To the unconverted, cats have a reputation for being aloof and fickle creatures. If you’re not used to them, it can take time and patience to figure out what makes cats tick (and what doesn’t). Cats’ personalities vary but almost all of them enjoy well-judged interactions that help you bond and build a loving friendship.
The foundation of bonding with your cat is them associating you with all the best things in life: food, play and comfort.
When you welcome a kitten into your home, they’ll need lots of gentle handling and strokes to learn how humans and cats interact. Most cats enjoy being stroked along their scent glands including their chin and cheeks but as you interact with your cat, you’ll soon get to know their sweet spots. Regular physical affection helps your feline friend feel loved, protected and relaxed and it has lots of mood-boosting pay-offs for you too! Older cats often need a more incremental approach to physical affection and some are more receptive to it than others. Take it slowly, observe and learn what makes them purr.
Feeding your four-pawed friend some tasty treats is a sure-fire way to win their heart and help you bond with your cat. Encourage them to snuggle on your lap by putting a treat there for them to discover. They’ll soon come back for more! What you put in their bowl matters too. Choose natural cat food from Applaws, made with the best quality ingredients, to give them the right balance of essential nutrients. Our delicious new purees are designed with bonding in mind. What better way to connect with your cat than feeding them protein-rich, whisker-licking food, by hand? Our purees have meat as the number one ingredient but also contain lots of water, to help keep your friend hydrated. Try having a multipack in your cupboard to reach for when your cat needs some coaxing to engage.
It’s important not to force interactions on your cat. In general, cats like to call the shots and if you come on too strong, they might feel overwhelmed and turn tail. That doesn’t mean you can’t encourage them to join in with some hands-off play. Use a wand toy to encourage them to exercise their predator instincts, without direct physical contact. Playing at being a predator will boost your cat’s confidence and you’ll both have fun at the same time. A laser-pointer is a super-easy alternative for when you’re feline lazy. Your cat will love chasing the tiny light around and will benefit from the physical exercise and mental stimulation. Just make sure you buy a laser pointer specifically designed as a pet toy, to avoid damaging your cat’s eyes if it makes direct contact.
Enjoy bonding with your cat and finding out what they love. Before long they’ll be kneading you with their paws and bunting you with their head. They might just sit right on top of you with a deep, contented purr. That’s when you know you’ve bonded. Purrrrfect.