Leonidas and Rosie

Cat Tips

Cats can't "work out" problems, because they're territorial animals. Stop fights between house cats by blowing a whistle, squirting a bit of water or by tossing a soft object, like a pillow, near them.

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Expert Q&A

One of my relatives is allergic to cats, but when she visits my cat seems to be all over her, even ignoring other guests. My cat also hangs around guests who dislike cats and ignores my cat-loving friends. Is my sensitive cat trying to befriend everyone, or am I imagining this?

Cats do seem to ignore cat fanciers in favor of spending time with those who shy away from pets. This has as much to do with the behavior of your cat-loving guests as it does with those who avoid your pet. The answer to this mystery is twofold. First, even the most affectionate of cats may tire from too much attention and head rubbing. Your guests may have the best intentions, hoping to win over your cat, but your cat may be thinking, "Enough already." Cats usually enjoy spending time with their owners, whom they are used to, but even very social cats sometimes need time to get used to the unique voice and touch of a new person in their home territory. Second, if a person likes cats, he or she will tend to stare at them in the hope of making a connection. If cats detect direct eye contact, they will frequently try to avoid that individual, preferring the company of those who ignore them. Your cat-allergic relative, for example, probably tries her best to steer clear of your cat, while your cat likely considers her to be a non-threatening presence worthy of companionship. It's safest to just confine your cat to a room equipped with kitty comforts until your allergy-prone guest leaves.

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