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14 Signs a Stray Cat Likes or Dislikes You

Many people have a few cats that tend to hang up around their houses. Maybe they gather under your front porch or show up because they know they can get a good meal at your house.

While many stray cats are shy and avoid human contact as much as possible, a few will follow you around, especially if you’re an animal lover who will feed them. It’s essential to note that not only are stray cats hard to approach, but they can also be dangerous if they don’t want anything to do with you.

Sometimes, however, a stray cat will take a liking to you and want to be around you. How do you tell when a stray cat likes you? There are several signs that the stray cat around your property would like to be your friend, and we’ll discuss 10 of them below.

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The 10 Signs a Stray Cat Likes You

1. Head Butts

Cats usually like to mark their territory with the scent glands in their cheeks and head. So, if you’re sitting on the porch, and the stray cat that’s been hanging around comes up and head butts your leg with his head, it means he’s marking you and likes you. The cat, in essence, is marking you as one of his allies, and that’s a great compliment coming from a cat.

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2. Eye Contact

Cats often see direct eye contact as a threat, especially cats who live in the wild or aren’t used to being around humans. One way to test whether the cat likes you or not is by catching his eye and looking directly at him. If the cat blinks slowly or looks directly into your eyes, he probably likes you. If the cat darts away and refuses to meet your eyes, you may still have a way to win the cat’s affection.

stray cat
Image Credit: Dimitris Vetsikas, Pixabay
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3. Grooming

When a cat sees someone as a family member, they tend to want to groom them. If the stray cat climbs into your lap and starts grooming you, you can take it as a sign that you’ve won the cat’s affection.

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4. Meowing

A cat’s meow can mean any number of things. If the cat is well-fed, warm, happy, and still meowing at you, it could mean he’s looking for affection. This is a sure sign that the cat has decided you’re one of its friends.

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5. Gentle Biting

If you’ve ever noticed kittens playing, you’ve seen them bite at one another. This is a sign that they are friends and family. If the cat jumps up into your lap and bites you gently, it’s a sign that the cat wants to be friends. It’s essential, however, not to jerk away from the cat’s nibble or yell out, as that’s a sign to the cat that you don’t want to be friends, and you’ll have to start all over in your quest to win the cat over.

cat bites the woman's hand
Image Credit: Luis Echeverri Urrea, Shutterstock
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6. Kneading

Every cat lover knows that a cat kneading your leg, lap, or any other part of your body means that he trusts you and wants to be friends. Kneading is how kittens get milk from their mothers. When they do this to a human, it means they’re looking for a caretaker.

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7. Presenting Its Backside

Cats often greet one another by presenting their backsides to each other so they can be sniffed. This is a cat’s way of getting to know someone. So, if the stray cat presents his backside to you, you can be sure it will want to be your friend.

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8. Bringing Gifts

If a stray cat brings you gifts, such as rodents or birds, it shows you that it trusts you and that you are part of the family. Cats bring prey to their kittens, and domestic cats bring gifts to their pet parents. If the stray cat brings you a gift, it’s probably ready for you to be its pet parent.

red tabby cat hunting a small bird
Image Credit: rihaij, Pixabay
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9. Raising Its Tail

You can tell a lot about a stray cat by noticing its tail. Many cats communicate with their favorite humans by displaying an upright, twitching tail. If you see the stray cat approaching you in this manner, it may be telling you that you are its favorite human.

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10. Sleeping on Your Lap

Of course, the biggest and most obvious sign that a stray cat likes you is if the cat climbs up into your lap and goes to sleep. Being asleep is a dangerous and vulnerable state for a stray cat, so sleeping on your lap means the cat is starting to trust you completely.

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The 4 Signs That a Stray Cat Doesn’t Like You Yet

There are also a few signs that your stray cat doesn’t like you quite yet.

  • The cat is antisocial and won’t come near you
  • The cat strikes a defensive stance when you come near it
  • The cat hides if you approach it
  • The cat hisses if you try to touch it

It’s important not to rush a stray cat to like you. If you see any of these signs, it’s best to stay away from the cat until it’s ready, or you could end up injured.

a tabby mackerel cat hissing
Image Credit: strh, Pixabay

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If you see a stray cat around your property, it’s best to leave the cat alone until it’s ready to trust you. You can put out food for the cat and even try to coax it to come to you from afar, but never try to pick the cat up or force it to be near you.

A scared stray cat can attack you, and cat scratches can become infected easily and make you sick. If you see any of the positive signs above in the stray cat, it’s probably ready to make friends. However, let the cat make the first move for the best results.

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Featured Image Credit: Dimitris Vetsikas, Pixabay