5 Ways to bond with your cat

Sep 12, 2018

Playful, loving and independent, you already know cats make great pets but bonding with your cat doesn’t happen overnight.  It takes time and effort on your part but it’s well worth it. Cats have managed to adapt well with our modern lifestyle, tolerating our tiny apartments and time spent solitary due to our work schedules. Because of their easy-going nature, many people assume they might not need as much attention as dogs do.

But contrary to this belief, a cat needs to play just as much as a dog does. It's necessary for both her physical and mental balance. According animal behaviourist Dr Joanne Righetti, “Play can also strengthen the bond between you and your pet”.

For many cat lovers, just looking at photos of cats or watching a cat video can bring a positive boost in mood and lower stress -  so it’s no surprise that having a feline around you can be just as rewarding and beneficial as any other animal friendship. It’s scientifically proven that cats are good for us. Studies show that cats can help prevent allergies in children, improve your mood and even boost self-esteem. Research from the University of Minnesota concluded that cat owners are 40 percent less likely to have a heart attack.

Keeping your cat happy not only ensures a strong bond between you and your loyal fur-friend but it can also help promote longevity for many years. So, when you have a few minutes to spare with your cat, make it count and strengthen your bond with them.

1. Feed

Feeding your cat is a great way to establish trust and deepen your bond. Since many cats are motivated by food, you can use this to your advantage when trying to spend time with them. Establishing a daily feeding routine is one of the best ways to make your cat feel safe, happy and healthy. The key here is consistency, so if you have to make changes, like moving their water bowl, try to introduce it gradually.

2. Play

Cats are naturally playful and curious, play time stimulates both their bodies and minds. Not only is it a great way to spend quality time, you’ll each learn about how you play and what each likes and dislikes when it comes to games. The key to setting up enjoyable playtime is finding the right toy or game that suits your cat’s personality. They are natural hunters, so anything they can chase and pounce on will generally do the trick.

3. Treat

We love to pamper our pets, lavishing them with treats and affection. Although there is no limit for affection, cat treats should be used in moderation. They provide a great way to spend one on one time with your cat and can go a long way toward strengthening your bond. Try this by putting a treat on your lap as this may be all the motivation your cat needs to come over and settle in for a nap.

4. Brush

Many cats enjoy the feeling of being brushed as it creates feelings of comfort and safety. Brushing not only reduces shedding, it also helps spread the natural oils over your cat’s skin, resulting in a beautiful, shiny coat.

5. Cuddle

Just like us, cats can get a mood boost by receiving physical affection. The more cat cuddles you give, the more your cat feels loved, protected and becomes relaxed around you. Most cats enjoy being stroked along their scent glands including their chin and cheeks. Keep in mind not all cats are affectionate and will convey comfort or discomfort through body language. It’s best to get to know your cat’s personality and make your cuddle time on their terms.