Why Do Some Cats Choose a Favorite Person? We Have Several Reasons

Why do some cats choose a favorite person while others do not? You may have noticed that your cat seems to love you more than anyone else in your family. However, maybe you’ve also had cats that seemed to love (or hate) everyone equally. Why you, and why this cat?

You already know your cat doesn’t fit the stereotype of a cold and aloof animal. Maybe he follows you around the house. Perhaps he won’t sleep at night unless he can sleep with you. It could be that he just seems to know when you sit down and is immediately there, in your lap, no matter where he was before.

So why do some cats choose a favorite person?


There are several possible reasons answering the question, “Why do some cats choose a favorite person?” If you live alone, then the answer is obvious: You’re his sole provider. He gets food, water, shelter, and above all, love, all from you.

When you don’t live alone, though, he might have chosen you simply because you’re the one who feeds him the most. Or you enjoy more playtime with him than anyone else and he’s a playful cat. It’s also entirely possible that there’s just something about you that makes him feel more safe and secure than anyone else does.

It could also be that you’re the only person who’s not bugging him all the time. Cats are drawn to people who love them and play with them on their terms. In fact, that’s why, in a crowd, cats seem to gravitate towards people with allergies or who just don’t like cats.

That seems too obvious. Is there more to it than this?

The question, “Why do some cats choose a favorite person,” begs a deeper look into the answer. Science explains a lot of feline behavior. This is no different.

Cats are only partly domesticated. They haven’t lived around humans nearly as long as dogs have, and for most of the history between us and our furry feline friends, we had limited interaction with them. We learned to tolerate them because they kept pests out of our food supplies, and they learned to tolerate us because our presence meant food, whether they hunted it, received it in the form of scraps, or both.

We cat parents know very well their partial wildness doesn’t mean they can’t love us. I have a cat right now who’s loving all over me (and drooling as she purrs). Our relationship with cats, however, is far closer to the relationship between two humans than it is between a human and a dog. There’s a give-and-take, and there’s communication. We have to learn to understand each other.

Because of that, they may well give us their affection because they choose to do so. They’re not yet hardwired to show it because they depend on us for their every need. We haven’t had anywhere near enough time to breed them to be so.

This isn’t to say that there isn’t any give-and-take or learning to understand each other with dogs. It’s just that, with cats, the interaction and relationship development is currently far closer to what you see between humans.

So why do some cats choose a favorite person?

Some cats choose a favorite person simply because that’s the person they interact with the most. For others, it may be because those people leave them alone or aren’t home very much. And for still others, it might be more complicated. Some cats don’t choose a favorite person at all.

It’s safe to say, though, that there is no single, catch-all reason to which we can point that answers the question, “Why do some cats choose a favorite person?” They do because they do.


Why Cats Chew Fingers, And What You Can Do About It



Some cats seem to have an odd habit. When you’re cuddling them and petting them, they go after your fingers. To you, it seems different from love bites and petting-induced aggression, and maybe you’ve noticed that your cat doesn’t bite so much as chew, gnaw or suck your fingers. Our matriarch, Gizmo, has done this with us her whole life and it is…perplexing behavior, to say the least. Why do cats chew fingers, anyway?

There is a variety of reasons why cats chew fingers

First off, if your cat is actually a little kitten around 9 weeks of age, she may be teething. Kittens who are teething often bite anything and everything. That includes your fingers and toes, because it relieves the discomfort of teeth growing in.

This is actually the perfect time to teach your kitten not to chew on things. The first thing you can do is give her chew toys she can chew on when you’re not playing with her. You can also teach her appropriate biting through interactive playtime.

There’s also “Ow! and Down,” which is a great way to teach her not to bite you. When she does, you say, “Ow!” in a high-pitched, but not loud, voice, and put her down or walk away from her. This teaches her that biting you is unacceptable without teaching her to fear you.

Adult cats chew fingers, too, though.

There are a few reasons why adult cats chew fingers. For many, it’s like wool-sucking – it’s something comforting from their kittenhood. It can also be your cat’s way of playing. We think that both these reasons are why Gizmo chews our fingers. To her, it’s both a throwback to her kittenhood, and it’s also fun and playful for her. We didn’t do much to stop her from doing it when she was a kitten, so she’s kept doing it through her entire adult life.

