Contrary to famous myths about being aloof or independent, many videos of cats playing or sleeping with their owners are available on social media platforms. We all want to have a good time with our feline friends. However, this is possible only if you have an excellent mutual bond with your cat.
Though developing a great bond with your feline may not be rocket science, you must keep some basic things in mind; if you don’t proceed wisely, any effort to create bonding can backfire and make the process more difficult for the next time. So we have prepared a guide of tips and tricks to help you establish an excellent human-cat bond. Let’s see how you can bond with your cat.
Know Your Cat
If you have just brought a feline friend home or already have a cat and looking to build a good relationship, the foremost thing is to know your cat. In general, different cat breeds have different personalities and temperaments. Some breeds are more social and extroverted than other breeds. Similarly, some cats are more energetic and playful than others.
In addition, irrespective of the cat’s breed, every cat is a distinct individual, having its personality, energy level, temperament, liking, dislikes, etc. So a cat from a social, extroverted, and playful breed may like interaction, cuddling, or play, and vice versa. Therefore it’s crucial to know what type of cat you have.
Give Your Cat Time & Space
We humans also take some time to adjust when we are in a new place or among people we have not met before. So don’t expect your cat to sit in your lap or sleep beside you immediately.
You might be tempted to cuddle or pet your new friend immediately, but your cat might not like it. So first, give him enough time and private space (a place to hide or rest) to get familiar with their new home and feel safe and secure with you and other family members.
Learn To Interpret Feline Body Language & Sounds
Naturally, cats can’t communicate the way we humans do. They express their emotions or feelings through body language or by making different sounds. So you must learn to interpret cats’ body language and their different sounds. When you respond to their calls, positive feelings for you will develop in your cat’s heart.
For example, when cats like some person, they stare at him with partially open eyes and blink very slowly. You can interpret this gaze as “I love you,” and according to experts, you should reply in the same way, which will be perceived by your cat as “I love you too.”
Similarly, cats exhibit many behavioral signs to express their emotions, and produce different sounds when they are happy, want your attention, want to tell you something, are in pain, stressed, or hungry.
Cattify Your Home (Enrichment)
To “cattify your home” means to make your home a place that fulfills the all-natural requirements of the cat and where cats feel happy, comfortable, and secure. This may include:
- Arranging many cat toys to keep the cat physically and mentally engaged. This help cats avoid boredom and anxiety when they are alone at home.
- Providing multiple places to hide; gives cats a sense of security that they can hide and protect themselves if needed.
- Arranging a water fountain is also a great idea to keep your cat well hydrated because, instinctively, cats prefer to drink moving water over stagnant water.
- Arranging multiple litter boxes, especially when you live in a multi-story house (at least one litter box on every floor) or have multiple cats.
- Arranging cat trees and cat scratching post
- Providing window perches
- Using vertical space by installing shelves along the room’s walls fulfills the cat’s instinct to sit at high places and jump from one place to another without touching the ground. Ensure that these shelves should be placed in ascending order (in a stair-like pattern) to make things easier for your feline friend.
Wait For Your Cat To Take The First Step
After fulfilling the tasks mentioned above, the next step is to wait for your feline friend to take the first step toward bonding. Never force your cat to interact, sit in your lap, or play with you. Cats don’t like it and may interpret it as an invasion of their privacy.
Just sit in the same room with your cat, let your cat roam around, and he will let you know with behavior and body language when he is ready to bond; that’s why it’s necessary to understand a cat’s body language and behavior. Once the cat becomes familiar with the new house and realizes that he is safe with the people around him, he will try to bond with you himself, though it may take from days to weeks.
Some common signs (showing that the cat is inclined toward you or has developed a liking for you) are kneading, head bunting (rubbing his head against you), sitting near you or on you, and making purring sounds.
Spend Time Together (Play)
The next step is strengthening your relationship or bond with your feline friend. Try to spend maximum time petting, cuddling, and playing with your cat.
According to feline experts, cats need at least 15 – 20 minutes of active play daily to get optimum physical stimulation. However, depending on your cat’s personality and health status, you can increase or decrease this duration.
Regular grooming is necessary to ensure your cat’s good health and a great way to strengthen your bond with your feline friend.
Offer Treats & Outdoor Walk
Offering treats occasionally or taking your cat for an outdoor walk is also a great way to make your cat realize that you love her or take care of her, and the cats understand this.
Learn: Should You Walk Your Cat?
What You Should Avoid
In addition to knowing the tips and tricks that help you to develop a good bond with your cat, there are certain things that you should avoid.
- Never look into your cat’s eyes with your eyes fully open. Because staring with open eyes will be taken as a challenge or threat.
- Avoid touching the lower side of the belly because cats don’t like touching it. It may be because it is the most delicate and vulnerable part of the body, and any predator in the wild can tear it easily. So, instinctively cats keep belly protection as their priority. Though sometimes, cats may expose their belly to you, which indicates that he trusts you and doesn’t feel any threat from you. However, this doesn’t mean he invites you to rub or pet his belly.
Bonus Tip – Know When To Stop
Knowing when to stop or take a pause is as necessary as knowing the above tips. While trying to build a good relationship with your cat, if you try to approach or interact with your kitty and see the signs like a twitching tail, flattened ears, dilated pupils, teeth exposure, etc., you must stop immediately because all these signs indicate that your cat is still not comfortable with you or not in a mood to interact. And forcing your cat to interact will never give you desired results. In such a case, pause for the next few days and try again.
In conclusion, bonding with your cat can be a rewarding experience for you and your furry friend. Whether through playtime, grooming, or simply spending quality time together, there are many ways to build a strong bond with your cat. Following the tips and tricks outlined in this post, you can create a deeper and more meaningful relationship with your cat and enjoy all the joys of being a cat owner.
Remember, every cat is unique, so be bold and try different approaches until you find what works best for you and your cat. With patience, love, and a little effort, you’ll be on your way to a stronger and more fulfilling bond with your furry friend.