Now I am someone who NEVER thought she’d ever have a cat, much less want to eat one. Special note: I don’t really want to eat my cat. As I write this, Juniper – our 11-month-old kitten – is next to my computer – watching me type. When I woke up this morning, she was sleeping between my knees. I felt the weight and heat of her while still in my sleep and dreams, and then woke up to find us all snuggled together on this cold, spring 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. We take care of each other every day.
Then I found out that bonding is REAL! You can’t change your pet’s personality, just like you wouldn’t with a person (nor would you want to), but you can change your relationship to introduce and maintain trust, respect, bonding, and love. How? Good care, good play, and a good cat massage roller. Yes, a cat massage roller. We will get to that one, though. I took VIDEO!
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.
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 – 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.
6 – 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.
7 – Brush and massage 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.
One Last Tip on How to Bond With Cats:
*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.
This is not a sponsored post and I received no compensation or reward for it – except my own chocolate shamrock reward for committing to writing every day – but Kooky Kittens did send me these handy dandy Cat Massage Rollers and we love them.