How to Bond with Your Cat
While felines may be known for their independence, cats actually imprint on their owners and can become attached to them quite quickly. If your cat follows you around, greets you when you arrive home, or exposes their belly to you these are signs they trust and love you. Bonding with your cat is crucial to keeping your cat happy and healthy.
Here are some tips to help you strengthen the bond with your cat:
Spend Quality Time Together
Cats love the company of their humans. Whether you’re playing with toys or cuddling on the couch, make sure to engage with your cat every day and not just coexist.
Play With Your Cat
Actively play with your cat. Don’t half-heartedly wiggle a wand toy while scrolling through social media. Really engage with your cat and tire them out with some interactive playtime. Ideally right before a meal, pull out the wand toys and laser pointers and really get your cat to exercise and practice “hunting” for their meal. This encourages them to use their natural instincts to pounce on and catch their food.
Make sure your cat has plenty to do, especially when you’re asleep or out of the house. Happy cats need stimulation whether it’s cat TV, a big window to look out of, an exercise wheel, or a multi-level cat tree. They will love you for it!
Groom Your Cat
Most cats enjoy being brushed and it provides the perfect opportunity to pet your cat and calm them down. While being groomed, they may cozy up to you, make biscuits, and nuzzle you. The perfect bonding experience!
Most cats enjoy being pet, especially on the cheeks and near the base of the tail. If your cat meows, purrs, makes biscuits, raises their butt in the air, rubs their face against you, or rolls over and exposes their belly, you can assume they are really enjoying being pet!
Reward your cat’s good behavior and encourage them to approach you by offering their favorite treats. They will associate good things with you - FOOD! - and will want to be around you more.
Cats love a routine and appreciate consistency and knowing what to expect. Most cats don’t like change (owners going on vacation, moving to a new house, or adopting another pet) and become easily stressed when things are different. Establish a routine with your cat and try to feed them and play with them around the same time every day. They will be more comfortable with predictable schedules since they are creatures of habit.
Give Them Space
Let your cat come to you on their own terms, especially if you’ve just adopted them. Don’t try to force your cat to hang out or cuddle if they are not in the mood. Provide them cubbies and boxes for them to retreat into when they feel like being alone and respect their need to be independent at times.
Remember that since every cat is an individual with a distinct personality the bonding process will vary from one cat to another. Be patient and consistent and you'll develop a strong and long-lasting bond with your furry friend.