5 Ways to Bond with Your New Cat

Cats often get a bad rap for being fickle and standoffish. While they can be sometimes, many cats like being around people, just on their own terms. You may notice your cat stays off to the side but likes being in the same room as you and watching what is happening. They like being the ones to initiate interactions and affection, so be patient.

It can be tempting to shower your new cat with love when you bring it home, but remember to go slowly and give it time to adjust. There are many changes happening at once. Here are some tips to start building a connection with your cat.

1. Give Your Cat Space

Let your cat explore its new surroundings and get a feel for things. Give it a quiet space of its own such as a climbing tree, cubby, or even a cardboard box. Make sure this space is just for your cat and other animals or people don’t go inside or bother it. They like to feel hidden yet still able to see everything.

2. Stay Calm

When your cat does come over to check you out, avoid making sudden movements or loud noises. Put your hand out and let them sniff you and rub against you before you reach to scratch their head. Bumping their head against you is a good sign – they’re leaving their scent. It’s okay to gently bump heads back.

3. Make it Fun

Try different toys to see what your cat likes best. Laser pointers, shiny balls, wand toys, and catnip are often a big hit. Make it a point to play together, even if that just means darting a laser pointer around the floor for your cat to chase. Cats often play in short bursts, so take multiple play breaks throughout the day. And when they’re done, they’ll let you know by walking away.

4. Talk Back

When your cat meows at you, meow back. Try to make it sound as close to the noise they made as possible. Or you can also just talk back using words. You may find that this elicits a short “conversation” where your cat keeps responding. Just remember to use a calm, pleasant voice. Shouting can scare your cat and cause them to run and hide.

5. Reward Them

When your cat comes over to be near you, make it a positive interaction. Surprise them with a treat or a bit of catnip. Give them some gentle scratches around their ears, chin, and neck, rather than a long stroke down their entire back. Remember that cats’ stomachs are very sensitive, so unlike dogs, they do not appreciate a belly rub.

Show your cat you care and give them time to warm up to you. Building a sense of trust is important. Follow your cat’s lead when interacting with them. If you’re going to be out of town, consider boarding your cat so that they continue to receive regular social interaction and play time, and so you know they are safe. Contact Lake Wylie Pet Resort to schedule your cat’s stay!