If your adult cat is chewing on your fingers, you can train her out of it with more playtime, and also with the “Ow! and Down” technique. Be aware, though, that it will take considerably longer if she’s already grown. It’s always easier to train kittens than cats, but don’t let that stop you if you’d rather she didn’t use you as a chew toy.

Why do cats show affection when they want something?



If you have a multi-cat household like me, then you know that every cat is different when it comes to affection. Some are aloof, some are friendly, some are very friendly, etc. But you’ve probably noticed that your cats get all kinds of affectionate when they want something. Ours rub our legs, purr, jump in our laps, and give us kitty kisses and head butts when they’re hungry. They also do this when they want to play, when they think we have treats – whenever they want something. Why do cats show affection when they want something from us?

It turns out cats show affection this way because it works

Our cats have learned exactly what they need to do to get certain responses from us. According to Dr. Kathryn Primm, our cats “know they have basic survival needs, like hunger and thirst. They know that we are the source of their resources, so they have become very adept at managing to get people to react in the ways they want.”

So in this way, cats show affection as a means of communication. They’re saying, “Hey, I need something from you.” Just as we learn how to ask people for things in ways that raise our chances of getting it, so too have cats learned this with affection.

Cats show affection to get affection

They don’t just do this when they want food or water, though. Cats show affection to us when they want affection back. Has your cat ever rubbed on you, then led you to his food bowl only for you to see that the bowl is full? Or to his favorite toy, but he doesn’t really seem interested in playing? We have a squillion memes for that kind of thing, but he could be telling you he just wants you to pet him.

So while it may seem like he’s totally selfish in some of his displays of affection, keep in mind that such displays may not be what they seem. Your cats show affection because they need things only you can give, including love.

Cats drink water using their amazing feel for physics



There is actual, interesting physics behind how cats drink water. At a glance, it might appear that all they do is use their tongues as cups to get water into their mouths. According to an article on Cat Channel, though, that’s not what they do at all. Instead, they use the tips of their tongues to create a column of water to pull into their mouths.

The way that cats drink water depends on the actual physics of water

Cats’ ability to drink water from a horizontal surface, such as a bowl, a puddle, a pond, or whatever else they may find in the wild, hinges on their tongues, and on water surface tension and liquid adhesion. Joanne McGonagle, the writer of the article on Cat Channel, says that Dr. Roman Stocker of MIT decided to investigate the physics behind how cats drink water after watching his own cat drink several years ago.

What Dr. Stocker found is that cats curl the tips of their tongues very sharply downward when they drink, instead of making a cup and scooping the water into their mouths. They very lightly touch the surface of the water, without piercing it, with the smooth tongue tip. The water sticks to the tongue, forming the column from which they then drink.

There’s an apparent understanding of physics that’s evident when cats drink water, and other times, too

According to a 2010 article in MIT News, cats instinctively know exactly when gravity will overcome the surface tension of the water and bring the column back down into the bowl, and they close their mouths around the water column to get their drinks. This is also how they keep their chins dry (or mostly dry) while drinking.

The physics behind how cats drink water results in about four laps per second for our furry feline friends at home. Bigger cats, which have correspondingly bigger tongues, lap more slowly, because more water sticks to the bigger surface area of their tongues.

The way cats drink water is different from how dogs drink water. Dogs actually do make little ladles out of their tongues to scoop water out of a bowl, according to the Washington Post. The researchers who began the study at MIT actually did so out of curiosity more than anything. The physics behind how cats drink water boils down to this: They have learned to balance gravity against inertia.

Here’s a slow-motion video of how cats drink water:

Promising New Research May Show Way To Help Declawed Cats



Declawed cats. The very idea is offensive and revolting to many pet owners, veterinarians, and animal rights activists, and rightly so. Declawing is an unnecessary amputation of the last bone of each toe, which causes ongoing problems for these cats. Those problems include arthritis, club-foot, chronic pain, and more. Those of us with declawed cats (whether we adopted them that way or had it done), who wish we could do something to help them, may be interested in this new research.

