Cat behaviour

How To Gain A Cat's Trust

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
How To Gain A Cat's Trust

Earning a cat's love and trust is no mean feat. It is a process that requires time, patience and lots of love. Do you want your feline friend to trust you completely? Then we advise you to keep reading as we are about to give you some clues. Cats are naturally more self-sufficient and do not depend much on you. Here at we are going to tell you how to gain a cat's trust and you'll soon see how you will be great friends for life.

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Steps to follow:


We must assume one initial point, and that is that cats take more time to trust people and respond more slowly to rewards. Somehow, you must let your cat determine the rhythm of your relationship and ensure that your little friend feels safe and secure by your side. If you create a safe environment, your cat will have complete trust in you.

To begin with, you must understand the way cats are. You should never force your cat to do anything, let alone force it to trust you. The cat must be able to see how it will benefit from an act, although that does not mean you will be able to get it to do something as you might not be able to convince it. Cats are unpredictable so don't get disheartened if you see that your cat is not responding as you had hoped. If you want your cat to feel at ease around you, you should bear certain things in mind. Your cat will accept you better if you are calm and quiet when you're around him.


You must provide a safe place for your cat's well-being and toys to satisfy his desire to play. Your cat may sometimes feel anxious, scared or unsure and need somewhere where he can hide and feel safe. Let your cat hide anywhere and do not force him to come out unless it is absolutely necessary. From the first day that you bring your cat home, you must ensure that he feels as though he has a home. Sometimes, you need to gradually get your cat used to his new home without overwhelming him by setting aside one room where he can acclimatize to everything.

His litter box should be in a private place, where there is no noise or interruptions, to ensure that your feline feels safe in your home. Make sure that your cat can access higher areas such as shelves or cabinets, but always safely and without risks. A good alternative is a scratching post where he can climb and scratch. Also you should always have toys and accessories to hand for your cat's enjoyment as he too wants to play and you're responsible for him having fun.

How To Gain A Cat's Trust - Step 2

In order to earn the trust of your feline friend, you must always ensure he has food and water. Although it may seem obvious, you must remember that your cat has basic needs that must be met and if you fail to satisfy these needs, this will serve as a clear sign for your cat that you are not a good master. You should feed your cat gradually so that he understands you are the one providing the food. It is advisable that you always have food to hand and that you give him wet food once a week, for which he will no doubt be grateful. When you give your cat his food, say his name softly so that he associates your voice with this positive and pleasant situation. When your cat moves in to try the food, you should step aside to give him space and privacy. You can observe him from a distance and make sure you are always at the same height so not to intimidate him.

Water and food should always be accessible and in completely clean bowls. The water should always be fresh and clean so your cat does not lose interest in drinking. You are responsible for always meeting your cat's needs. Do not forget about him because he needs you.

How To Gain A Cat's Trust - Step 3

If your cat seems somewhat stressed, you should be able to relax him to earn his trust. Some cats are more nervous than others and are less tolerant to changes in their routine. You must be the one to help your cat cope with these situations and restore his state of emotional well-being. There are products on the market containing synthetic pheromones, which are very effective at controlling stress. Diffusers are a common example and should be placed in the areas where your cat spends the most time. They have very positive calming effects on your cat's mood. These pheromones help reduce overall stress and enable your cat to relax faster.

Another way to help your cat to relax and trust you is to familiarize them with your scent. This is very useful for helping your cat recognize you when you start to share physical contact. Let your cat sleep on an item of clothing that you do not wear very often so that he gets to know your smell and becomes familiar.

How To Gain A Cat's Trust - Step 4

Cats respond well to positive reinforcement so use this technique to gain your cat's love, respect and trust. Some cats are easily frightened in spite of you giving them everything, especially in cases of animals who have been abandoned or mistreated. In such cases you should never shout at your pet if he does something wrong. Use a calm and relaxed voice to train him, and praise his behavior if he does something right. If your cat lives in fear despite having already spent some time in your home, you must make sure that your behavior is not unpredictable. Do not sneak up on him, do not frighten him and do not make sudden changes. Surprises are usually poorly tolerated by cats.


Over time, you should look for signs that your pet wants to establish physical contact with you. Your cat must be the one to approach you. If you notice that he seems tense, with dilated pupils and a stiff tail, it is not the time to proceed with physical contact as he still feels threatened by your presence. However, if your cat stays close to you after he has finished eating, approaches you, cleans himself in your presence or sits with his back to you, these are signs that your cat trusts you and feels safe by your side.


You must appear to be less threatening in front of your cat. There are many ways to seem less intimidating and he will feel more comfortable. You can sit or lie on the floor. Being at the same height as your pet is essential in order to establish a relationship of equals.

It is also advisable to avoid eye contact as he will see it as a show of defiance. It is best to turn your heads and look the other way. If you wear glasses, it might be a good idea for you to take them off so that your cat does not see you with such big eyes. You must let your cat be the one to set the pace of contact - do not rush him. Give your cat the time he needs to approach you. Normally when this happens, your cat will purposely bump his head against your body. With this adorable act, your cat is covering you with pheromones and showing you that he accepts and trusts you. You can also encourage your cat to approach you by stimulating him with delicious prizes. You can lay your arm on the floor and spread the reward around you. Wait a little and you will see how he ends up approaching you.

How To Gain A Cat's Trust - Step 7

When your cat accepts you by bumping its head against your body, it is time for you to stroke his chin or ears. This is the clearest sign that he trusts you. You can start to gently pet your cat. Do not make any sudden or abrupt movements. As your cat's trust increases, you will be able to pet more parts of his body. Never touch him abruptly or too heavily as cats do not usually like this. Set aside time to play with your feline friend, especially when you start to notice the first signs of mutual respect. Similarly, when your cat starts to look for you, wants cuddles and purrs around your legs, it is time to start playing with him regularly. Try to play with him every day because this will strengthen your bond with your cat and he will expect you to set time aside to have fun with him every day.

If you want to read similar articles to How To Gain A Cat's Trust, we recommend you visit our Pets category.

Write a comment
What did you think of this article?
I loved this article. It was very helpful. I've been doing this with some feral cats in my neighbourhood. They actually trust me now. We've gone so far now. From them missing and running to purring and playing!
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Marlee, we are so glad you are getting on so well with your neighbors!
Elsje Parsons Massyn
I loved your article and I am so happy that I am doing most of your suggestions already.
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How To Gain A Cat's Trust