Petting and generally spending time with your cat can be therapeutic. However, due to everyday work demands leaving us minimal breathing room, setting aside quality time for pets can be a big ask. However, as national quarantine has provided a pause in our hectic daily schedules, now’s the perfect opportunity to bond with your cat.
Although cats are sociable animals, they’re also quite particular about who their friends are. And because they are more independent and require less attention than dogs, many leave cats to their own devices.
Can Humans Bond with Their Cats?
Well, according to the experts, the answer is a resounding yes!
While it’s usually more challenging to befriend a cat than a dog, our feline sidekicks do enjoy human attention. Even the most independent of cats can feel neglected, leading to anxiety and depression. However, it’s important to note that social interactions typically have to be on their terms.
Ready to start a new friendship? Below are great bonding tips you can apply today for your cat:
Understanding what Your Cat Enjoys
Since cats aren’t typically willing to compromise, your attempts of playing fetch probably won’t suffice. Instead, try to observe what your cat enjoys. It could be a favorite toy, location, treat, or even animal. Understanding what stimulates their senses is a good indicator for potential selected activities. For example, if your pet prefers a specific room, make an effort to bond with them in that area.
Cats Require their Own Space
It can be tempting to snuggle with your furry, big-eyed cat often, but doing so may be counterproductive. Cats need their own space and a lot of it! Providing sufficient space helps cats feel secure, allowing them to settle in their environment. This is particularly relevant when adopting new cats.
If certain rooms are off-limits, you can create a space for them to call their own. Areas don’t need to be substantial, as even a card box to sit in will do. Cats also love high places, as it provides them a clear view of their domain for potential predators. Great examples include a high shelf installed, a window perch, or on top of a fridge.
Set a Time for Focused Play
While it’s completely normal to mindlessly play with your cat on a whim, setting 30 minutes of playtime throughout the day can be beneficial. Most families don’t focus on playtime. However, cats are playful creatures and love when their humans playfully interact with them.
We suggest wand toys sessions that replicate catching prey in the wild. Wands mimic prey, letting your cat do their usual stalk and pounce routine. Although cats will be primarily focused on the toy, it’s an excellent way to build a trustful relationship.
Let Them Initiate Bonding
Remember when we stated interactions should ideally be on their terms? Well, letting them initiate is doing precisely that. Some cats are more friendly than others, readily approaching you to be petted while others stay put. Infact, it may take many weeks for a cat to show signs of affection. As the saying goes – Patience is a virtue.
If you’re uncertain about how your cat shows friendship, recognizing the following actions can help: Purring, Kneading, Bunting, Body Rubbing, and generally relaxing near you. A cat sitting nearby shows they’re comfortable with your presence.
Knowing When to Step Back
Although spending quality playtime is essential, it’s only part of the equation. Knowing when to keep your distance can also help when bonding. There are instances where cats want to be alone. If your cat is swishing its tail, meowing at a low pitch, or have its ears pulled back, then they’re simply in the mood!
Even purring can be ambiguous to owners, as cats can purr when they’re afraid or in pain. A cat purring can help soothe itself, analogous to a child sucking their thumb. Research even suggests that purring can aid in healing bones and wounds through vibrations.
However, to ensure your cat lives a healthy life, medical treatment is advised. Sooner or later, cats are prone to accidents or illness, causing many pet parents to opt for pet insurance. If you want affordable medical procedures that offer affordable monthly premiums, getting your pet insured with Bivvy is a great place to start.
Petting Your Cat the Correct Way
Properly petting your cat is an overlooked factor in human-pet relationships. If you energetically tap your cat’s head while saying ‘Good Boy!’ or ‘Good Girl!’ in an enthusiastic tone of voice, you may want to consider a different approach. As petting is highly individual, you’ll need to observe what your cat prefers. Some felines love belly scratches, exposing their furry bellies in the open for you to rub. Some hate it and will gladly swipe at you if your hand is anywhere nearby. A safe start would be to pet underneath their chin or around their cheeks.