Why does my cat only cuddle with me? Why is it avoiding other people, and can I get
it to socialize a bit more? Well, it all has to do with imprinting.
Most cats imprint on their owners because humans are their main provider of food and security.
It’s a pattern of behavior that we can observe as early as kittenhood. But cats will also imprint
on owners who can understand their Body Language and connect with them on a deep, personal
level. And with some effort, you can get any cat to imprint on you, be it a kitten or an adult.
Why Does My Cat Only Cuddle With Me?
Cats, in general, are not that sociable. They tend to be distant and less approachable than, for
example, dogs. So, building a bond with your pet kitty might be difficult. Of course, generations
of cat owners, dating back from ancient times, have proven that it isn’t impossible.
Nowadays, my cat will cuddle with me out of sheer pleasure, because it loves me and finds me an
acceptable owner. But why does my cat only cuddle with me, I might hear you ask. Why does it
avoid cuddling with other people or even animals?
This topic is, actually, quite an interesting one. Googling why does my cat only cuddle with me
offers lots of results, but most of the ones I came across were not that informative. In fact, more
than a few were downright confusing.
With that in mind, I’ve decided to answer the question;
hopefully, this article will provide you with all of the necessary info on cat bonding and how it
works. More importantly, you might just learn how to make your own kitty love you in the
A Brief History of Feline Domestication
As stated earlier, cats have been around humans for thousands of years. Some scholars
believe that humans began to domesticate cats roughly 12,000 years ago. The purpose of this
domestication was rather utilitarian; most people groups were predominantly agricultural, and
they would store the surplus crops and grains. However, grains would attract mice and other
rodents. And since cats eat mice, it was only natural to keep them around in order to save as
much grain as possible.
Cats seemed to enjoy this ‘agreement.’ After all, they had a direct source of food that they didn’t
have to hunt for, and they would receive care from the humans. Some time had passed, and a
few generations later, cats were becoming pets to people of all social classes across the globe.
However, the relationship between humans and this ‘first generation’ of domesticated cats was
nowhere near the one humans have with cats today. In fact, modern cats can form complex,
deep bonds with their owners, to the point where they imprint on a specific individual.
Why Does My Cat Only Cuddle With Me: Felines and Imprinting
‘Imprinting’ relates to cats showing affection towards only one human. It’s incredibly common,
but cat owners of all strides still can’t fully explain it. So, why does it happen? Why does my cat
only cuddle with me and refuse to come near a different human being, even the ones I’m close
Building Trust Over the Years
Most cats start to imprint in early kittenhood, and there are lots of good reasons behind that. A
young kitten does not perceive fear as an adult cat might, leaving it open for socialization. So,
when you take the kitten away from its mother, it will start bonding with the closest food provider
(I’ll cover the relevance of food in a bit). Up until the point of adoption, the kitten was surrounded
by its litter, with its mother feeding and grooming it. As a foster parent of sorts, you will become
the kitten’s focal point early on.
But it’s not just about you providing food. In this new environment, the kitten is slowly getting
used to all of the sounds, scents, and speech that come from the human environment. Instead
of socializing with other cats, the kitten is familiarizing itself with your world. And since your
world is safe, fun, and filled with food and care, the little furball will grow to like it.
So, that’s the long and short of it when it comes to kittens. The more they fall in love with their
new environment, the more they’ll see you as the best thing to happen in their lives. But what
about adult cats?
Let’s say that you have just adopted a fully grown stray from the streets. If you provide enough
love and attention to it, the adult kitty might imprint on you. However, the keyword here is
‘might.’ Some strays have a history of neglect and abuse by other humans, be they, adults or
children. Such a cat might have a strong distrust of humans, and bonding with it will be a
Food Is Key
It doesn’t matter what animal you own as a pet, there’s one universal axiom that unites them all
— food is the most efficient way to get them to love you.
Now, I should note that it’s not as easy as ‘feed the cat lots of food all the time.’ In fact, it’s not
even about the quantity of food itself. What cats need from you is, in fact, consistency. Once
again, you need to look no further than kittenhood for an explanation.
Kittens spend most of their time eating, sleeping, or getting groomed by mommy. Even at that early age, they are getting food on a daily basis, at a ‘fixed schedule.’ Feeding gives kittens a sense of routine that
remains constant throughout their adult lives. Moreover, it gives them a sense of safety and
security. After all, they’re eating in the embrace of their loving mother.
