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Now I am someone who NEVER thought she’d ever have a cat, much less love one.
As I write this, Juniper – my six-month-old kitten – is sitting in the kids’ trampoline right next to my computer. When I woke up this morning, Scarlet was sleeping on my shoulder and the kitten was sleeping on my feet. I felt the weight and heat of it while still in my sleep and dreams, and then woke up to find us all huddled together on this cold morning. I have to say – it’s moments like this that make me realize that my heart is big enough to love dogs AND cats. They bring different personality traits, tasks, concerns, joys, and pros and cons to the table, I’m sure, but pet love is love. And love is love. STRONG.
About two years ago, we found two feral cats in our garden. We wanted so badly to make them our pets, as we had never had cats before, but it didn’t work. They were too feral. We were able to find them good homes luckily, without kids. Early this past summer, we decided to take a leap. We adopted an abandoned kitten from a wonderful animal shelter in Springfield, MA. She was tiny and malnourished and had yet to be socialized, but we were introducing her to our loud family of two kids and a rescue dog. What can I say? It worked. I worked closely with the adoption counselor, and then my vet, to ensure my kitten would have a GREAT life, and not just a good one. She’s currently moved from the trampoline to my lap, as we speak!
Cat bonding is REAL! You can’t change your pet’s personality, just like you wouldn’t with a person, but you can change your relationship to introduce and maintain trust, respect, bonding, and love. How? Good care, good play, good products.
I know I talk a lot about Stop & Shop, but it’s such a favorite place for my family – for many reasons. Lattes, doughnuts, produce, pumpkin everything, etc. One big perk for me is the element of one-stop shopping. I can meet all of Juniper’s needs in ONE place! Not only that, I can do the same for the family and the dog. With the holiday season approaching, it’s a perfect place. Stop & Shop has an extensive pet care aisle, filled with everything from cat litter to kitten treats to wet and dry food.
Cats do a lot for their humans. They provide support, affection, soothing, humor, and love. How can we give back?
10 Ways to Bond With Your Kitten or Cat:
1 – Play with your cat every day. So many days pass me by and I am too busy or I forget, but luckily she reminds me. When I go away, even for one night, she’s more affectionate than ever when I get back. I think she misses the play! My vet recommends 10-15 minutes of play a day to keep the cat healthy, at a good weight, and bonded to us. She loves feathered toys, balls, catnip, and stuffed mice. She gets tired after playing, and I know that’s when it’s time to stop for awhile.
2 – Let your cat come to you. And they do! They really do! Cats are funny this way, though. They generally need to issue you an invitation first, or they may feel that their personal space is being invaded. Allow your cat to take the lead!
3 – Make sure your cat is comfy at home, and feels “at home” – this will enable more bonding for sure. Provide your cat with warmth, food, clean water, toys, a bed, and a litter box. Give your cat a room or designated space in the home. Choose your cat litter wisely because the products you choose for your cat are a direct reflection of how much you care.
I pick up Tidy Cats® litter at Stop & Shop. It now features TidyLock™ Protection that locks away odors that can lead to Stank Face! Their range of litters are pretty awesome – what’s the right one for you and your cat(s?). Find out HERE.
4 – Learn cat body language and use your own to convey emotions. My vet says that cats don’t like direct stares, which might explain why cats always loved me way before I warmed to them – I wasn’t interested in staring at them, so they were more interested in approaching me. I lie down with Juniper while she’s relaxed and blink at her a few times. Generally she blinks back and then looks away. If she doesn’t look away, I look away. Somehow this makes her more relaxed with me!
5 – Brush your cat! Many cats enjoy this, and it creates happy feelings of safety and comfort, while also helping to keep their coats free of dirt and flakes. Our cat is short-haired so we use a metal comb recommended by our vet.
6 – Ease them into transitions. Transitions are inevitable, but we all hear stories about cats not adjusting well to other pets, new babies, house moves, etc. Do adjustments gradually and slowly, with your cat in mind. Stay calm.
7 – Don’t pet your cat on the stomach. It can be tempting when they roll over and reveal a fluffy belly. Some at least tolerate it, but most cats don’t enjoy a human petting them there, so use caution when your cat rolls over.
8 – Learn both good and bad cat signs. If a cat bumps you with her head or rear, kneads on you, licks you, or gums you, these are signs he or she is bonding. If your cat has puffed up fur, an arched back, flattened ears, or dilated pupils, these are signs of cat aggression.
9 – Know your cat’s personality! Cats aren’t dependent on us the way dogs are. While our bonds can be strong, all cats are different. Some may need affection 24/7. Some may need very little affection. To truly bond with your cat, know and respect the personality he or she was born with.
10 – Love is in the details. Pamper your cat with delicious wet and dry food varieties – formulated for your cat’s tastes. Fancy Feast and Friskies have medleys, broths, and treats that will celebrate your cats. Also found at Stop & Shop!
SAVE $2.00 on any one (1) package of Purina® Tidy Cats® brand Cat Litter when you purchase one (1) Purina® Friskies® OR Fancy Feast® Wet Cat Food Item – through 12/30/16. Pick up your Stop & Shop Savory Magazine for this money saving coupon in stores.
Do you like to do your one-stop shopping at Stop & Shop? How do you bond with your pet?
*Not to be taken as professional veterinary advice. Please consult your veterinarian for recommendations and practices appropriate for your pet.