Like everything really important in life, the love and trust of a cat do not come easily. It’s important to know how to communicate with these creatures in their own language. Master these techniques of demonstrating love to your feline friends, so that you will know better how to bond with your cat.
Here are nine tips for how to bond with your cat by using her language.
1. Don’t look her in the eye
Like their ancestors, the wild cats of Africa and Asia, domestic cats prefer that you do not look them straight in the eye … at least until they can trust you. Staring a wild animal in the eye is like challenging them to a duel.
A cat may not react kindly to being challenged by your full-on glare.
If you really want to know how to bond with your cat, instead of staring at her directly in the eye, try looking past her and using the “slow blink.”
If you have ever watched a cat sunbathing, you will see them slowly blink their eyes as they relax. When they are truly comfortable and feeling safe, their eyes will close in a kind of doze.
Try to imitate this posture of a relaxed cat by lying next to your pet. Do not look at them directly but open and close your eyes slowly.
It will be the first step in communicating to them that you are not a threat and that you can relax with them. Maybe soon they will decide they can relax with you, too.
One of the best ways to start in the quest of how to bond with your cat is by showing her you are not a danger.
2. Show her you love her through the power of touch
Kitties are tactile creatures. They thrill to a scratch behind the ears or under the chin. If you are wondering how to bond with your cat, touching them is an excellent way to start.
Go slow when you start petting a cat. Cats want to trust you first before they move to the next step. Let a cat take a sniff at your hands or slither around your ankles before you go in for a full-on body massage.
Once the cat appears to be at ease with you, you can let him or her rub his cheek against your fingertip.
When you have established a certain comfort level with your pet, you can move on to stroking their entire body. Cats love to be massaged around their neck and shoulders, belly and base of the tail (but usually not the tip of the tail).
Stroking a cat has been known to lower not only cats’ blood pressure but that of humans. It’s incredibly soothing and can lead to a meditative, almost- Zen state for the both of you.
Stroking your cat’s body will also allow you to be in tune with her body in case there is anything wrong. You may notice matted fur which needs to be tended to by a groomer. You might also find ticks which need to be removed or lumps which might require a trip to the vet.
3. Speak to your cat
Cats have their own language, which includes not just their expressive bodily motions but also their sounds. They may communicate their feelings to you through purring, meowing or hissing.
Meows are usually known as cries for attention. The cat is asking you to feed him or open the door. A cat will usually purr from pleasure, but it might also indicate fear. Hissing is when a cat feels defensive and threatened.
Cats are known to communicate using up to 100 different sounds (compared to dogs who have a more limited vocabulary).
Some cats are more verbal than others: Siamese cats express themselves very loudly! Bengal cats are also known to be talkative.
Another suggested way of how to bond with your cat is to speak back to them. Many pet owners adopt a special tone of voice with their fur babies (the way parents do with their human children). Your feline will grow to associate that loving tone of voice with you.
Cats like many domesticated animals will also learn certain words (like “Dinner!). They may understand the word “No!” when they are being reprimanded for naughty behavior like scratching. However, unlike dogs, cats are less likely to actually do what you tell them to do.
They may understand, but they don’t always obey.
4. Feed them tasty treats
One of the best ways for how to bond with your cat is by using the time tested technique which works with all species: food!
Cats are known to be finicky, so you need to put some effort into finding which brand of cat food your pet enjoys.
Talk to your vet about your animals’ particular dietary needs: do they need hard crunchy pellets or softer foods? Some cats prefer human foods only, but make sure you stick with unseasoned meats and fish and stay away from processed foods or sweets.
Like all intelligent beings, cats like a little variety. They may love a particular brand of cat food one day, and then get bored of it the next. Change it up for them You wouldn’t eat the same thing for every meal, would you? Neither will they.
Cats also enjoy having to work for their suppers. There are lots of fun treat dispensers, food trees, and feeders which will stimulate your cat in addition to filling his tummy.
These items make meal time a game, which a cat needs to keep him engaged and challenged. They can even give him a little exercise, which is also necessary for a cat’s health and well-being.
Kittens can be extremely active, but as they get older, cats, especially those who live exclusively indoors, can get overweight. Like with all species, obesity can lead to serious health issues.
Getting a cat to play while it pursues its food is a great way to integrate exercise into his day.
