Cats are one of the most loveable pets that has lived alongside humans for thousands of years. That’s because they easily bond with humans. But note that cats can be finicky, and sometimes may not bond with you easily. But the truth is that as a cat owner, there are some methods you can adopt to build a strong relationship or deepen your bond with your cat.
So when you bring a kitty home for the first time, or you just don’t get along with your existing feline tenant, here are some impressive ways to build a genuine bond and long-lasting relationship with your cat.
Spend one-on-one time together
Some cat owners do not spend time with their feline friend, and this slows down or kill the bond between them and their cat.
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve got a kitty that enjoys taking walks or a couch potato that just wants to sit on your laps while you meditate or read books. What matters is that you take some time out to bond with your cat.
You may ask, “what if I have multiple cats.” Well, you just have to learn how to set aside some moments for each of your kitties.
Know the limits
Just like humans, cats are also good at giving body language. So you need to decide to listen up to avoid bonding setbacks. Watch your cats for signs that indicate discomfort and know when to back off.
Some common signs of discomfort include an aggressively twitching tail, flattened ears, and super dilated pupils. So when you notice any of these, don’t try to reach out and pet them.
More so, when a cat is purring, it can indicate agitation, but most people see it as a sign of being happy. Purring is kind of confusing, but sometimes, they use it as a self-soothing mechanism. So it’s best to give a cat space when it agitates.
Let them come to you
The interesting thing about pets, especially cats, is that they start exploring their new environment as soon as they become comfortable. At some point, you’ll see your new cat coming to you, trying to know you and other members of the family.
You can never tell, it may take weeks, and in some few cases, months before your cat starts coming to you but just let them decide the right time to start bonding.
At the right time, you’ll start seeing your cat exhibiting bonding behaviors like bunting and kneading. Kittens tend to knead all the time, but when you see your adult cat kneading, you should know they feel more comfortable and relaxed around you, and this helps to deepen your bond.
Cats also exhibit bunting, which means that they tend to walk up to you and rub you with their forehead. This happens when they are comfortable, and it often comes with other friendly behavior like sitting next to you or on your laps.
Give your kitty some time to adjust
Think about those times you visited your uncle or family friend for the first time- I’m sure you didn’t just get along with everyone the moment you stepped in. That’s exactly how it is with your feline friends too.
You need to understand that cats are creatures of habits, so when they move to a new environment, they need some time to adjust. You need to allow them to stick to what they know at first.
Don’t just switch their foods and expect them to pounce on it. They need to adjust to the new environment, new sound, new smell, new food, as well as new people.
Note that cats take comfort in consistency, and you may need to try some incremental changes rather than forcing too many things on them all at once.
Give them space
If you want to deepen the bond with your cat, you need to take it slow and give them space. No doubt, everyone loves to engage with cats from the first day they meet, but the truth is that you can’t enforce a feeling on cats.
"Playing it cool can be quite difficult. Right from the first day, we all want to scoop them up, pet them, and see how they interact with us. But cats are not humans; they see the world differently than we do."- says Dr. Ryane E. Englar, clinical education coordinator at Kansas University in Manhattan, Kansas.
You need to understand that you can’t make cats love you. If you try to run over to a cat that you’ve never met before, you should be ready to face some issues. So it is better to give your cat space at first and show them care, and with time, the bond will begin to get deeper.
Pet your cat
Don’t get too overwhelmed with work and other engagements that you forget to spend time and pat your kitty on the head. Remember, cats are pets, and they need petting from time to time.
So if you desire to deepen your bond with your cat, try to spend time with them and let them know you care.
Doctors’ advice that we exercise regularly for the good of our body and mind. So why would you think your cat doesn’t deserve some playtime? Yea, they do, and they depend on you as their owner to create time for them to play and exercise.
The good thing is that playtime stimulates both the physical and mental part of our being. So when you spend time playing with your cat, it helps improve their health and indirectly helps to deepen your bond with your cats.
More so, during playtime, you and your cat will learn about each other’s likes and dislikes and learn how to play.
Take time to understand your cat
You may find it hard to understand why your cat behaves in a particular way, but the more you learn about them, the better you understand your cat.
Although some behaviors are characteristic of all felines, still cats are individuals with unique personalities. So you need to learn about how your cat communicates, how they handle pressure and stress, how they see the world, and with time, you’ll understand the hidden reason why your cat misbehaves at times.
There’s never a relationship that blossomed without communication. It is key to deepen your bond with your cat. Communicating with your cat means you have a clear and consistent routine and allowing your cat knows what you expect from them and what you count as wrong.
You can build strong communication through play and affection. You don’t necessarily have to seat all day with your cat. All you need is just to take some time out to actively work together with your cat as a team.
Cats are lovable whenever they have a deep bond with their owner. But you can never force a bond with your feline friend. You just have to show them that you care following the hints above, and with time, your cats will begin to show you how much they love to be around you every day.