Later, say the same word in a different part of the house and if you see her react at all (turn head, ear twitch), reward her with a treat. Once the training is complete, this word will be a sure way to convince your cat to pay attention to you. Just don't tease her, make sure she gets her treat.

The clicker: Instead of a word or phrase, you can use a little device called a clicker to entice our cat to come to you. Press the device to make it click and then give your cat a treat. She will initially associate the sound with a treat but you can eventually use the clicker and reward her other ways like with a good belly rub. Either way, she will learn that you want her attention when she hears that click.

A little kitten is lying on the lap
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Don't stress; your kitty loves you.

Sometimes you won't have to worry about getting your cat's attention because she will communicate with you! If your cat is not in any distress, her signs of communication are most likely telling you she loves you!

When Kitty is seeking attention herself, she will often rub herself against you and purr. Purring is a way for her to say, "please, don't go anywhere!" If you are gone for the day and then return home, your cat will likely walk between your legs and rub against you. This is her way of saying, "I missed you and I'm happy to see you!"

A cat's verbal signals as well as body language are both subtle but if you pay attention to them, you are sure to see your cat loves you more than anything in the world. She may not give you all the attention you desire but when she does, it's all love.