Personally, I know I’m interested. All four of our cats are declawed because we didn’t know what it actually was when we had it done. Once we learned the truth, it was too late. If there may soon be a standardized way to help them with pain and the problems the unnatural gaits that the missing bone causes, then I’m all ears.

Despite studies showing the opposite, people still report a higher rate of litter box problems with declawed cats

Many people whose cats are declawed report problems with litter box behavior. One (very strong) possible reason for the litter box problems declawed cats experience is the pain in their paws. Eventually, it’s just too painful to step and dig into cat litter – even the finest of fine-grained litters.

Dr. Ron Gaskin, a vet in Shakopee, Minnesota, may have a way to help that. He gave 18 declawed cats who were having litter box problems a two-week course of buprenorphine, which is a painkiller. Of those cats, more than 80 percent started using their boxes normally again.

There may also be a surgery that can help declawed cats

But that’s not all. What Dr. Gaskin has noticed is that declawed cats develop hyperflexion in their declawed paws, causing club-footedness and additional pain and problems. The chronic pain that declawed cats suffer gets worse over time, and raises cortisol levels, which in turn raises the risk of diabetes. So, besides the chronic pain, there are other health issues that may be linked to declawing, even if it’s not obvious at first.

There’s a surgery that Dr. Gaskin performed on 14 cats that he calls a “declaw salvage surgery.” It’s essentially a flexor tendonectomy that helps to correct the club-footedness declawing causes.

Obviously, neither of these options creates a free pass to have your cats declawed. There’s nothing out there right now that can replace the missing bones in their toes so they can walk completely normally again. In my personal opinion, though, anything that can help declawed cats live more normal, less pain-filled lives, it’s worth noticing.

Kittens and male cats: Can they be good daddies?



Most female cats will make good mothers. They’ll feed, wash, and care for their kittens. But what about male cats? Do they make good parents, too, even when they didn’t father the litter? Many of us have at least heard that male lions kill all the cubs they didn’t father when they take over a pride. I’ve sometimes wondered if that extends to other feline species. Can kittens and male cats be good together?

One woman’s experience with kittens and male cats changed her whole outlook

Dianne Meriwether answered that question, which originally appeared in the question form Quora, in a blog post that appeared in The Huffington Post. In it, she said she would have thought that male cats did not make good daddies. Her experience involves a male feral cat that approached their house after her female cat had kittens in the house. She had always heard that male cats eat kittens, so this frightened her. She thought he was after a meal.

What happened, though, surprised her. At first, she held one two-week old kitten up to the screen door, and the male cat responded by rubbing his cheeks on the screen. She finally let him in when the kittens were about four weeks old. He spent time washing each of the kittens, while their mother spent time trying to stay out of their reach. He also taught them to hunt, and fend for themselves. They followed him everywhere.

Male cats can sometimes take over mama’s role in her absence, but it’s wise to be careful with kittens and male cats

The Nest has an article with its own take on whether male cats can make good daddy cats. Author Elle Di Jensen of Demand Media advises people to keep an eye on mothers and their kittens if male cats are around, because they may still pose some danger. She also discusses some anecdotal evidence that male cats have actually shown up at people’s doors with litters of kittens in tow. Kittens wouldn’t follow a cat that threatened them; they’d run and hide.

Other answers to the original question on Quora insist that male cats can’t be good fathers. The bottom line appears to be that there’s no one way to answer this question. So, if you have a new litter of kittens in your household and male cats around, protect them, and perhaps introduce the male cats very slowly when the kittens are older. If the males show any aggression towards the kittens at all, keep them separate.

Cats Bullying Each Other: How Do You Stop It?



Bullying. It’s common in multi-cat households. We have it here – Chase and Kali will sometimes gang up on Gizmo, and Kali harasses Aria. I started looking for ways to stop this because there are days that our cats bullying each other gets really bad.

What can you do to stop your cats bullying each other?

First and foremost, if your cats aren’t spayed or neutered, get that done right away. This can prevent bullying, along with unwanted litters, yowling, and other behavior issues that arise with intact cats.

