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When a cat wants attention, they'll pull out all the stops until they get what they want. Although your cat will have their own personality, they will probably exhibit some of the somewhat needy cat behaviours that resonate with all feline lovers, such as lying on their back for a belly rub or gently pawing at your arm.
If that doesn't work they have a lot more tricks up their fur, such as these seven classic moves guaranteed to distract you:
A cat's main method of communication is the meow, the pitch and tone of which change depending on what they’re trying to tell you. If you're home doing something other than focusing on them, they may start with a quiet but persistent meow that sounds similar to a newborn's cry. Then move on to a loud screech that'll have you running to their side, or to the other room, only to find them sitting there with an innocent "Who, me?" look on their face.
2. Stare at You
Sometimes all your cat needs to do is look up at you with their big, adorable eyes to command your attention. You simply can't ignore the intensity of their gaze and suddenly you've stopped what you're doing to give them your full attention. What just happened...
3. Sit on Your Laptop
Another common and effective move, is sitting on your laptop ( or tablet, book, newspaper, magazine, dinner plate, etc.). This is your persistent purrer's way of saying they are the most important thing in your life. "Why look at this big metal square when you can look at me?" Touché, sweetie. But you can turn the tables on them by playing a video of squirrels or birds on the computer. They'll quickly forget you're not paying them attention.
4. Wait Outside at Your Door
If you're new to cat parenthood, you may think you can simply close your bedroom or office door for peace and quiet, but that is just not the case. Your cat will paw, scratch and knock at that door until it opens. And they'll keep this up for hours, counting on your patience to crack. Some cats will run down hallways at great speed to hurl themselves at a closed door, so you may as well not shut it in the first place. This will not only keep your cat from getting injured, it will also keep your doors from getting scratched.
5. Knock Things Off the Table
If a TV remote falls off the table and you're not around to see it, was it worth it? Your furry friend uses this foolproof move only when you're nearby; if you're not around, there's no point. Clever cats will locate the item you most treasure and slowly but deliberately push it to the edge of the table, dresser, or shelf, giving you just enough time to run over and catch the heirloom before it falls. If you're engrossed enough in what you're doing, they'll send that item crashing to the floor. Either way, your cat has won your attention.
6. Bring Presents
Cats want to please their pet parents, and one way is by bringing "gifts". This surprise may include catnip mice, stuffed animals, or even shoes and slippers (not just a dog thing). The trick works especially well if a cat wants attention. Once they choose the item most likely to get you out of your chair and over to their food dish, they'll drop it at your feet and howl until they receive your praise.
7. Snuggle Up to You
This is a win-win for cat lovers, because what's more awesome than snuggling up with your kitty? Be alert to the snuggle or rub against your leg suddenly turning into a demanding nudge, a stealth move to get you to pay more attention. It's not just casual cuddles they want, it's a sneaky and highly effective manoeuver to give you that impression.
No matter which moves your feline pal chooses, keep in mind a cat's attention-seeking behaviour can last for hours, so you may as well give your them more of what they want: your love and affection (and maybe some more cat food). After all, you got a cat to share your love with, you might as well show it.
Christine O'Brien is a writer and long-time cat mom whose household is run by two Russian Blues. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @brovelliobrien.
Weird Cat Behaviors Explained | Hill's Pet