Science Caturday: Playing Hard to Pet

inbestigaet

Why do cats always head straight for that one person who hates or fears them, while avoiding the person who desperately wants to cuddle? According to this article in Slate, the answer is actually slightly more complex than “because fuck you.”

According to Diane Meriwether, “all aggression in the feline world starts with staring,” and people who love cats will tend to look straight at a kitty, while those who don’t will avoid catching the cat’s eye. Furthermore, “When humans don’t like cats, they try not to pet them. If the cat comes over, the person might instinctively pet it once, then he withdraws his hand and hopes the cat will go away. Of course, playing hard-to-get with a cat is one of the best ways to make friends.”

So basically, cats love it when you act like a jerk at a bar, giving them a tiny bit of attention while pretending you’re not really interested, and then backing off. Sigh. If you really can’t bring yourself to act like this, you can always try filling your pockets with catnip.

 

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