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5 Ways To Make Friends With Your Cat

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5 Ways To Make Friends With Your Cat

So you think you’ve found that “special furry kitty cat” that matches your soul, and you take them home for the first time… but the magic fizzles when your new feline roommate seems aloof and indifferent to your affections in their new entourage. Don’t fret – we’ve got a list of all of our tricks of the trade when it comes to winning over the hearts of these furry creatures.

1. Play It Cool, You Will Win

Cats need space to explore their new area. They use all five senses to explore new spaces,as they need some time alone and space to map it out. Our tendency as humans is to want to cuddle and hang out with them right away, but the best approach is to let them come to you when they are ready to say Hi and interact. Make sure to make a designated little cozy “hideaway” for them to retreat to when they are feeling anxious or overwhelmed. A cardboard box with a cutout serves as a great spot for cats to decompress and process their new home. After a few moments to collect themselves, they will often rejoin the household for interaction with their new human friend. They should also have a safe, quiet place for their litterbox and dishes. A clean litterbox is very important to cats, as they are quite fastidious creatures and, much like us, refuse to use a dirty restroom.

2. Get on Their Level, Ground

Cats are intimidated when people stoop over them. They are prey animals by nature, and are easily frightened when introduced to a new environment. Spending some time on the floor with your new friend will ease their anxiety, and make you seem more like a playmate than an enemy. Speak in a soft voice, and move slow. Using toys, especially the toys attached to wands, can entice your cat to engage in play, at what they consider to be a safe distance. Laser pointers are also a great way to engage shy kitties in playtime, without hovering too closely.

3. Let Them Come to You

Some cats will warm up to you right away, others will take a bit more time to read you and decide if you’re worthy of their affection, Not all cats are cuddly… some would prefer to bond with their humans from a distance, and initiate contact on their own will. When the cat is ready to bond, they will commonly exhibit certain bonding behaviors around you, such as kneading or bunting. “Bunting” is a typical behavior of a cat that is attempting to initiate contact with their human. Cats have scent glands located on the top of their head, and sides of their face, and when they initiate contact using these areas of their body, they are “marking” you as their human. This is quite a privilege, and indicates that they have accepted you.

4. Food is Love

Once your new feline sidekick has decided that you’re an okay person, it’s time to offer them a treat as a token of appreciation for their affections. Cats love crunchy treats that have points, so star- or triangle-shaped treats are always a winner. Tuna or chicken are typically acceptable flavors for most kitties.

5. Know When to Back Off

Nobody likes a clinger. Most cats have a time limit on their window of affection, some longer than others. Be sure to read your cat’s body language, pick up on their behavior, and respect their personal space. Flattened ears, an aggressively switching tail, and dilated pupils are usually a good indication that your cat is ready to disengage. Back away slowly, and pick up your bruised, trampled ego. After some time apart, your new best friend will come back again.

Adding a feline companion to your home can be great, but it is most certainly not the same experience as bringing home a dog. Cat ownership isn’t for everyone, and it helps to manage your expectations of cat ownership and cat behaviors prior to obtaining a cat. By respecting a cat’s boundaries and allowing them the opportunity to settle into their new home at their own pace, you will earn their trust, which they will reward with a lifelong friendship.

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