If your cats are sterilized, though, and you’re still having problems, consider how your cats might view the resources in your house. Those resources include food and water, the litter boxes, and territory. Do each of your cats have adequate territory, horizontal and vertical? You can create extra vertical territory with multiple cat trees, or even carpeted shelves on the walls. Vertical territory is very important for cats. Make sure each of your cats can get up high and away from the others. Ensure they have multiple escape routes, too. That way, nobody can trap anybody else.

Territory generally isn’t a problem in our house, even though it’s a little small for four cats. Neither is resources – we have five litter boxes around the house, and they all get fed in separate rooms on a schedule. They do have a communal water bowl but nobody chases anybody away from it.

One more thing you can do: Be sure your cats aren’t sick or injured. Cats are good at hiding pain and illness, but will swipe at someone who makes them feel worse.

So now what do we do to stop our cats bullying each other?

Well, to be honest, I haven’t been the best cat mom when it comes to interactive playtime. One of the things that playtime does is stimulate your feline friend’s instincts. Another is that it helps you bond with her. It can also tire them out so they don’t have the energy to bully each other.

Cat Behavior Associates also recommends giving each of your cats individual attention with playtime so nobody’s competing, especially if there’s only one of you to play with multiple cats. The same goes for affection: Don’t play favorites.

The best thing you can do, though, is to stop conflict between your cats as early as possible. Cats bullying each other happens when there’s conflict, and only gets worse over time. If you see one of your cats trying to stare down another, or intimidate each other—whether it’s over food and water, litter boxes, territory, or anything else—gently separate them and find a way to make it so things don’t escalate. Above all, do not yell at them or swat them. You’ll only make things worse.

Cat love bites: Why on EARTH do cats do that?



You’ve been there before. You’re with your beloved feline friend, and she’s happily purring away while you pet her and scratch her in all her favorite spots. Maybe you’re holding her, if she likes that. Then out of nowhere, she nips you. Not hard – she doesn’t break skin and it probably doesn’t even hurt, but you suddenly feel little teeth on you. Cat love bites are perplexing – why do cats do that?

Cat love bites are a form of communication

Kali will lightly bite both of us, but oftentimes it’s just a tiny little nip when we’re petting her and cuddling her. Sometimes, when I hold her and she’s happy and purring, she’ll put her tiny needle teeth on my shoulder. She gives me a love bite.

Cat love bites may happen because your cat is feeling over-excited or over-stimulated, but it could also be because she feels a strong bond with you. Cats don’t communicate with us the way we communicate with each other. That little nip you get in a moment of affection is her way of saying she loves you.

We’ve figured out that she uses bites to communicate any number of things, including telling us when she wants more rubbing, when she’s done, when she wants us to feed her, and when she’s just feeling frisky. Sometimes we can tell it’s because she’s getting annoyed; she’s usually also giving us other cues, like twitching the tip of her tail. This particular type of bite is caused by petting-induced aggression, which you can read more about here.

Not all cat bites are love bites, though

There’s one thing you should remember if your cat is biting you: You have to determine the cause. That means paying attention to her body language, and her purring and/or vocalizing. What does your cat do when she’s at her happiest, and how does that compare to when she’s annoyed? Cat love bites can be difficult to distinguish from other bites. However, if her bites are at all aggressive, let her go so she can calm down.

But if her behavior indicates that her little nips are, in fact, just cat love bites, and she’s not hurting you at all, then she’s saying to you, “I love you!”

Cone of shame & alternatives: Helping your cat deal



Things happen to our cats. They get injured, or need surgery, and they insist on trying to eat the scabs or chew the stitches out of the healing wound. Your cat is acting on his instinct to stop the discomfort from the wound, which can make things worse. So you have to put him in a cone of shame, which he absolutely hates. Even if it’s a soft cone, he will probably be very stressed during this time. What are some good ways to help him handle it, without risking his recovery?

