Yes, I was born with an exceptionally good temperament. And my breed, Somali, is known for bonding strongly with their main humans. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great bond with your cat, no matter where they came from or their genetics. It just takes understanding, and a little effort. The kind of effort you would put into any relationship that mattered to you.
Unlike humans, cats are not that hard to figure out, as long as you know the parameters. So here are 8 tips that will help you create a deeper bond, and bring you closer together.
- Create fun routines for you and your cat
Cats love routine and consistency, so create routines that are enjoyable for them. Maybe have them do a little trick, like high five, before dinner, or make up a bedtime treat or play routine. And be consistent — don’t do them for a couple of days and forget for the next week. The more predictable you are, the happier your cat will be.
- Share one on one time with your cat
Everyone loves quality time, and that includes your cat. So dedicate a few minutes each day for a play session, or brushing, if that’s what they like. If you think they’d like to venture outside, spend time harness and leash training them. Or maybe do training sessions. Cats that get into trouble are often very smart, so channel that energy into something productive.
- Learn your cat’s own language and signals
While cat personality traits aren’t as varied as humans’, each one is a little different. Sometimes a lot different! Many cats get overstimulated and act out by attacking or biting — learn your own cat’s signals so you can stop touching or petting them before they get to that point. Some cats like their tummies rubbed, but many don’t. Respect boundaries. Your cat will appreciate it. Learn what your cat likes best, and do that. Find out what they don’t like, and don’t do those.
- Get on your cat’s level
Depending on your age and level of fitness, this may be easier said than done! If you have no problem getting on the floor — and then getting up — do get down to your cat’s eye level when you are talking to them and playing with them. Hovering over a cat can be scary. Imagine if a creature as tall as a 10 story building tried talking to you. Even if they were friendly, you’d be pretty nervous, wouldn’t you?
- Learn your cat’s favorite treats
The majority of cats love treats, and if your cat is one of these, then figure out which treats they love best, and make a special treat time routine. I have different treats for different occasions. My very, very favorite treats (freshly roasted chicken and turkey) only come out on very special occasions, like filming and personal appearances. My next favorite are the freeze dried treats and I get those for my training sessions. What treats does your cat love — and what can you do to make them even more special?
- When your cat acts out, think in terms of solution, not punishment
No cat is perfect (not even me!), but when we misbehave, it’s never random. There’s always a reason behind our behavior. We feel threatened in some way, or we aren’t getting enough attention, or maybe we are sick. There is some way our needs aren’t getting met. So don’t be quick to think we are being bad just to upset you. Think about what could be behind the behavior, and work on solving that. It’ll be a much better, and more permanent solution to a behavior issue.
- Let your cat solicit attention. Don’t be a chaser
Nobody likes being pestered all the time, and that goes double for cats. While we are more sociable than many people assume, we still value our independence and need alone time and peace. Think of us as introverts who can still enjoy a party every so often. If you let your cat decide when they want to share space with you, they will feel a lot more comfortable about your time together. Also let them decide when they are done. Don’t make a cat stay when they want to go.
- Treat your cat as part of family
This should be a no brainer, but so many people consider cats as low maintenance pets that don’t need to be part of their day. This kind of neglect does a great disservice to your cat — and to you. The cat-human bond can be so rich and wonderful and intimate and fun. Include your cat in your daily activities, even something as simple as hanging out and watching TV. If you get up to grab a snack from the fridge, grab some treats for your cat while you’re at it. Little things like this really do make a difference.
I hope you enjoyed my tips! Do you do some of these already? Which ones do you think are the most important? Let me know in the comments.
Other posts you’ll enjoy:
- The Cat-Human Bond Is Deeper Than You May Think
- 5 Awesome Things Cats Do For Humans
- Seven Typical Cat Behaviors That Mystify Humans