The other day, I heard one of the cutest questions ever: “Do cats imprint on one person?” It wouldn’t be strange if a 9-year-old kid wasn’t asking. I mean, when I was his age, I had no idea what imprinting even meant, and I sure as hell couldn’t connect that word with cats.
Anyway, after he politely asked, I gave him the answer. I swear his eyes got watery, and he murmured something and ran away. His mum was there, and she saw a confused look on my face. “Our kitty passed away a couple of weeks ago, but she liked him the most.”
My heart broke into a million pieces, but when I saw how happy he was that he’ll get a new one, I swear the whole day got better. Yes, you hear a lot of sad stories when you work in a pet shop. But you also witness the ones that are priceless, and you actually help someone find a furry buddy.
If you want to learn more about imprinting, felines, and people, stick around. We’ll talk about cats and their imprinting habits, how you can know that you’re the chosen one, and why that actually happened. Thank you for mentioning this, kiddo, this one is for you and your Charlie!
Do cats imprint on one person and what does it mean?
To put it shortly, yes they do. But before we get deeper into the topic, forget about the Twilight saga and werewolves imprinting on someone. We’re not going to talk about that today. So, what does it mean to imprint on one person in a cat’s world?
Also, they’re not like birds, so here’s another it’s-not-like-that statement. Cats won’t imprint on you just because they think you’re their parent. And they surely won’t follow you around simply because you were the first person these fluffs saw. It’s more complicated than that.
Cats that imprint on one person actually develop a really strong bond with their owners. It’s not a simple dependency on food and shelter, so don’t be fooled. And honestly, it has nothing to do with your age, gender, or how much time you spend with her.
I hope no one will be able to convince you that cats imprinting on one person means that they think you’re one of them. Whoever says that to you, explain to them the real reasons why it happens. Are you ready to discover them?
Why do cats imprint on one person?
1. They feel safe when you’re around
I guess you always wanted to go out with that one cousin simply because you felt safe when they were around you, right? Or you have a friend who you like to travel with, and you can even fall asleep while they’re driving the car, otherwise, you’re wide awake?
When cats imprint on you, it’s simply because they feel extra safe when you’re around. You don’t have to hold her close all the time, but if your feline wants to be only with you when she’s feeling stressed or anxious, you can be sure that you’re her favorite hooman.
2. They were orphaned or abandoned kittens
Sometimes bad things happen to our fluffs during their early age. Their mother could have passed away while giving birth, or she simply left them. It’s also possible that they were separated from their mom as soon as she brought them into the world or just a couple of days after.
Whatever the reason, your kitty was basically orphaned or abandoned, and neither feels good. So, for that reason, she’ll choose a human being to take care of her and, in return, she’ll show her endless affection.
3. They are comfortable in your company
This one is pretty simple. When cats feel comfortable in someone’s company, it’s possible that they imprint on that one person. If you saved her from the street, or you adopted her after she was abused in a previous household, you’ll be her favorite everything.
She’s going to stick around because you provide her shelter from all the dangers of her surroundings. You give her food and water, and you also sometimes help her with grooming. Would you easily leave all that behind? Probably not.
4. They’re simply a more affectionate cat breed
I hope that when you’re adopting or buying cats, someone explains to you that there are certain cat breeds that require constant attention. For that reason, Siamese or Ragdoll cats are not supposed to be adopted by people who spend the majority of their time outside their homes.
These felines hate to be alone, but you’ll know that because they are pretty vocal about their needs (Siamese cats especially).
Other such “clingy” breeds are Bombays, Chantilly, Manx, Norwegian Forest cat, Ocicat, Russian Blue, Siberian, Somali and Turkish Angora.
5. They need food
I think this reason is the most obvious one. Domestic cats don’t exist because we took them from the wilderness and brought them to our homes. It’s because they came to our homes in search of food, and well, we provided it to them. They didn’t have to hunt or stay hungry for a long period of time.
Some cats simply imprint on one person because that person is feeding them regularly. If you’re ready to find out all the wholesome ways she’ll show her love toward you, keep reading.
How can you know if your cat has imprinted on you?
After we concluded that cats do imprint on one person, now is the time to figure out all the clues that will help you realize that you’re the chosen one. She’s going to show you affection in many ways, and I’ll try to explain them all down below.