Keeping your cat well fed and healthy is one of the best answers to the question of how to bond with your cat.
5. How to bond with your cat? Play games!
One of the attributes of cats that their owners most admire is their keen intelligence.
The downside is that cats can get bored easily. And a bored cat can lead to some messy problems.
Bored cats engage in destructive behavior like urinating on furniture or ripping up important paperwork or upholstery.
There are so many exciting games and toys you can use to engage your cat’s imagination and prevent her from getting bored.
You can entertain your feline on a limited budget, with small toys from the dollar store. Lots of cats love to chase a feather taped to the end of a stick.
If you want to splurge on your cat, a laser pointer can provide hours of fun. Cats will chase that little red dot all around the house endlessly. (Just be careful not to shine it in their eyes).
Catnip is also a delightful way for a cat to spend an afternoon (if he is one of the 50% of the species who are affected by this herb). Catnip makes cats either energetic or sleepy, producing similar effects to how marijuana affects humans.
A tiny catnip toy from the pet store will not cost a lot and is approved by vets as a harmless way to get your pet a little “tipsy.” (For extra fun you can video tape your cat’s antics and post them on Youtube!).
Few activities are more helpful for learning how to bond with your cat than sharing some giggles over the buzz created by a whiff of good catnip.
6. Understand her body language
If you really want to know how to bond with your cat, you need to know what she is trying to say to you.
Some of the behaviors felines use to communicate may seem odd, or even a little gross. For example, a cat may back up to you and lift her tail, showing you her behind. This may seem strange, but this is how kittens present themselves to their mothers to be groomed. It means she thinks of you as her mother, so it is actually a compliment!
Another activity cats use to show their affection is “kneading,” where they push their fingers into your flesh. This can hurt a little bit, especially when they extend their claws!
But kneading is what kittens do as they nurse their mothers. Once again, the cat is demonstrating her love and trust to you. So try not to yelp and push her away when those needle like claws puncture your thigh! She is trying to tell you she loves you like her mother.
7. Grooming is a way to show you care
Another behavior that may seem strange but which is actually loving is when a cat starts to lick you. In the animal kingdom, and especially in the cat family, licking is how parents bond with their young. So consider it another important lesson in how to bond with your cat.
In addition to letting your cat groom you, another way to learn how to bond with your cat is to groom him or her. As discussed above, cats love to be touched and stroked, so introducing regular combings to your schedule can add to both the pleasure and hygiene of your relationship.
Depending on the breed, some cats need more grooming than others. Cats with long hair which shed a lot may need to be brushed more frequently. There are a wide variety of instruments available, ranging from sand paper-like rollers to combs with sharp teeth. See whether your feline prefers a stronger or more delicate touch.
Like massage, regular grooming is an excellent way to get to know your cat’s body. That way, if there is something different like a sore spot, a loss of fur or a lump, you will know right away and quickly seek veterinary attention.
8. Keep her bathroom cleanCats appreciate being kept clean. As we discussed earlier, you can demonstrate your respect for this inclination by providing them with regular grooming.
Another great method for how to bond with your cat is by helping them keep their private place clean. Cats get embarrassed when their litter box is full and smelly. If you fail to change their litter box regularly, they may even resort to going to the bathroom in other places.
Show your felines how much you care about them by investing in a litter that absorbs odor, and by removing their droppings as frequently as possible.
9. Take care of all of her needs
When considering how to bond with your cat, the best way to proceed is by thinking about what he or she needs to be happy, healthy and comfortable.
In addition to the basic necessities of food, warmth, and shelter, cats require stimulation and loving care.
If you are gone for long periods during the day, think about ways to alleviate any stress or anxiety they may experience. Some cats enjoy cat “bungalows” which provide safe shelters and interesting crawl spaces.
Other cats enjoy listening to music or recordings of bird songs if they are left alone for long periods.
Finally, do not ignore their medical needs. It can be stressful for both pets and their owners to take a trip to the vet, but in the long run, you are protecting your pet from illness and conditions which may negatively affect her life.
It’s Worth It.
It’s a long struggle to gain the trust of a cat. Cats are innately independent and aloof. However, by listening to your pet and paying heed to what makes her comfortable and healthy, you two are sure to forge a meaningful life-long bond.
Take care of your cat, and the bond between you two will grow into a loving and enduring relationship.