Got a pet cat or kitten? Cats are great companions as much as dogs. Their independence and cost-effective nature make them ideal for both kids and adults.
That said, owning a cat isn’t as simple as one might think. You need to establish trust and a healthy relationship. Knowing their behaviors for certain things, such as why
they purr before biting, for example, is quite important.
Don’t know how to bond with your cat? We’re here to help you out.
Here are a few important steps you can follow to forge a lasting relationship with your pet:
1. Understand Your Cat’s Body Language
Learning how to bond with your cat involves understanding their means of communication first. You can understand a cat’s emotions through its body language. It’s similar to how people understand a dog wagging its tail signifies joy or when they lay their ears flat and growl is a sign to stay away.
For instance, a confident cat keeps its eyes wide and the back slightly arched. The head stays forward and the tail is upright. This is a good time to interact with the cat due to its good mood.
A cat that feels relaxed stretches out and stays on its side or back. You’ll notice the ears pop up and whiskers hold to the side. Also, keep note of the paws flexing in contentment.
Be careful how you pet a cat, even when it seems quite relaxed. They might read your approach as an attack.
An aggressive cat has its fur puffed up, ears flattened and back arched. You’ll also notice the dilated pupils coupled with a swishing tail. The cat feels threatened at this point so do not interact until it calms down.
When your cat feels defensive, it flattens its ears. The cat will also bare its teeth and will likely be on its side with claws out. This is also another warning sign to give the cat some space.
As for a cat feeling anxious, it might try to look bigger by hunching down and will keep its tail wrapped around it. This is another sign that the cat needs space, poised to run when you approach.
2. Show Them You Are Not a Threat
Once you understand your cat’s emotions and mood, learn how you should approach them. The goal here is to show that you are not a threat. This becomes important especially if you already made your preparations in getting a new cat.
Make it a habit to avoid staring at the cat directly. Cats hate direct stares as it may intimidate them. If you avoid direct eye contact, the cat itself might approach you once it realizes you’re not a threat.
There might also be an item that your cat has an affinity with, like a pillow or blanket. You can have that with you to help them associate you with their comfort zone.
The key point here is to remain calm. Do not be too jumpy or jerky when spending time with your furry friend. Also, whatever you do, never strike or hit the cat.
3. Give Them Space
Providing the cat with space when needed can help you in improving your relationship with them. The urge to engage due to their cuteness may be irresistible but you need to be patient and play it cool.
Cats see things differently compared to humans. While it is a human gesture to interact right away, cats may interpret that as a threat and they might run, especially when subjected to a new environment.
Give them time to get accustomed and have them establish safe spaces. Take your time and let them acclimate.
The key factor here is observation. Pay attention to their behavior before jumping in. Know when to back off and when you should let them come to you.
4. Make Them Comfortable
Make sure the cat feels comfortable as much as possible. When they feel comfortable, they are more inclined to bond and interact with you.
One way is to set up a section of the home for the cat to dwell in.
If possible, have a room dedicated to the cat. This is where its toys and bed stay. A corner can suffice if you don’t have a spare room dedicated to your pet.
Aside from setting up places for the cat to be in, take the time to brush the cat’s fur. Not only do you pet them, but you also help them get rid of debris nestled in their fur. Grooming also massages their skin.
You can also make them feel comfortable by providing sufficient food and water. Always clean out their litter box too. This lets them know they have a safe, controlled environment they can always rely on.
5. Don’t Forget Playtime
Introduce periods when the cat can bond with you through playing. These lovely and agile friends are also predators by nature. Help them hone their instincts with playful activities.
While it looks like they’re playing around, this is their basic predator instincts firing up. Take the time to play by using any of the cat toys available. You can use a laser pointer or a toy mouse dangling on a string.
Your cat will get familiar with these toys and they’ll associate the object and the activity to you, making it a great bonding method. Also, playtime becomes an opportunity to keep your cats in shape.
Remember to allow about 10 to 15 minutes for playtime. Make playtime a daily habit as well.
6. Take It Slow
Don’t try to rush all these things at once. It’s fine to take it slow. Cats are creatures of habit, so introducing changes take time.
Make sure they feel comfortable by having a lot of things run the same as possible until they acclimate to the new environment.
Learn How to Bond with Your Cat Today
With these steps, you should have a good grasp on how to bond with your cat. You should be able to understand your cat better, as well as have a way to take care of these lovely creatures and find a new home with you. By then, our feline friends would work as great companions to enrich the days ahead.
But it doesn’t end here. To help you more with caring for your cat, check out our other guides like this one listing food cats can’t eat.