If your fluff feels comfortable and safe when she’s in your company, here are the possible proofs that she loves you the most in the household. Are you ready to make your boyfriend, girlfriend, or siblings jealous when you tell them these facts? Let’s go!
1. She’s grooming you
What do felines do with their kittens? They groom them, right? When your cat starts licking you and cleaning your skin, you can start bragging around. That’s actually one of her ways of expressing love for you.
She’s going to help you clean up, but don’t worry. That’s not her subtle attempt to advise you to take a shower more often. It’s her way of stating the obvious to others – you’re her owner and nobody can come between the two of you.
2. She’s kneading on you
This is one of the cutest things cats do when they want to show their affection. They are going to “make biscuits” on your legs when sitting on your lap, for example. They’ll also do that next to you on your sofa or a bed.
I absolutely love when Nora does that because I find it truly irresistible. My heart melts every time I see her moving those little paws and massaging me, the pillow, or the blanket next to me. So, if your fluff does this too, it means that she has imprinted on you.
3. She’s purring when you’re around
Purring is widely known as a universal sign of a content cat, right? In this case, she’s not doing it because she’s feeling happy, but because she wants to tell you that you’re her favorite human. She’s going to loudly vocalize that, and she’ll surely make everybody else jealous.
In reality, kittens start purring very early simply because they need to communicate with their parents and let them know that everything is okay. Some cats, when they move to a new environment, purr to let you know that it’s safe.
There are some rare occasions when cats are making these content sounds because your presence is calming them down, or you’re soothing the pain while you’re petting them.
In case you suspect that she may be in pain, and you notice some changes in your fluff’s behavior that may indicate that she’s not feeling well, don’t hesitate to contact your vet.
4. She’s rubbing on you
What are cats doing when they’re rubbing onto something? Marking their territory, right? These beautiful creatures have glands in their paws, cheeks, and flanks (or butts, to put it simply) that help them with marking their territory.
So, if your cat starts rubbing on you, (your legs, face, or arms mostly) she’s actually marking you as her most beloved and most valuable family member. She surely isn’t going to share you with anyone in that case, and as soon as she leaves her scent, everybody else knows that.
5. She checks up on you
When I say that she checks up on you, I don’t mean it lightly. She’s going to make sure you’re safe almost 24/7. No matter if you’re taking a nap on your bed, or you’re chilling on a sofa in your living room; she’ll join you.
If you go to the kitchen and leave her in another room in the house, she’ll find you in no time, because your feline wants to make sure that you’re okay. You won’t be able to go to the bathroom anymore on your own, and she may even watch you while you shower. Weird, I know, but that’s her way of saying “I love you”.
6. She requires your attention
I’ve mentioned that she’s going to vocalize her needs loudly, but this time, she’s going to require your attention. When cats imprint on one person, there’s no other human being they’d rather spend time with – I can promise you that.
Therefore, even though she played with your boyfriend, she’ll approach you once she’s tired, so you can offer your lap for her to rest. She’ll often ask you to spend time with her, but if you notice anything different in her routine or behavior, take her for a checkup. Maybe she’s trying to tell you that something’s wrong.
I swear this is cuteness overload. There will be moments when your cat will invite you to a staring contest if she has imprinted on you. Those moments will usually be followed by a slow blink in the end. Maybe you’ll even see a loving smile that her mouth is forming.
When your feline does this, it simply means that she trusts you enough to be vulnerable in your company. It’s her way of sending you a kiss, and she shows appreciation for everything you do. I’ve told you – cuteness overload!
8. She follows you everywhere
I think this one is known all over the world – if your cat likes you, she’ll follow you everywhere you go. But, does that really mean that cats imprint on one person? It surely does.
When your fluff is going with you to the toilet, and if you’re stumbling upon her all the time, there’s no doubt about you being her favorite person in the household.
Whether you like it or not, she chose you as her bestie, and you have to respect that. She’ll also come to you if she’s hungry and patiently wait for you to serve her the meal. You’ll be her go-to person; there’s no doubt about it.
9. She lets you touch her belly
Cat’s belly is her most vulnerable body part because most of her vital organs are there. For that reason, it’s not so common to see them lying or even sleeping on their back. Now, imagine when you start petting her, and she turns on her back and lets you touch her stomach – what an honor!
