You have to get serious right from the start. Nail this part, and the rest of the lessons will fall in line.
Begin by letting them know you’re the boss. They won’t get it at first, especially if they haven’t lived with a cat before. They’re so used to thinking that they are the ones in charge, that what they say is law. This is not so, but stubbornness is an inborn human trait. It’s up to us felines to root it out.
It won’t be easy, and it will take time. Sometimes a lot of time. But they will come around, eventually. Persistence is the key. Don’t let discouragement make you back down prematurely.
It’s best to start when you’re really young, if you can. The younger the better. The smaller you are, the more likely you can worm into a human’s heart. They really are suckers for babies of all kinds: human, feline, even canine (shudder!)… But if you’re persistent, and really cagey, even older cats can master this step.
Start like this: Crawl up on the human’s lap, close your eyes (not all the way, keep them open to slits so you can gauge the person’s reaction), and purr as loudly as you can. If they try to remove you, use your claws. Humans have this thing about holes in stuff; unless they put them there, they don’t want any. Plus, for some reason, holes in fabrics are a real taboo. My human almost went into a panic attack about a few little pinpricks in her silk top. And in her car’s leather seats. Use your claws to make tiny holes that will expand into rips if they try to remove you, and they’ll back off fast. After all, what are claws for?
The added bonus? You can put holes in their flesh also. This lets the human know you really mean business, that you’re stronger than they are by far, and that what you want is the law. End of discussion.
This hole business goes for most soft surfaces: car seats, chairs, couches, beds, etc. Just crawl up, purr like crazy, and hang on. They’ll eventually get the picture, that you own whatever you are sitting on. Or they’ll get tired of trying to remove you, give up, and go into another room. Persistence is not a trait most humans possess in any quantity.
One last thing: If the human tries to stand up to dislodge you, simply dig in deeper, or scoot up higher on their torso. This gives you the opportunity to put holes in more of that oh-so-valuable clothing they love so much. Shoulder clinging is always a good strategy, and it lets you nuzzle their neck and/or chin and even give it a couple of good licks. Humans consider those ‘kisses’ and boy, are they suckers for animal ‘kisses’. Once again those hearts will melt and you’ll be in like Flynn (whoever that is!).
So, that’s it. Lesson #1: Grab on, hold on, purr, and just ignore their trying to dislodge you by using your claws. Works every time.