Gentle brushing is something most cats relish, as it makes them feel comfy and safe.
This is for all of you cat lovers out there. Our feline friends have their own way of showing their affection. They respond to love and care just like any other pet. Understanding your adorable cat’s body language, appealing to their senses and respecting their boundaries can help you bond with them beautifully.
Here’s what all you should know when you bring your precious kitty home!
Feline body language
- Confidence and good mood – If your cat is moving with its head forward, back subtly arched, wide eyes and upright tail, he or she is in a good mood. Such moments can be ideal to engage with her.
- Relaxed and content – When a cat is lying on its back or side with ears up and whiskers on the side, he or she is relaxing. Though this can be a good moment for petting, your pet might think it’s an attack.
- Nervous or anxious – Is your kitty all hunched down, with her tail wrapped around her? Are her ears sideways and pupils enlarged? Then give her space and don’t touch.
- Aggressive – Arched back, puffed fur, flattened ears, dilated pupils and swishing tail are clear signals of aggression. Again, give her space and time to calm down.
- Defensive – Display of teeth, flattened ears, display of claws are signs of defense as well as aggression. Never ever approach her in this state, as she might scratch or bite.
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Tips for bonding
- Communicate with eyes – Avoid directly staring at your kitty, as this might seem like a threat. When she is relaxing, lie near her and open and close your eyes slowly. Wait for her to do the same.
- They have personalities – Firstly, cats are not like dogs. They have distinct personalities, are independent and these qualities are usually difficult to change. While some may be very loving, others may be withdrawn or shy. Some might love to play with toys or strings as well. Whatever be your pet’s personality, don’t try to change it and go with the flow.
- Let your cat lead social interaction – Avoid petting a cat without invitation and wait for him or her to take the lead. If she likes you or wants to mingle with you, she will usually rub her cheeks against you with her tail upright or lick you. Give your kitty time, and she will come to you when ready. You can hold out your hand for her to sniff. If she likes it, she will allow you to pet her.
- Gentle brushing – This is something most cats relish, as it makes them feel comfy and safe. Brushing can also keep her coat clean and promote blood circulation. In the process, check for bruises, scratches, bumps or fleas as well.
- Sing and meow – Whether you are a natural singer or not, sing to your cat in a soft voice. Meow back when she meows, so that she thinks you are just like her.
- Speak positively – Tell your kitty how beautiful and cute she is. The sound of these words will make her happy, though she won’t understand them!
- Pamper with a neck massage – Neck massages are great for soothing your cat and she will like the touch too.
- Focus on paws – Gently stroking the top of her paws and loosely holding them in your hands can be a very affectionate moment for both of you.
- Play games – Indulge the fun side of your pet by playing games with him or her. Dangle a feathered toy in the air and let your cat jump to reach it. This will boost its natural hunting instinct. You can play fetch too with some cats. Some toys like balls, rabbits or mice are often covered with catnip. This herb excites a cat’s senses and can encourage her to play. Also, buy her small toys with which she can play on her own. To keep your pet healthy and at a normal weight, play with him or her for 5 to 10 minutes every day.
- Provide ample comfort – Cats are comfort-loving animals and they like warm, safe homes. So buy a cat kennel or crate to give her privacy and a cozy nook for resting and sleeping. In case you have a room to spare, turn it into a cat nursery with a small comfy bed, toys, clean food, clean water, and her litter box.
Use a designated place and bowl to fed your cat so that they know where to come looking for food when they are hungry.
- Turn on the tap – If your feline friend is roaming around in the kitchen, turn on the faucet for fun. They will enjoy drinking water from a running tap and might indulge in some water games too.
- Choose treats carefully – Many cats are picky about what they eat. And home-cooked food or milk can get boring sometimes. Buy kitty treats in different flavours and from different brands and try them out with your cat. Note the one she likes and get the same in the future as well.
You can opt for ready-made and hygienically packed food like this one
Once you understand your cat, respect her individuality and know what to avoid, bonding can become easy. Follow the above tips to get started.