20 Tips That Can Help You Bond Better With Your Cat

Written By Jill Taylor

Cats are often misunderstood when actually they’re capable of forming deep bonds with their owners, just like dogs. It can take a lot of time and effort to reach that point with your cat, but these 20 tips will help you bond with your feline friend.

Get to Know Your Cat’s Body Language

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Learning to interpret ear movements, tail positions, and mewing sounds will help you to understand your cat’s mood. Your cat will say a lot with its eyes, too. According to The Spruce Pets, the droopier your cat’s eyelids when they look at you, the more they trust you.

Create a Safe, Relaxing Environment

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Your cat will love having plenty of hiding spots around the house, which you can easily make with empty cardboard boxes. Make sure to keep the living area a relaxing space free from loud noises. Using pheromones can also help to reduce stress in your cat.

Establish a Good Routine

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Bond with your cat by creating a feed and play routine they can depend on. Be consistent with your interactions to help your cat trust you better. Also, remember to schedule regular grooming to keep your cat cared for and get them used to this maintenance routine.

Try Interactive Play

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Invest in toys that mimic prey, such as feather wands, so your cat can let off steam with its natural hunting instincts. Make sure to give your cat a chance to catch the toy to give them the satisfaction of a ‘successful kill’! Rotate many different toys to keep playtime exciting.

Use Gentle Touch

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Different cats will prefer to be petted in different ways, so use gentle touch to get to know where your cat most likes to be stroked – and where they don’t. Take it slow and avoid vulnerable areas like the tail or the belly at first.

Learn Their Language

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Get to know why and when your cat meows to understand its way of communicating. Many cats meow when they’re content, but some might never meow if they’re happy. Forbes tells us that this could be because they don’t feel the need to vocalize if their needs are being met

Ensure a High-Quality Diet

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Wet food can often be the best choice for your cat due to its hydration and dental benefits. A nutritionally balanced diet can help your cat stay in its best shape and feel cared for. If you need to introduce new foods, be sure to take it slow to avoid upsetting their stomach.

Create a Healthy Hydration Space

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Keep your cat’s water bowl away from any distractions, such as their litter tray or an untidy kitchen. Always give them access to fresh drinking water. A cat water fountain can also be very helpful in encouraging your cat to drink so they can stay hydrated and happy.

Keep on Top of Vet Visits

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Scheduling regular vet visits is not only important for your cat’s health but also for you to discuss any issues. Your vet can best advise on bonding with your cat and reacting to any changes in behavior. Checkups and vaccinations will help to keep your cat protected.

Use a Treat and Reward System

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You can use treats to help train your cat and encourage bonding exercises to make it feel closer to you. Choose a healthy treat to avoid any weight gain, but one that your cat will eagerly accept. This can be a great way to spend time together while also learning new tricks.

Respect Your Cat’s Space

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Trying to get closer to your cat can often result in you forcing interactions, but the best way to bond is to let them come to you when they’re ready. Make sure they don’t feel boxed in and have a way of getting out of a room if they want to.

Keep a Clean Litter Box

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Keep your cat healthy and cared for by scooping its litter box daily and thoroughly cleaning it at least once a week. Also, be sure to place the litter box in a quiet location so that your cat can feel more at ease in its environment.

Ensure Mental Stimulation

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PDSA explains that cats are more active in short bursts, so you’ll want to make time throughout the day for small stimulation sessions. Puzzle feeders are ideal, as cats can access them whenever they choose. Being present while they’re mentally stimulated will also help with bonding.

Encourage Scratching

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Provide your cat with multiple scratching options instead of just one, including posts and pads. You can place them around the house close to where your cat likes to lounge. The best way to encourage them to scratch is by using catnip or toys to lure them.

Have Regular At-Home Grooming Sessions

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At-home grooming sessions can be the perfect time for you and your cat to bond. Brush them regularly to avoid matting and ensure fewer hairballs while also using it as an opportunity to gently stroke them and encourage physical closeness.

Ensure Safe Outdoor Access

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If you can’t allow your cat to roam freely, then a cat leash or an outside enclosure can be effective in still allowing your cat to explore. Supervising outdoor activities is also an opportunity to bond and have your cat spend time with you in the sun (and shade)!

Celebrate Their Uniqueness

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If you want to bond, you should adapt to your cat’s personality instead of expecting them to adapt to your own. Purina explains that their personality can also be affected by their lifestyle, such as primarily indoor cats being more dependent on you for emotional well-being.

Learn How to Handle Your Cat Properly

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All cats will have different preferences for being touched. Despite this, you can also teach your cat to be more receptive to handling. When bonding, gently touch all body parts and reinforce positive behavior with treats during this time. Practice the best handling techniques for reduced stress.

Monitor Your Cat’s Stress Levels

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Speaking of stress, you’ll want to monitor when your cat is most stressed and what you can do to minimize it. Remove any obvious stress triggers from their environment and introduce soothing activities, such as cuddling and soft music. This can help you feel closer to them.

Be Patient

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On a final note, the best advice when bonding with cats is to be patient! It can take a long time to build up trust, but consistency will be key. Focus on positive and rewarding time spent together, and know when to celebrate the small victories with your feline friend!

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