Bonding with a cat is not as hard as people say.
Cats certainly get a bad rap when it comes to their seemingly stand-offish demeanor. Sometimes, they seem to have selfish motives – like using humans for food and shelter (and massages!), without an intention to give of themselves – and are indifferent, and aloof toward their keepers.
But that’s not true.
It just happens that by nature, they’re more independent animals than some other pets. In fact, among all cat species, only lions live in groups (prides). All other cats typically live solitary lives. That’s no reason to judge them, surely!
Even among us humans, some people are more friendly than others. There are introverts and extraverts, and people who enjoy being close much more than others. It doesn’t mean, by any means, that those who don’t favour always having to be social are mean, or selfish, or less caring. It just means that they have different needs.
Once you understand this, it’s much easier to forgive the house cat that might ignore its name being called sometimes, and have expectations that are more realistic when it comes to bonding with a cat.
That said, it’s not wholly uncommon for cats to show affection, or learn to appreciate your presence either. And you can certainly take actions to foster the right environment for that to happen.
Providing a safe space
Most cats enjoy being alone, and they will appreciate it if you give them room to do just that. It helps to create a space where they can be alone in an area of the house that is for them (even if it is very small). Be sure to provide the basics there too – food, water, a litter box, some toys, and a bed would be a great start.
The space should be accessible to them, so they can retreat to it whenever they want without being disturbed too much. When you get this set up, you might find that they will feel safe wandering your home because they have a base which is theirs.
Interacting with them
Of course, we’re not suggesting that you give them all they want and then simply leave them to always do whatever they want in the house. To start bonding with a cat, you’ll have to spend time with them.
You can play with them using toys, or pet, and stroke them. Remember to lower yourself to their level, and use a gentle voice. Keep in mind that they should want to play with you, or receive physical affection when you do this. It’s sometimes a good idea to let them be the ones who initiate interaction in the first place.
Another great way to a cat’s heart is undoubtedly its tummy. Try to feed them on a fixed schedule, and make sure to initiate interaction around this time. This will help to let them know that you’re the one caring for them so that they know to appreciate you!
Simply leaving a bowl of chow out for them to grab whenever they want will more likely result in them forming a bond with a “magic” dish instead.
Yup! Cats aren’t really as uncaring as people make them out to be, they just need some getting to know! Hopefully, with these pointers, you can make a better friend of (or be a better friend to) your feline friend from here on out.
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