Yes, sometimes the bonding thing can get a bit out of hand…but it’s worth it!
By the staff
(Romeo and Pugsley have approved this message)
Cats have a reputation for being independent and standoffish but pet cats really seem to want to bond with their humans….just on their own terms!
And, like people, every cat responds differently to various activities and expressions. Here are some great ways to bond with your cat, based on my own experience, some input from Romeo and Pugsley, and plenty of articles and experts I’ve come across over the years.
Create a Happy, Safe Environment
Experts agree: when creating an environment, consider your cat’s natural instincts to climb on things, perch in high places, scratch stuff and truly rule over his domain. If your cat feels safe and happy in your home, he’ll likely feel safe and happy with you.
Pet retailers like Swell Pets and others carry an array of cat scratchers, cat trees, window perches, climbing systems and more to make your home as cat-friendly as possible.
Don’t Force Them
Any cat owner knows that cats like to do things when and how they want to do them! The minute any sort of requirement comes into play, cats buck the system. Let your cat come to you for petting or snuggling, for example.
Sometimes cats respond to certain forms of suggestion. My oldest daughter really wanted Pugsley to sleep in her room. I chose a super comfy chair and put a pillow and soft, snuggly blanket on it to make the chair as enticing as possible. Sure enough, Pug soon discovered this cat bed nirvana and sleeps there every night now!
Play With Them Often
Play is a great way to enhance a bond with your cat. Many people don’t realize that playing is an important part of a cat’s happiness and well-being. It helps nurture and fulfill his natural instincts to hunt and stalk prey. Try different types of toys until you discover what your cat likes best. Some cats love batting stuff across the floor. Others love wand toys. Some like to wrap themselves around plush toys and rabbit kick with them.
I noticed my cats changed their entire attitude towards my oldest daughter when she started playing with them (supervised of course). Before they were somewhat wary of my kids. Once we got out the wand and began showing the cats a good time, it was like a light switch went on. Both cats began trusting the girls more and even seeking them out.
Make play time with your cat a daily habit and you’ll see him thrive.
Groom and Pet Them Often
It’s natural for cats who are bonded to groom each other. And, most cats enjoy regular petting, scratching and grooming by their humans. When petting your cat, pay careful attention to spots he may really enjoy or shy away from. Romeo loves to get his hiney scratched, while Pugsley does not like it and will end the petting session pronto.
Grooming, using a soft brush that soothes your cat, can also go a long way in bonding, with the added benefit of helping reduce shedding, creating a shinier and healthier coat and distributing essential oils throughout his skin and coat.
Be the Human Food Truck
Cats are no dummies! They know who is feeding them and, most of the time, know to be nice to that person! Being the food source definitely helps strengthen your bond with your cat.
Another important food-related bonding tool is treats! If your cat associates you with the random, extra yummy stuff, he will likely want to spend more time with you, just in case you’re doling out some extra goodies.
So, friends, what do you think? Do you have other ideas for best ways to bond with your cats? Cats: any advice for your humans?