When a new puppy comes home, it’s hard to get any alone time from that point on. Cats are a little different, and we love them for it. Dating back thousands of years, dogs hunt in packs to survive, and cats stalk and hunt their prey alone. When a new cat comes home, you may find them finding peace in solitary and doing their own thing. It’s up to you, the pet parent, to form a bond with your new cat! These tips from PetMD will help you build a long-lasting relationship with your cat while “speaking their language.”
- The head bump. It’s her way of saying hello, by using the oil glands in front of her ears to greet you as if you’re a cat and leave her scent on you. She sees you as one of her clan, so bump her right back.
- The butt presentation. When your cat backs up to your face and lifts her tail, she’s waiting for you, her mom or dad, to clean her. If you gently blow at her rear end, she’ll think that this is what your cleaning style is and will go on about her business.
- Kneading you or “making biscuits.” If you maneuver yourself into the right position, you’ll get a free massage out of this one. This is another sign that Kitty-Face thinks you’re her parent since she’s trying to get milk out of you. It also means she’s happy.
- Licking you. Your cat may think you taste good, but grooming is a social practice to establish an everyday scent among a clan of cats. In other words, she’s claiming you as one of her own. The exfoliation is an extra bonus.
- Gumming you. This is another way Kitty-Face blends her own scent with yours, establishing a common “family scent.” Take advantage of it by feeling all of her teeth to gain her trust for when you actually need to be in her mouth.
- Sing to her. In your little kitty voice. Whether you have the talent or not. She doesn’t care.
- Greet her. Tell her “hi” and say her name, even if you just saw her a minute ago. She’s choosing to be near you, which is a big deal to a cat.
- Meow back. Imitate her sound exactly, and she’ll think you’re one of her kind.
- Carry on a conversation. She meows, you talk. Just make up what she’s asking and answer what you think she wants to know.
- Tell her what she wants to hear. Cats seem to know what the word “beautiful” means, especially about them. Hearing it makes them very content.
- Give her a neck massage. Kitties are very alert and watchful, holding their head up almost always. Relax her with a gentle neck massage to pamper her.
- Hold her hand. Stroke her paw, both on top and underneath on her toe pads, and loosely wrap your hand around her paw. This should feel good to both of you.
- Play fetch. Cats like this game almost as much as dogs, especially Bombays. Rather than balls, toss items they can easily fit into their small mouths, like toy mice.
- Turn the faucet on. Drinking water is safe for your cat and is, even more, fun from a running tap. Plus a flowing stream encourages water play.
- Indulge their sense of fun. Being brought a palmetto bug may not be much fun for you, but it’s Kitty-Face’s way of showing you what a great huntress she is and that you’re worthy of her prey. And in the world of kitty, that’s a huge compliment.
All cats are different. It’s best to learn their personality and find what your cat likes best. Speak their language, and the two of you will have a long, happy life together.