I visited Neko no Niwa yesterday with my sister (a cat lady wannabe) and my cat lover friend, Chris. I have never really known how to get the attention of a cat – most of the time, they either ignore me or walk away, all royal-like. Don’t succumb to the same fate. Here are some tips I got from Chris about how to get a cat’s attention, assuming you don’t have any cat treats with you:
1) Anything dangly will get a cat’s attention:
It would be best, of course, to use the toys provided:
2) Cats are sensitive to sounds so if you don’t have a toy on hand, but there’s a cat sitting on a chair with a wooden backing, you can make light scratching or tapping sounds on the wood using your fingers. You know what people say about the curiosity of cats, right? 😉 The cat will be so intrigued and want to find out what’s making those sounds. You can then play peek-a-boo with it.
3) If a cat’s just sitting there ignoring you, don’t simply pick it up and try to cuddle it (the cat may get annoyed and scratch you). Hence, Neko no Niwa does not allow customers to carry the cats. If a cat jumps onto your lap, then it is fine to cuddle.
First, test if the cat wants to play. I watched as Chris used a finger to tap one of the cat’s paws, then a spot on the cushion the cat was on, then another paw. If the cat’s obviously curious about what you are doing, it wants to play. A quick tickle under the chin, or about its belly if it rolls over is fine…
If a cat is sleeping, don’t disturb it. You wouldn’t like to be rudely awakened from your sleep too, right?
What People Usually Do:
1) Try to stroke a cat which obviously wants to walk away
2) Extend a hand to a cat, as if the cat will shake your hand, or something:
A cat will usually display a “What the hell?” sort of look. You’d be better off using your fingers to “run” or “hop” across the tabletop, touch one of the cat’s paws then scurry away. The cat will realize you want to play. I believe it works better than extending a hand.
The list above is by no means exhaustive. I take no responsibility if it doesn’t work for you (Cats, like humans, have their own personality. If it just doesn’t want to play with you, go find another cat). If a cat happens to shake your hand, please write to me. 😀
Meanwhile, snap away. Remember: no flash photography!