If you’ve grown with dogs, you probably know that bonding can be as simple as petting them for a few days to become best buddies for life. Bonding is definitely a more difficult process when you decide to get a cat. We’ve all joked about the haughty nature of felines, but most of those jokes come with more than the grain of truth attached to them. . .
Often times, people get a cat, expect instant bonding and jump to the conclusion that the cat will never want anything to do with them. Take a proactive approach and try a few techniques to better bond with the new feline family member.
Begin with these:
- Don’t use negative reinforcement
With dogs people often use negative reinforcement to train them in the dos and don’ts around the house. In fact, many people claim that using this form of reinforcement never results in them getting moody or stand offish and that they simply learned not to potty in the house and all was well. While we don’t recommend that approach with dogs, we most definitely can tell you that cats don’t respond to negative reinforcement – at all.
Simply raising your voice at a cat is a good way to be dead to them for life. Cats have a very low trust threshold. One bad experience with you and building a bond is going to become infinitely harder. Save yourself a headache and focus on positive reinforcement methods if you have to train your cat in order to keep your bond in good standing.
2. Be the giver of food. Don’t just leave food out 24/7. Cats bond much quicker with the people who feed them. The way to a cat’s heart is his/her stomach, so take advantage of that fact and associate yourself with him/her being fed. Your cat will start cozying up to you in no time. Petting your cat and rewarding him with a treat throughout the day will also remind him that associating with the humans of the house reap many rewards.
3. Be patient. You can force a cat to like you. Don’t try to play with them incessantly or pick them up all the time. Give your cat some space and let him/her come to you. The more you push for the relationship, the longer it’s going to take to build one.
4. Be interesting. Yes, I said it. Be interesting. Cats love dangling toys, string and even laser pointers. Throw a cardboard box or brown shopping bag in the middle of the floor and your cat is sure to come a calling. These are all great options that allow you to provide your cat with some much needed space. Once he begins to trust you, then go ahead play more interactive games that won’t scare him off and invade his space!
Follow these basic tips and in time you’ll have every cat happily eating out of the palm of your hand.