5 Ways to Improve Your Relationship with Your Cat
When we adopt cats, we aren’t just gaining a pet. We are also gaining a long term companion. Just as in relationships we have with other people, we have a relationship with our feline friend that we can strengthen by spending time together and learning about one another. Cats have many quirks as humans do, and it’s our job as owners and friends to learn about them.
Here are 5 ways to improve your relationship with your cat:
- Introduce change gradually. Cats are creatures of habit, so it’s only natural that if you take them out of an environment they are used to and drop them somewhere completely new to them they will feel uncomfortable, fearful and disconcerted. For example, if you are moving to a new house it is better to give the cat free reign of one room before giving them the overwhelming freedom to explore the entire house.
- Exercise various disciplines. It goes without saying, but don’t hit your cat. Inflicting physical discipline has a detrimental effect on the bond you are trying to create with your cat, and is altogether unnecessary when there are a few different tried and true ways to make sure he or she knows they’ve done wrong. Squirting cats in the face with water is the go-to for disciplining, and whether your cat likes water or not, getting sprayed in the face is annoying enough that they will start to associate their bad behaviors with annoyance. Another way is to speak with a loud and firm tone when telling them “stop,” or “no.” The loud sound will startle them without hurting them and have them quit.
- Playtime is a must. It’s no surprise that playing with your cat strengthens the bond you have with them. They get some well needed exercise, and it’s great fun to watch them hunt and pounce on their toy of choice. Always make time to play with your cat, no matter how old; if they are active, they want to play.
- Respect the need for claws. It’s definitely annoying to have to discipline your cats when they are clawing a door facing, or the furniture, but declawing your cat is not the answer for better behavior. If your cat was declawed and then they got outside somehow, they would have no way to defend themselves. Besides that scenario, the process of declawing is painful and unnatural.
- Understand body language. There are plenty of different signals cats can give us to convey how they are feeling. For example, if he or she exposes their belly to you, they are comfortable and trusting with you. The tail is another strong indicator of how your cat is feeling, according to Lifehack.org:
- If the tail is straight up it means they are feeling friendly. They might even snuggle up against you to say hello.
- If the tail is bent down behind them, they are feeling defensive or aggressive. Perhaps they are in a bad mood or something has spooked them!
- If the tail is lashing back and forth, they are feeling annoyed or mad. It’s their way of saying, “Leave me alone!”
- If the tip of the tail is flicking it means they are curious or interested in something.
What ways do you use to bond with your kitty? Let us know in the comments!
Featured image credit: AdinaVoicu (modified)