Making the cone of shame easier on your cat

Your cat may have trouble eating, drinking and using the litter box while he’s in the cone of shame. However, if the cone is on properly, he should still be able to do these things. Try putting his food and water bowls up on a little stool or stand so he doesn’t have to bend down as much to get to the bowls. Or simply hold his bowls for him when he wants to eat and drink (if that works for you).

Remove any litter box covers you have so that he can move freely inside the box. Also, while it might seem distasteful, you can temporarily put his box in a more open area of the house, again, so that he can move freely. This, too, might help to reduce his stress and feel better while wearing the cone of shame.

Alternatives to the dreaded cone of shame

Everything is more difficult with a cone of shame. Eating, drinking, using the litter box, even getting comfortable and sleeping are difficult. You might start hunting for alternatives—any alternatives—to forcing him to wear that cone. One possible alternative is to put him in a shirt. Shirts sized for babies aged 0-3 months are good sizes for cats and they’ll cover most wounds. This will likely be much less stressful for your cat.

However, according to Vetstreet, putting him in a shirt might not be effective on its own, especially if your cat is extremely determined to get at his wounds.You can try a no-lick spray, or some other non-toxic, but icky substance to discourage him and protect his wounds.

Other options besides the hard plastic cone include an inflatable or cushioned “donut,” or a neck brace-type appliance. The softer cones are better than the rigid plastic cones, but because they can invert, they don’t necessarily work for all situations. Also, cats can hate the soft cones as much as the rigid ones.

Consider giving him time out of his cone of shame, but be careful

You can consider giving your cat supervised time out of the cone of shame, especially around feeding time. However, Dr. Phil Zeltzman says that dogs can be even more traumatized by this, as he might see it as some form of punishment. The same is easily true for cats. Dr. Zeltzman believes that the stricter you are with it, the more quickly he will get used to it.

As much as we hate seeing our pets suffer more than we think is necessary, protecting their injuries and incisions from themselves is crucial to their recovery. So, if you’re having trouble with your cat and the cone of shame, try some of these options and see if they help. But don’t just remove the cone and hope everything will be okay.

Urine crystals in cats: What causes them and how do you get rid of them?



A little while ago, we noticed that someone was peeing on some of our furniture. Given that we’ve got two cats on fluoxetine long-term due to stress marking, I was worried that their medicine wasn’t working anymore. But then I noticed something odd when I treated the pee spots with Urine Away. They became sparkly, which I’d never seen before. The spots weren’t saturated enough to cause that, and I realized we might have a cat with urine crystals. Urine crystals in cats require veterinary diagnosis and treatment.

The first thing we had to do was take all four of our cats to the vet for testing because we didn’t know who it was. It’s always a good idea to take your cats in when new and worrisome behaviors appear. Urine crystals can be irritating to your cat’s bladder and urethra, making them feel like they need to go all the time. They can also lead to stones, which can cause life-threatening blockages, and cause UTIs. This is why it’s so important to take your cat to the vet if your cat is peeing outside the litter box.

What causes urine crystals in cats?

It depends on the type of crystal, but some causes are:

  • Urine pH is too high or too low
  • Dehydration
  • Dietary issues (which can affect urine pH levels)

How are urine crystals in cats treated?

This, too, depends on what caused the crystals. Sometimes, simply ensuring that your cat is getting adequate water is enough. Other times, your cat may need a change in diet, or even medicine, or some combination of all of this.

It’s important to note that urine crystals in cats may show an underlying problem. Your vet will work to determine whether that’s the case, and if so, recommend an appropriate treatment for it in order to stop the crystals.

So which cat of ours had the crystals?

It turns out that it was Chase with the crystals. All three of our other cats’ urine was normal, with the exception of Kali, who had a high pH. Chase did too, so it’s very likely his crystals were struvite crystals because those tend to form in urine that’s too alkaline (calcium oxalate crystals are more likely to form in urine that’s too acidic, according to our vet).

Our vet recommended we put some cranberry extract with vitamin C into his food to help acidify his urine and ward off infection. We did, and a month later, the crystals were gone. So we thought that was the end of it, and continued putting the cranberry in his food. For him, it seemed it was an open-and-shut case. Stay tuned…

**Please remember to call your vet if you notice any unusual or alarming behaviors!