So, how does that translate to cuddling and imprinting? It’s simple — as the owner, you’re the
kitty’s main food provider. But it’s important to do it at the same time every day. That way, you
will tap into that sense of routine that your cat has. And once it gets used to the feeding routine,
it will see you as reliable and caring. As a result, you will be the only person it wants to get close
A lot of times, you will see people claiming to be ‘cat whisperers’ or ‘dog whisperers’ who seem
to be doing impossible things with animals. The truth is, these people are simply experts at
reading the body language of certain animals.
Now, let’s be clear on one thing: you don’t need to be an expert to have the cat bond with you.
In fact, all you have to do is pay a bit of attention to how it moves, how it talks, and what it does.
Most people do it intuitively before they do it consciously.
For example, if you spend enough time with your cat, you can distinguish which meow is asking for food and which meow is
seeking attention. In addition, you’ll be able to spot if your cat is slightly more tired than usual
and spot health issues more quickly than before.
Cats bond with humans on a deep level. So, if your pet realizes that you ‘understand’ it better
than other people in your home, it will definitely imprint on you.
Why Does My Cat Only Cuddle With Me: Other Signs of Imprinting
Cuddling with just one person is, by far, the most common way of recognizing that your puss
has bonded with them. However, there are lots of other telltale signs that can confirm imprinting.
As a seasoned cat owner, you must have spotted most of those yourself.
So, if a cat has bonded with you, it will exhibit the following behavior:
● Constant rubbing against your legs
● Following you around the house when it’s not hungry
● Head-butting gently against you while you’re resting
● Staring directly into your eyes
● Sitting or lying on top of you
● Kneading you with its paws
● Grooming you
● Slowly blinking while it’s looking at you
● Vocalizing to you even when it’s not hungry
● Purring when you’re petting or scratching it
● Curving its tail at the tip
● Nuzzling its nose against your face
● Exposing its belly for rubs
● Bringing you gifts.
How do I Make My Cat Love Me?
I’ve met more than a few owners who feel that their cat doesn’t love them. Usually, they’re
having a hard time getting to connect with their feline friend, and I can understand how
frustrating that can be. So, here’s a shortlist of dos and don’ts you need to follow in order to get
your cat to imprint on you.
Be the One to Feed the Cat Regularly In Your Home
If you live in a house with multiple other people, chances are high that everyone will get an
opportunity to feed your cat. That’s perfectly fine, of course, but it might confuse the cat and
prevent it from bonding with anyone.
So, in order to get the cat to imprint on you, try to be the only person who feeds it. It’s important
that you have a feeding schedule and that you stick to it. It also helps if you use a voice
command before each meal so that the cat can associate the sound with food.
Clean Their litter box
Cats are obsessed with cleanliness, and nothing’s worse to a domesticated kitty than a dirty
litter box. With that in mind, always be the one to clean it regularly.
Always Find the Time For Them
Sometimes, you might be tired and not in the mood for snuggles. However, if your cat needs
attention during the day, try to reciprocate. When it snuggles up to you, give it some love. I
guarantee that it will appreciate you greatly for it.
Play With Them Regularly
Cats can get bored just like humans, so playtime is vital to keep their spirits up. If you play with
your little fuzzball regularly, it will come to associate you with having a good time. As a result, it
will imprint on you quickly.
Be Patient, Don’t Get Pushy
I’ve seen far too many pet owners who try to force their way into their kitty’s good graces. So, let
me lay this out as bluntly as possible. If you try to give your cat belly rubs, pats, or hugs by
force, you will only end up making the cat dislike you. You have to earn the right to get close to
them, and being pushy will produce the opposite effect. Instead, be patient and let the cat come
to you first.
Why Does My Cat Only Cuddle With Me: Conclusion
Before I end the article, I should address one more point. I’ve met a lot of cat owners who ask
why does my cat only cuddle with me? But there are also quite a few of them who wanted to
know how a cat can cuddle with other people and socialize a bit. The answer to that is simple
enough. All you have to do is apply the steps listed above and the cat will come to love you as
well. Yes, cats do imprint, but they can definitely have more than one special friend in their lives.