I don't want to visit. They have cats.

As the season for all sorts of holidays approaches, some of us might be dreading visits to people who have cats.

We don't like cats, we don't understand cats, and we think cats don't like us.

All of that can be fixed.

Many people just aren't comfortable with cats, and as soon as they broadcast that to the cats around them, they feel they are targeted or stalked. They are simply sending the wrong signals. What such people should do is fuss over the cat.

This will make the cat feel like we are coming on too strong, and might even try to sell them aluminum siding. They will leave.

If we want to make friends with a cat, use the technique I call Deliberate Avoidance. Look at the cat, until they start to look at us, then look away. Keep our body still. If we make eye contact, slowly open and close our eyes before looking away.

This will make us interesting and approachable.

We can think the cat doesn't like us because our overtures are getting rejected. So make an overture to the cat which cannot be rejected. Get an inexpensive toy, of the kind they like, and rub it on the backs of our necks, where our scent can be picked up. Make a fuss over leaving it on the floor, saying aloud, "And this is for Abernathy."

Abernathy will come to check it out. Even if that is after we have left. Next time, Abernathy will remember us fondly.

For more help in using these tips, see Making Friends with a Friend’s Cat.
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