Owning a cat is one of life’s great pleasures, but sometimes, it can feel like we need them more than they need us. It can even feel like we’re burdening them with our presence — not that they’d tolerate unwanted affection for long.
However, that may not be true. There’s evidence that cats bond with their humans even more than dogs do, so your kitty may be just as eager to develop a stronger relationship with you.
If you want to forge a closer bond with your cat, you’re in luck. There are ways you can get closer to your feline friend that are actually backed by science.
The ideas on this list have been proven to bring people and cats closer together, and they can improve the relationship between you and your pet. Just don’t be surprised that if after putting these tips into practice, you can’t get your cat to leave you alone anymore.
The 9 Science-Backed Ways to Bond With Your Cat
1. Only Pet Them in the Approved Places
Cats, like semi-trucks, have “no zones” — places where you’d better not be if you value your life. While these spots can vary from cat to cat, for the most part, you’ll find that cats like to be petted in the same spots every time.
Between the ears is an excellent spot to pet, whereas around the tail is an area that’s best left alone. If you only pet your cat in places that they appreciate, they’ll be more likely to want to spend more time with you.
2. Act Like a Cat
Who understands cats more than other cats? Hopefully, scientists do, because they recommend approaching your cat the way that another feline would.
The great thing about this is that cats communicate by sniffing nose-to-nose and even booping one another on the sniffer! That means you can let your cat come up to you, smell your hand, and then gently press on their nose, and they’ll actually like it (of course, they’ll like it even more if you have tuna on your hands).
3. Come Bearing Gifts
This one likely comes as no surprise to experienced cat owners, but cats love being around you more when you have food or toys with you. Cats seem to prefer interacting with people around mealtime or while playing, so you should totally try to buy your cat’s love.
This can go too far, of course. Don’t let your cat become overweight due to your bonding efforts, and respect their decision if they don’t feel like playing. Otherwise, though, you can use a snack and a feather to create a wonderful bonding experience for the both of you.
4. Don’t Be a Jerk
This one also seems obvious, but it’s worth stating. Cats don’t like to be around people who mistreat them, even in a joking manner. While you may think that you’re just being playful by teasing them, they may resent it.
That goes for ignoring them as well. Cats greatly prefer the company of people who interact with them in a loving manner, so give your cat high-quality attention as often as possible.
Cats look at your eyes to get a gauge of your emotional state, and they view slow blinking as a form of positive communication. If you want to tell your cat that you love them, look into their eyes and perform a series of slow blinks, followed by keeping your eyes half-closed.
Sound familiar? That’s likely because you’ve seen your cat perform this exact same sequence before. It’s their way of letting you know that they love, trust, and accept you.
- Related Read: Why Does My Cat Wink at Me? 3 Reasons for This Behavior
6. Let Them Come to You
If it seems like your cat plays hard to get, that’s because they do — and they don’t necessarily want you acting desperate to gain their favor. One study found that human-cat interactions were generally more successful when the cat initiated the interaction rather than the other way around.
That same study also showed that most successful interactions were shorter in nature, so if you’re fortunate enough to have your cat wander over to you for affection, don’t press your luck by trying to draw the experience out.
7. Give Them Their Own Hideout
This won’t directly improve your bonding, but giving your cat someplace to hide is important for their mental wellbeing. If they have a hideout that they can escape to when they feel stressed, it will make them more comfortable in their environment.
Once your cat feels truly comfortable in your home, they’ll be more likely to want to make friends inside it too. That bodes well for you — unless you have an irresistible roommate, that is.
- Related Read: 8 Signs Your Cat Doesn’t Like You & How to Fix it!
8. Keep a Regular Routine
Cats are creatures of habit, and they become dependent on a reliable routine. In fact, cats may even get sick if their routines get interrupted, so it’s important to keep things as dependable as possible.
Once your cat sees that you can be trusted to feed them and go to bed at set times, for example, they’ll realize that they can trust you — and they’ll only befriend someone they trust.
9. Understand That Every Cat Is an Individual
Don’t assume that just because most cats like a certain thing, your cat will. If something’s not working for them, stop doing it and find something that they like instead. Ultimately, it’s up to you to find the best way to bond with your cat, regardless of what science might say about It.
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Build a Healthy Relationship With Your Cat, One Day at a Time
There’s nothing worse than not having the relationship that you want with your cat, but in most cases, it’s only a temporary problem. By using science to your advantage, you can bring your cat around sooner or later. They may even thank you by putting a dead mouse in your shoe!
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay
- The 9 Science-Backed Ways to Bond With Your Cat
- Build a Healthy Relationship With Your Cat, One Day at a Time