Posted in Health

Bond with your cat (really!)

There is a general misconception that cats are aloof and don’t need humans; they are completely independant. Well, it depends, on the cat.

It depends greatly on personality of the cat, but also their history. How were they treated in the past; were they loved or mistreated, were they ever outside on their own or ferrel?

Even if you’re cat is somewhat aloof I believe you can bond at some level but remember that it always has to be on the cat’s terms. If you can show that you are trustworthy they can grow and change.

Play

This is probably the easiest and and if you’re cat is a bit fearful, you can do it at a bit of a distance. First you need to find out you’re cat’s favorite type of play.

  1. Try getting their hunting instincts going with a feather or tastle on a string or try dragging a rope or string across the floor and see if he/she chases it.
  2. A paperbag can make a great inexpensive toy. Cats love to hunker down inside, when they do try poking or scratching the outside and watch them attack!
    You can also play this game if your cat likes to get on the bed while you’re making it. Cover him or her with the fitted sheet or top sheet and gently run you’re fingers over the covers on top of the cat. Just be really careful if you’re cat has front claws, they can get a bit over enthusastic.
  3. Try playing fetch. Yes they can actually play fetch. Try tossing a milk ring and see if they bring it back, if they do make sure to reinforce it with praise and a treat, you might have just discovered a new game!
  4. See what else you’re cat is game for. You never know, when just interacting with your cat, you may just discover a brand new game that just you two know.
    With our Snickerdoodle it was the “eagle” game, and Momo loved table hockey. Theses are not your typical cat games, they were unique to the cat.

Just remember cat’s are sprinters not long distance runnner when it comes to playtime.

Lap Time

Not all cats are lap cats, but if you’re cat is it is a great way to bond. Our Snickers was not a lap cat at all when he was in his previous home. After coming to our home, he discoverd how nice laps can be, and now he follows me around the house when I get home from work screaming at me to ‘sit down already!’
Not all cats but many actually crave physical contact, so lap time is a great way for your cat to get what it wants while you get some time to bond.

Grooming

Brushing your cat is a great way to bond, it also can reduce the amount of cat hair that is left everwhere!
With our cats I found that depending on the length of the fur can determine the type of brush that they prefer. We have a brush with metal teeth that Snicker loves. He has mid-length fur and it’s pretty thick, Momo never really liked the metal brush, he was a short hair and his fur was a bit finer. Experiment a bit to find out what kind of brush you’re cat likes, when you find it, believe me they’ll let you know!

If you’re really fortunate you’re cat might groom you back. Snickers (I believe) is the only cat we’ve had that has done this. He will headbutt me in the morning to wake me up so we can have a little mommy/son time, and if he’s in the mood he will sometimes lick my face. It is so sweet, and he’s really gentle about it. Just don’t let them like too much in one place, Snikers actually gave me a bit of an abrasion burn on my ear once. If you can, see if you can get him/her to move on to another spot or it may just be time to end the session.

Bonding is possible with your cat, but it takes time and effort to make it happen.

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