Felines are not going to do this unless they truly trust you won’t hurt them. So, if your fluff lets your hand caress her softest body part, you’re the chosen one. This is living proof right in front of you – your cat has imprinted on you.
10. She’s talking with you often
Of course, some cat breeds are more vocal than others, so it’s no surprise when they’re talking with you. They either need something, or they’re bored and desperately require your attention, maybe even some playtime.
However, when a cat imprints on one person, she’s going to talk with that special someone very often. She’ll meow when everything is purrfectly fine because she genuinely believes that you understand her. Wholesome, isn’t it?
11. She brings you gifts
One of the proofs that cats do imprint on one person, and that you’re actually that special someone, is when she starts bringing you gifts. Don’t imagine boxes with bows on top and a lot of glitter, no. Rather, think of mice or smaller insects that she can easily hunt.
I know that this may not sound like a perfect present, but in your feline’s mind, this is the ultimate proof of love. She’s actually trying to show you how much she cares for you that she’ll even share her prey with you.
12. She turns her butt toward you
This is something that you may find either cute or rude. When your fluff turns her butt toward you, that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t want to communicate with you anymore. In fact, she may even hit you with her tail simply to prove to you how much she loves you.
It’s not a nice view to look at her bottom, but at least you know she’s not showing you cattitude for not playing with her today.
13. She gives you love bites
This is your last proof for today. Tell me, how many times did it happen that you were petting your fluff, and she suddenly bit you, but like barely touched you with her teeth? Well, that’s number thirteen.
However, don’t confuse these little love bites with aggressive behavior your feline may show. If she bit you, and you started bleeding, it would be best to consult with a cat behaviorist or vet. They’ll surely know how to help you and your fluff.
Why are you the chosen one?
Now that we’ve concluded that you’re the chosen one, let me reveal another secret. Why did your cat imprint on you? Well, it’s pretty simple – you’ve learned a cat language. Maybe you’re not meowing with her, but you can understand what she wants and needs.
You respect her privacy and give her space when she needs it. There’s always playtime in your schedule and you know exactly when she wants cuddles and when you should leave her alone.
Cats truly do imprint on one person that has been there with them all the time because they feel safe and comfortable in that human’s presence. If I described the relationship that you have with your feline, I have to admit that you’re the lucky one.
Keep doing what you do and enjoy the privilege you have. There are not a bunch of people who are in your situation, so make sure that you strengthen that bond even more.
Do cats imprint on one person only?
Believe it or not, cats can’t imprint on more than one person. Surely, in a home where there are more people, your feline will be able to identify all of you by your scent. However, she’ll “gravitate” toward that one person she imprinted on.
Also, it’s possible for felines to form strong bonds with all human beings in the home, therefore having a couple of people they like for completely different reasons.
Our furbabies usually pick one person to imprint on when they are very young, as we’ve mentioned in the beginning. They can be just a few hours old up to 12 weeks, but it’s pretty rare for older cats to imprint on one person. I’m not saying that it can’t happen, though.
Also, this greatly depends on your cat’s breed since some of them (like Siamese and Turkish Agora) are very affectionate, unlike let’s say American Wirehair, Korat, or Singapura which are considered to be very reserved breeds.
So, if your fluff is rarely in the mood for cuddles, it’s not that she doesn’t like you. It may simply be her DNA. However, keep pampering her and as soon as she starts trusting you enough, maybe things will change. It’s true that some cat parents will have to try less, but don’t let that discourage you.
Your cat may not imprint on you, but you surely can be her favorite person in the household. Keep that in mind.
In the end, I want to tell you one thing. You lucky human! I assume you’re suspecting that your cat has imprinted on you. Congratulations, you’re living the life all pet owners would love to have.
On the other hand, if you’re here because you’re not sure whether your fluff simply likes you, or she imprinted on you, you can use some of these things to check what’s happening. Compare her behavior to what I previously mentioned and see where you stand.
And well, if you want to become your feline’s favorite, and you’re still fighting for that spot with your boyfriend or siblings, remember these things when spending time with your fluff next time. You’ll sweep her off of her feet in no time, I promise!