Cats are funny little creatures that are often loved, or not so loved. Those who prefer the company of other furry friends are usually the type of people who haven’t spent a lot of time around cats before and as such have never built a strong bond with one… but how do you build a bond with a cat?
Well, Samford Pet Resort loves all animals equally, and we love helping others learn about their pets. So, we’ve put together a how-to guide that will help owners lay the foundation for a successful human-feline relationship. If you’ve tried everything and still can’t get your kitty to budge, these tips and tricks will help you form a long-lasting bond with your little feline friend.
Give them space
Cats like to operate on their own terms. They love their own space, and they don’t necessarily want to be scooped up and cuddled constantly. While most humans love and crave affection, cats do not, and this can be where the misunderstanding begins. Giving cats somewhere they can hideaway is essential for them to escape whatever else is going on around them. Giving a cat their own space can include cat trees or even cardboard boxes with holes cut in them, as these can be enough to make them feel at ease in their safe space. Your cat will love you for this and overtime learn that you are the one who provides these safe spaces.
Let them come to you
Cats are also creatures of comfort. As they become more comfortable, they’ll likely start exploring more and more, both in terms of you as an owner and in terms of their surroundings. Sometimes cats will jump right in and be comfortable with their surroundings and other times it will take weeks for them to warm up. When a cat is ready, they’ll start exhibiting certain ‘bonding’ behaviours. These include kneading and bunting. Bunting is described as when a cat walks up to you and starts using their forehead to rub you. This is a sign of affection and means that your cat is beginning to trust you and feels comfortable with you. If your cat starts bunting on you, whatever you’re doing, keep doing it, because they like you!
Know when to back off
Every animal uses body language to let others know what it feels, and this can be a key way for you to avoid bonding setbacks with your cat. If you are noticing some of these signals, it might be a sign that you need to take a step back:
- flattened ears
- aggressively twitching tail
- dilated pupils
It’s also wise to know that even if a cat is purring, it doesn’t mean they’re content. They often use it as a self-soothing mechanism, so if their body language is saying ‘leave me alone’, steer clear and let them cool off before approaching again.
Encouraging bonding behaviour
While it is advocated not to force interaction, there are certain tricks that you can use to woo your kitty over and help fast track the bonding experience. Cats are smart animals. For example, they will notice that when you’re around, there may be more food available, or treats may appear. They’ll also find that toys are brought out only when you’re around, which will help them associate fun playtime with their doting human. Hanging soft toys that replicate those similar to the prey they would hunt are great toys for cats, and if you’re the one on the other end of the toy, they’ll notice that over time. This is a great way to bond with your cat and build that friendship.
If you’ve been having trouble bonding with your feline friend, these tips may help you to build a purr-fect bond with your cat. Our expert staff at Samford Pet Resort are well-equipped to deal with your kitty next time you go away, so contact us today to book them in early!