How to Meet and Greet a Cat

Cats sometimes feel threatened, over–stimulated or nervous when someone new approaches them. To try and make your introduction go smoothly, always approach a cat slowly and politely.

Talk to the cat first. Cats are soothed by quiet gentle voices.

  • Sit down and wait for the cat to come to you. Hold out your hand slowly for the cat to sniff.
  • See if the cat will let you scratch him gently under the chin.
  • Don’t pet the cat’s tummy, this is threatening to many cats.
  • Even a friendly cat will scratch or nip when anxious or over–stimulated, so it is important to recognize when a cat is irritated. Most cats will give you “signals” if they have had enough.

The signs of irritation to watch for include a hiss or long, drawn out meow, flattened ears, wide open eyes, and/or a twitching tail. Also watch out if the cat refuses to make eye contact, tightens or flattens his body, walks away or refuses to sniff your hand. If you notice any of these signals, stop and give the cat some space.