It seems difficult to make friends with our cats, until we remember the Golden Rule. We must treat the cat... the way they wish to be treated. NOT how we wish to treat them!
Maybe we are making one of the Three Big Mistakes of Cat Friendship?
Thinking they are a dog. Patting them firmly on the head, rough-housing with them, and expecting them to come when called every time; these are dog things. Not cat things.
Cats don't like being patted; they like being rubbed. Cats don't like to play rough; it's not that they like it, it's that many of them will not back down if they feel threatened. Cats will come when called; if we only call them for good things.
It doesn't make any sense to bring home a pint of chocolate fudge ice cream, and then complain it doesn't taste like bacon. Cats and dogs are two totally different kinds of pets. And they act like it.
Not seeing their signals. When cats peek at us from around a corner, or walk slowly through a room we are in, or go to sleep in our chair, what they are saying is they like us. They want to be near us and our things.
They are noticing us. Will we show friendship by noticing them back?
Cats are often subtle in their ways of showing friendship because they aren't sure about the reception their efforts will get. And if we don't realize they are making efforts, they feel hurt and neglected.
Wanting them to make the first move. Cats may not trust right away, especially if they had some bad experiences before they lived with us. Even kittens can want us to act more mature as they become cats and act more mature.
The biggest key to a cat's heart is to show that we want the cat's heart!
So seek them out when we come home, call them for treats or playtime, and make fools of ourselves over them. No one else is watching, and the cat won't tell.
Once we fuss over the cat, the cat is compelled to fuss over us.
Then they sit back to see if we can fuss more than they did. If we do, they will have to up the ante, too.
There's no end to love when we play that game.
There's many ways to make friends with our cats. Read more about getting the cat to love you.