Help! My Cat Only Likes Me When He’s Hungry

There comes a moment when even the most patient owner has second thoughts about the way their cat treats them. Sometimes, in a human-cat relationship, your cat doesn’t reciprocate the love you give her.

This is OK, simply because there are reasons for this. It’s not the end of the world, and you can pinpoint the reason why this happens. Let’s see how can you inject a little bit more love into the relationship you have with your beloved kitty.

When does it happen?

A cat acting antisocial or nervous is very common for rescue cats or even previously domesticated cats who are growing accustomed to a new environment. Such behavior takes place because the animal simply doesn’t trust you yet.

Despite some standardized methods in zoology, animals — just like humans — display different character traits. Hesitant behavior is present in every cat. It’s the duration that varies.

However, when this normal behavior takes on an abnormal duration, owners get worried. An animal’s instinct is to survive, so they show affection to the ones feeding them.

This affection-hesitation behavioral switch has been recorded even when a cat changed owners from one family friend to another. Allowing a cat to get to know you is a crucial step of this process. Let’s see how that happens.

Space is a priority

First, let’s pinpoint the mistakes people make when their cat doesn’t show affection. In most cases, they try to lift her up, cuddle her and stroke her even when she’s struggling. Animals don’t function that way — especially cats.

They don’t stop behaving the way they want just because they feel resistance coming from you. Instead, they will be more aggressive and find it much harder to trust you. This is why you should give your cat space.

Respect her yearnings and just monitor her behavior. When you act relaxed and don’t try to force anything, she will feel a change in your mood. Cats like people who are energetic but relaxed at the same time.

If you start radiating that kind of energy, your cat will start trusting you more. This is a given, but many of our readers ask us: How long will this take? Time is relative in this case, but there is a usual timeline for this.

How long?

As we’ve said, cats are different. By monitoring your cat’s behavior, you will find out what treats she likes and how she reacts to your actions. Try giving her another pillow or moving her “nest.” Always show her attention if she’s trying to tell you something or wants physical contact. That way, she will feel that her love is reciprocated.

There is no definite timeline — just a usual one. Cats can take up to a year before finally opening up. And for those who are worried about their cat not liking to be carried and cuddled, some cats will always hate this. Yes, they are a minority, but you should respect this.