Cats are fascinating creatures, with quirky habits that humans have been trying to understand for decades. One thing most cat owners are curious about is the reason why cats may or may not come when called.
There are many reasons your cat may or may not come when called. Some reasons include:
- Something spooked them.
- They just want to be alone.
- They think they will be punished.
Ultimately, when you call your cat, whether they come or not will depend on past experiences.
If you have had your cat for a while, it is likely your cat recognizes its name; after all, cats are smart creatures. However, whether they come when called by name is a whole different matter. In the remainder of this article, we’ll discuss the reasons why your cat may or may not decide to come to you when called.
Does My Cat Love Me?
If you call your cat multiple times and they choose to ignore you every time, your first instinct may be to ask whether your cat loves you or not. In most cases, cats do care about their owners, but their personalities may make it difficult for us to tell.
Some cats are cuddlers, while others are more aloof. Unless your cat hisses and scratches you, you can be assured that it does have affection for you. Unfortunately, not every cat is going to show love in the way you want them to.
At the end of the day, cats and humans are different; humans are naturally social animals, while cats are not so much. Instead of being disappointed because your cat isn’t showing you love in the way you expect, learn to read the signs they are showing. If your cat does any of the following, it means they trust and love you:
- Shows you their belly: an animal’s stomach is a vulnerable spot. By offering it up, your cat is saying they trust you. Be careful, though; just because they show off their tummy doesn’t mean they want you to touch it.
- Leaves you presents: when it comes to gift-giving, the gifts left by cats are questionable. Although you may become queasy at the sight of a motionless mouse or bug in your slipper, just know your cat is doing it because they care.
- Headbutts you: cats have scent glands all over their head. When they ram into you or are nuzzling you, they are marking you as “theirs.” If they didn’t love you, they wouldn’t claim you.
- Visits you at night: when your cat sits on your chest and pokes you at 2 a.m., it can be hard to feel the love, but cats don’t follow the same sleep schedule as us. The middle of the night might be the time they feel the need to let you know they love you.
- Slowly blinks: if you make eye contact and watch your cat blink slowly, it is a sign they love you. When their eyes are closed, they are vulnerable. The slower the blink, the more they are telling you how happy they are with you.
Cats are complex creatures, so there are many other ways they may show their affection. Tuft + Paw has a guide to cat behavior and body language to help you know when your cat is saying, “I love you.”
Is it Good If My Cat Comes When Called?
A cat coming when called is neither bad nor good. If you call out your kitty’s name and they come trotting over, it is pleasing, but if they instead give you a side glance and go back to sleep, that’s also perfectly normal.
Think about why you are calling your cat. If you are calling while setting down a plate of their favorite fish fillet or rustling a bag of catnip, they know if they show up, there will be a reward for them.
Your cat may also be merely curious; they know their name and are coming to investigate why you’ve called it.
If you would like your cat to come when called, then you can always work on training. While training a cat isn’t always as easy as training a dog, it’s not impossible. Adventure Cats has a blog that can help you learn how to train your cat to come when called.
Why Won’t My Cat Come to Me?
Cats run hot and cold. They may be relentlessly demanding pets and suddenly flee for no apparent reason. If your cat won’t come to you when you call, it is possible they are just feeling overly independent at that moment, or they are skeptical of your motives.
If you only call your cat when it’s time to give them not-so-tasty medicine, then your cat is going to avoid coming when they hear their name.
You may have also called your cat and offended them without even knowing it; now, when you call, they assume that offense will be repeated. Perhaps you scolded them for scratching or accidentally pet a “no-touch zone.” You can try to figure out what happened or wait until your cat lets it go.
Unlike dogs, cats are not pack animals; they are solitary. This means their world revolves around just them with no thought to how their behavior affects you.
If they aren’t interested or have something better to do, then they will ignore you. You may feel rejected when your kitty decides, licking themselves takes priority overlying in your lap, but that is just life with a cat.
In other words, don’t take it personally if your cat decides to ignore you. It’s just how they are.
Why Won’t My Cat Come Near Me Anymore?
Cats are cats, and the intricacies of their behavior may always be a mystery to us humans. If your cat once upon a time enjoyed a good snuggle but has recently taken to staying away, don’t be offended.
The reason for this “shunning” is probably caused by one or more of the following:
- They are grumpy. Perhaps you or something else put them in a bad mood.
- They just don’t feel like socializing. If cats were human, they would mostly be introverts; they need their alone time.
- Their routine has changed. Something has changed in your cat’s life, and it is still adjusting.
- They are too busy with something else. This can be playing, grooming, napping, etc.
- The neighbor’s cat is in their territory. If your cat can smell another cat but isn’t able to defend its territory, your kitty will be in a funk.
- Age is causing their sight or hearing to decline. If you have a senior cat, their senses just might not be as heightened as they used to be.
- They have health problems. When a cat isn’t feeling good, they tend to isolate. If you notice your feline friend isn’t eating, drinking, or using the litter box, as usual, be sure to make an appointment with your vet.
Why Won’t My Cat Come in My Room Anymore?
The reason your cat won’t come into your room probably has nothing to do with you, unless that is where you give them medicine. Look around and see if any of the following have occurred:
- You’ve rearranged furniture.
- You’ve put something new in your room.
- You have someone new in your room.
Cats are skittish; if something is different from before, they may be afraid or not like the change. Another possibility is your cat scared themselves. They may have heard a loud noise, knocked something over, fallen off your bed, or done something that spooked themselves.
If your cat used to go into your room but won’t anymore, the chances are high that your cat associates your room with danger. Take some time to help your cat feel comfortable again. Don’t lock them in your room but leave the door open so they can come and go as they choose. When they are in your room, offer treats or a favorite toy.
If your new bed or bookcase is the culprit, place a treat or a little catnip on it. With time, your kitty will get used to it.
How Do I Get My Cat to Come?
If you miss snuggling with Mittens, there a few things you can try to win Mittens back. Since every cat has their own personality, don’t be dismayed if you have to try several tricks. Give the following a try:
- Don’t be too enthusiastic. When your cat comes near, stay calm; any sudden movements or sounds may spook them.
- Sit near your cat. If Fluffy loves to lounge on the back of the couch, sit on the other end of the couch. When he comes close, you can slowly reach out for a pet.
- See what has changed. Try to look through your cat’s eyes, look for subtle changes that could have spooked them, such as a new plant or piece of furniture.
- Offer treats. Sit close to your kitty and quietly offer up their favorite treat. You can try placing the treat on the ground at first and then hold it in your hand.
- Find a favorite toy. If it has been a while since you and Smokey played with her favorite feather toy, try bringing it out and give it a shake.
- Give it time. As frustrating as it might be, just give your cat their space and wait for them to come to you. As mentioned before, sometimes, they just want to be alone.
Just like humans, cats are animals that think and feel. While we may want an on-demand cuddle buddy, you can’t force your cat to do what you want, like come when called.
The best thing you can do to support them and remind them they’re cared for is to provide good care and loving home.