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Five Tips for Bonding With Your New Cat

 by jaime on 10 May 2014 |
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If you have just added a new cat or kitten to your home, you may be wondering how to make the cat feel comfortable and happy. Here are five tips that will help you to create a strong, stable bond with your new pet.

  

1. Take charge of feeding your cat

If you want your cat to view you as the most important person in the house, one smart trick is to make sure that you are the one who is responsible for providing food. If you establish a reliable, sensible feeding schedule, you will teach your new companion that you are providing care and can be trusted. You can also use cat treats to your advantage, but avoid dispensing too much of these (as they tend to be high in salt and fat). In addition, stick to food designed for cats, as many human foods can be very dangerous to a cat's body.

  

2. Focus on the cat's sweet spots

All cats have subtly different preferences when it comes to being petted, but there are some approaches that seem to please almost all cats. In particular, try scratching the cat behind the ears, under the chin, and down the back (in the direction of the hair rather than against the grain). After a while, you can also try to administer gentle tummy rubs, though most cats will not reveal the stomach area until they are already in a close relationship with a human.

  

3. Pay attention to body language

When you are petting your cat, look out for cues that indicate enjoyment or dislike. When cats are happy, they often push up against your hand, knead their paws (as they would when suckling from a mother cat), and purr. In contrast, cats that feel defensive will often flatten their ears, crouch low to the ground and rapidly move their tails from side to side. Of course, hissing, growling and biting are also negative signs, but hopefully you won't see these from your cat in normal circumstances.

  

4. Don't punish your cat

If your cat ruins a piece of furniture or does something else that you deem unacceptable, you may feel the instinct to shout or even smack the cat. However, studies on cat behavior show that these methods only frighten cats and create further behavioral problems. If you want to teach a cat to stop doing something, ignoring the pet usually proves to be a more useful approach.

  

5. Engage in play

Playing with your cat also sends out strong signals that you can be seen as a trusted friend and companion. There are plenty of fun toys out there, ranging from squeaky toys that you can throw to long pieces of material that hang from a stick. You might need to try a wide range before you learn the information required to pick out your cat's favorites, but you will be in for hours of fun once you figure it out.

    

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