You love your cat and sometimes you may feel that your cat isn’t as head over paws for you as you are about them. There are ways to win the heart of most cats and the most important way to ensure your cat adores you is to understand it.
Understanding a cat means knowing that a cat is not a small, strange dog and not having the same expectations of boundless unconditional love and affection from a cat you may get from a dog. A cat is also a newer addition to the domesticated animals and while dogs have been human companions for 10,000 years, cats have only been kept as pets and bred for the past 3,000 as we became agricultural-based and set up villages and cities. A cat needs to know you respect its cat-ness. Cats often seem to favor those people who dislike or are allergic to cats for a good reason. It’s because they are non-threatening and not trying to love on a cat. Cats are independent animals and prefer to be the ones who extend the paw in friendship first. If a cat feels safe and unthreatened, it will feel in control and therefore be more likely to approach and befriend a human. Trying a “less is more” approach and playing hard to get is a surefire way to win a cat over. If a cat is in control of their social interactions and says where and when they interact, they are more open and comfortable.
Other tricks to be loved by cats means getting down on their level and being calm, confident, and always make sure their interactions with you are positive ones. Cats are very sensitive to our moods and if they feel anxiety or frustration, they may feel uneasy so if a cat chooses to walk off and go hide, let them have their alone time and space and don’t chase a cat down because you want to pet them now. Cats show love on their schedule and terms.
Greeting A Cat
One way to communicate love to a cat is to blink slowly and let them acknowledge your soft blink with one of their own. Avoid staring at your cat’s eyes and coming straight towards him or her. Avoiding direct or harsh eye contact is a way to show your cat you’re cool and understand them. When a cat comes to greet you, greet them like another cat would by offering them a relaxed fingertip to sniff, and usually a cat will head-boop you to say hi. This is the human-to-cat equivalent of the nose-to-nose sniff greeting between cats.
Nature and Nurture A Cat
Nature and nurture both are part of a cat’s behavior and some cats and breeds will always be more aloof than others, but a cat that was properly socialized and has learned humans are worthy of love as a kitten can become an affectionate kitty and even a cat that was rescued can learn to adore a person once they feel safe and secure and develop trust.
When cats are friends, they groom each other. Social grooming is a way cats bond. Mother cats lick kittens across the face and in and around the ears but especially on the forehead and over each eyebrow to keep those precious kitten faces clean. You can social groom your cat using a soft brush, a finger, or even a wet wipe to gently clean the cat as a peer would. For only-children furkids, they are reassuring and especially comforting since they lack the social grooming they would get if they were with another cat.
How Cats Play
To treat a cat the way they want to be treated when they want to engage and are feeling playful play with them the way they love to be played with. Cats enjoy using their natural instincts to play hunt, pounce, and attack. Playing with your cat and encouraging them to use their predatory instincts in a fun and safe way that only injures a toy mouse is a way to be loved. Giving a cat puzzle toys and making sure that games of laser pointer end on a catnip toy or a tasty cat treat creates the hunt, pounce, forage, and capture with the normal reward they’d get at the end of a hunt but suitable for housecats. Cats also need and want to scratch so a happy cat has at least one scratching post, toy, or surface especially for them to stretch out and use their claws and dull them, plus a scratching post prevents a cat from using the furniture as their personal shredder.
How Cats Show Affection
While dogs show love by licking and wanting to play and be at your side constantly, a cat shows affection differently. When a cat rubs their face and head against you, they are releasing pheromones. Pheromones are chemicals that declare the person they just nuzzled is their person and is the equivalent of a cat telling you “I love you. You’re my human”. Your cat is declaring you one of their family.
The friendly “meow” intoned as a gentle question can encourage feline interaction and while the cat may be silently correcting your grammar, speaking to your cat in soft reassuring meows can make them cuddly. If your cat is not ill, is on your lap, and kneading while purring, you can be certain the cat is content and showing your love. Cats also communicate their moods via their tail and entwine their tail around their pals so if your cat is rubbing against your leg and wrapping or draping his or her tail around you, they consider you one of their best friends.
Important Things For Cats
It’s important to have cat trees, cat condos, carpeted cat shelves, and other places for your cat to just lay back and be a cat at. Cats love climbing and overlooking a space and surveying the room. These perches also help a cat feel confident and more secure. The happiest cats have high places and have an environment where they have places to sleep, rest and soak up sunbeams. A good cat environment means a happier cat.
Cats Nutritional Needs
You can also be sure to win over a cat’s heart by providing good nutrition to their stomachs. A cat needs a healthy diet and is a carnivore, so the healthiest cats are grain-free. However, the average cat can do just fine eating a food formulation that is as high as 40% carbohydrates. However, to make a cat love you and have the best health, shiniest coat, and feel their best mentally, high-quality cat food that meets, at minimum, or exceeds the AAFCO nutritional guidelines is mission-critical. Just like moms show affection by feeding guests, you can show love by feeding your cat quality cat food. Cats treats are also a way to show love and can help a cat bond with you and adore you even more than they did before because you give them “kitty candy”. Always give those delicious cat treats in moderation to prevent a tubby tabby.
Cats Litterbox Woes
Your cat will not adore you if you do not keep their cat box clean and may even act up and pee and poop where they shouldn’t, such as your bed to show their displeasure at the disgusting condition of their dirty litterbox. Cats are fastidious creatures and appreciate the human who keeps the box clean and fresh and places it in a private and low-traffic area of the home, so they are not having to relieve themselves in plain view.
Consider Pheromes For Your Cat
If you have a cat that loves you but seems skittish and too aloof and your patience is tried and tapped out, consider using kitty pheromones on your cat and the environment to reduce stress, marking, and negative behaviors. Feliway pheromone comes in spray and diffuser formats which can help nervous less-social cats feel more relaxed and comfortable.
At 2 Paws Up Inc Pet Care and Dog Training, we can provide cat sitting for you while you’re away to give your cat stimulation, and love. We will take care of your cat as we would our own, if not better! Contact us 2pawsupinc.com to learn more or get started.