10 Signs a Stray Cat Likes You

by beaconpet
The 10 Signs a Stray Cat Likes You

If you notice a stray cat around the house, you may wonder whether it likes you or not. Although stray cats are often shy and avoid human contact, there are signs that they may want to be your friend. Pay attention to headbutts, eye contact, grooming, meowing, gentle biting, somersaulting, back giving, bringing treats, tail raising and even sleeping on your lap. These behaviors are clear signs that a stray cat has taken a liking to you. However, the important thing BEACONPET reminds is to let the cat make the first move and not rush the process of building its trust.

The 10 Signs a Stray Cat Likes You

The 10 Signs a Stray Cat Likes You

1. Head Butts

If you’re sitting on your porch and a stray cat comes up and head butts your leg with its head, it’s a sign that the cat likes you. Cats often use head butts to mark their territory using the scent glands in their cheeks and head. By head butting you, the cat is essentially marking you as one of their allies, which is a great compliment coming from a cat.

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2. Eye Contact

Direct eye contact can be seen as a threat by cats, especially those who live in the wild or aren’t used to being around humans. To test if a stray cat likes you, catch their eye and look directly at them. If the cat blinks slowly or looks directly into your eyes, they probably like you. However, if the cat darts away and avoids eye contact, you may still have a chance to win their affection.

3. Grooming

When a cat sees someone as a family member, they often want to groom them. If a stray cat climbs into your lap and starts grooming you, it’s a sign that the cat has taken a liking to you. Grooming is a way for cats to show affection and trust.

4. Meowing

A cat’s meow can mean various things, but if the cat is well-fed, warm, and still meowing at you, it could mean they’re seeking affection. This is a clear sign that the cat has decided you’re one of their friends and wants to be around you.

5. Gentle Biting

Gentle Biting

If a cat jumps up into your lap and bites you gently, it’s a sign that the cat wants to be friends. This behavior is similar to how kittens play and interact with their littermates. It’s important not to jerk away or yell when the cat bites, as that could indicate to the cat that you don’t want to be friends.

6. Kneading

When a cat kneads your leg, lap, or any other part of your body, it means they trust you and want to be friends. Kneading is a behavior that kittens use to get milk from their mothers. So when a cat kneads a human, it’s a sign that they see you as a caretaker and part of their family.

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7. Presenting Its Backside

Cats often greet each other by presenting their backside to be sniffed. It’s a way for cats to get to know one another. If a stray cat presents its backside to you, it’s a clear indication that they want to be your friend.

8. Bringing Gifts

If a stray cat brings you gifts, such as rodents or birds, it shows that they trust you and consider you part of their family. Cats bring prey to their kittens, and domestic cats bring gifts to their owners. So if a stray cat brings you a gift, it’s a good sign that they see you as their pet parent.

9. Raising Its Tail

A cat’s tail can reveal a lot about their feelings. Many cats communicate with their favorite humans by displaying an upright, twitching tail. If a stray cat approaches you with this behavior, they may be indicating that you’re their favorite human.

10. Sleeping on Your Lap

Sleeping on Your Lap

The most obvious sign that a stray cat likes you is if they climb onto your lap and fall asleep. Sleeping is a vulnerable state for cats, so if they feel comfortable enough to sleep on your lap, it means they trust you completely.

The 4 Signs That a Stray Cat Doesn’t Like You Yet

While some stray cats may take a liking to you, others may not be so friendly. Here are a few signs that a stray cat doesn’t like you yet:

1. The cat is antisocial and won’t come near you

If a stray cat avoids any contact with you and stays away, it’s a clear sign that they don’t want anything to do with you. These cats prefer to keep their distance and may not be interested in forming a friendship.

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2. The cat strikes a defensive stance when you come near it

If a stray cat becomes defensive and assumes a protective posture when you approach, it’s a sign that they feel threatened by you. They may hiss, arch their back, and flatten their ears in an attempt to intimidate you and keep you at a distance.

3. The cat hides if you approach it

The cat hides if you approach it

If a stray cat hides or runs away whenever you try to get closer, it means they’re not comfortable with your presence. These cats may be scared or wary of humans and need more time to warm up to you.

4. The cat hisses if you try to touch it

If a stray cat hisses or growls when you attempt to touch them, it’s a clear indication that they don’t want to be touched or handled by you. Hissing is a defensive behavior that cats use to communicate their discomfort or displeasure.

It’s essential not to rush a stray cat to like you. If you observe any of these signs, it’s best to give the cat space and wait for them to come around on their own terms. Pushing the cat to interact with you can lead to injuries and may hinder any chances of forming a bond.


If you spot a stray cat around your property, it’s important to approach them with caution and respect their boundaries. While some stray cats may show signs of liking you through head butts, grooming, and sleeping on your lap, others may need more time to trust you. It’s crucial to let the cat make the first move and never force them to be near you. By allowing the cat to approach you on their terms, you can create a safe and positive environment where a friendship can flourish. Remember, the best way to befriend a stray cat is to be patient, kind, and understanding.

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