Congratulations on your newest member of the family, a beautiful cat or kitten.
In this exciting time as a new pet owner, the first thing on your mind is probably the best way to make a connection with them and show them they are loved.
We’re to help you identify the top five ways to bond with your new cat. Some of them might sound as if you are trying to bond with a human, but hey, pets are people too!
No. 1 Let Them Come to You—Unless It’s a Kitten
In general, if your new feline friend is an older cat—let’s say you adopted them—let them make the effort to come to you. We understand it might be difficult to stop yourself from getting all up in their face and wanting to love them, but just like humans, they need to feel you out first.
When you first take them home, let them scout out their new territory. It would be helpful to already have toys out, an area where they can play and their bed placed out in the open.
If it’s a kitten, though, feel free to let loose. Kittens are the same as babies and will benefit greatly from lots of cuddles and affection. It will help them feel comfortable and loved by you and make them more sociable in the long run.
No. 2 Appeal to the Senses
One of the best ways to bond with your new cat is to appeal to all their senses: sight, taste, smell, hearing and touch. Hearing is the easiest one because all you need to do is talk to them like you would a person. Use their name often so they understand that’s their identity.
Connect to their taste and sight by utilizing treats to the full extent. Reward them for cuddling, for behaving correctly and just for being them. This will make them feel fully loved.
Touch can come in a variety of ways. Try to brush your cat on a regular basis to help keep an affectionate connection—and to help with allergies. Belly rubs, back rubs and everything in between also will be greatly appreciated.
No. 3 Promote Playfulness
Make sure you have plenty of toys and areas where they can play in their new home. Get down to their level on a regular basis and play with them on the floor.
A good investment would be a feather wand or a laser pointer. This will allow you to play with your cat and also get them moving, promoting exercise and a healthier immune system.
No. 4 Set a Schedule
As they say, consistency is key when it comes to making anyone’s life a little better, including your new pet. Moving to a new environment will be a transition for everyone, so make sure to take some notes from their previous owners to make them comfortable, such as what kind of food they are eating.
From there, starting on day one or two, set a schedule you plan to stick with. This will allow your cat to understand when you're gone, when you’re coming back and when they get to explore the outdoors. It lets them get settled in their new place and also understand the movements of everyone in the household if you don’t live alone.
No. 5 Understand Their Behavior and Lifestyle
Cats are very social creatures and will let you know how things are going for them. Listen for purrs, meows or hisses, as these are behavior signs of happiness or anger.
Pay attention to if they enjoy being outdoors a lot or not and cater their schedule to that. If it seems hard for them to get up the stairs because they are older, try to create a space where life is the easiest for them. They’ll appreciate it more than you know.
Your Cat: A Part of Your Family
Here at the Academy Animal Hospital in Greenwood, Ind., we can help with everything you need to care for your new furry friend. Schedule an appointment with us today to talk about vaccinations, health concerns or just to get a regular checkup.
We can’t wait to meet your new family member!