Let’s Talk: How Does Your Cat Greet You?


Though my cats are semi-feral, they still spend most of their time outside. Most never leave my property, preferring to lounge in the garage in one of their beds, lie in the driveway on a sunny day, lie under a bush or tree in the back garden, or lounge on a retaining wall in the back yard. Each has a preference, of course, just like each has a preference in how they greet me when I arrive home from running errands or come outside to get the mail or newspaper. Cats, just like people, have distinct communication styles.

Momma Kitty is here all the time. She’s never too far from the house, preferring to lie in the driveway, under her cherry tree, or near the food dishes. She is the official greeter of all cats and people alike. She’ll greet each cat with a quick rub when they come to visit. As for me, the greeting is always warm but definitely on her own terms. When I walk out to my truck, she’ll sit quietly and just watch me. She likes it when I sit and talk to her before getting into the truck. However, she prefers to save the affection for the times when I’m giving her food. Then, and only then, she’ll let me pet her for as long as I like, or until the food has been depleted.

Rusty and Miss Kitty come running whenever they see me. However, noticing my attempt to pet them, they stop about a foot short of my outstretched hand. They’ll wait to see if they’re receiving any food or treats. If I do, they’ll rub against me as a way to thank me for the morsels. If no food or treats are present, they’ll usually walk away. At that point, I know there won’t be any gratitude or respect coming my way from them.

My boy, Ash, is a totally different story. If he’s around, he’ll definitely let you know. He’ll come running when you call for him, unless he sees you first. Then he runs and vocalizes as fast as he can to come for some attention. He’s always excited to see me, with or without food and treats. Once he’s eaten he’s more interested in grooming himself than being petted. However, he will stick around for a few more pets and to check on what I’m going to do next. If it’s something interesting, like walking to the back garden or taking some loose branches from the trees to the back of the property, then he insists on following me around and being my little helper.

The only challenge we have with Ash is trying to get him to respect the times when I don’t want a greeting or don’t want one where I’m standing. This is usually the case when I have my dogs in the back yard. At these times, I’m busy trying to get the dogs to focus on the task at hand (going to the bathroom).

Ash has never understood why he can’t be part of the mix. Most of the time when I have the dogs outside, he’ll just perch himself on the fence post. Of course this is very distracting to my dogs and keeps them from wanting to do their business. If too much time elapses, Ash will simply jump off the fence post and trot right over to me, regardless of my two dogs barking and wanting to chase him. This doesn’t make the dogs happy at all, and they’ll tug on their leashes with me in tow until they’ve chased him back up and over the fence.

You would think that being chased repeatedly by my dogs would deter Ash, but au contraire! He will simply wait for a few minutes and then give it another try.

The greetings I receive from most of my cats are very nice. I love seeing all of them scampering toward me, rubbing against me, vocalizing and allowing me to steal a little attention from them. If it takes some food and treats to get their attention, so be it. It’s all love!

How do your cats greet you? Are some more excited to see you than others? Share your stories and pictures on Catster.

About Tim Link: All-American guy who loves to rock out to Queen while consuming pizza and Pinot Noir and prefers to associate with open-minded people who love all critters. Considers himself to be the literal voice for all animals. Author, writer, radio host, Reiki Master, Animal Communicator and consultant at Wagging Tales.

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