Allow Your Cat To Establish A Hierarchy
Cats need to have order and a new member in the home must know where it ranks. Your older cat may have a period of time when it tries to establish a hierarchy with the new kitten. Your older cat may hiss and swat at the kitten when the newcomer does something unfavorable. This is completely normal and as long as it is just hissing and swatting, do your best to not interfere. Your older cat is establishing its role as the dominant cat in the household and the kitten is being taught where its boundaries as the new cat are.
Bonding With Your Cat Through Toys
If your cat is resistant when you try to pick them up, try playing with them instead:
- Dangle a wand toy for them to tug on.
- If they seem comfortable with you while youre sitting on the floor, place them in your lap while you move the toy.
- Once your cat gets used to you being around while theyre playing, youll have more opportunities to pick them up and test the waters.
Sure, this may not be as good as being able to hug and cuddle your cat like a puppy, but it will be a form of physical bonding.
In a blog post on this subject, Johnson-Bennet writes, Cats show affection in so many ways, and you might even not notice some of the more subtle ones.
She adds: Your cat doesnt have to be a lap cat to be affectionate. She may enjoy sitting next to you or maybe even a several inches away, but that doesnt mean shes not affectionate.
Introduce Your Cat To The New Kitten
When you bring your kitten home, allow your cat to sniff it while the kitten is in a carrier or your arms. Go directly to the room previously designated and set up for your new kitten and allow the kitten to explore. The litter box, food bowls, bed, and some toys should all be easily accessible. Do not let your older cat have unsupervised access to the kitten.
At night, when you are not home, and whenever you are unable to supervise the kitten and your older cat, keep the kitten in its designated room with the door closed. As your cat gets curious, it may stick its paw under the door, sniff under the door, and listen to the kitten. Do this for about a week, depending on how your cat is acting with the changes. Dont forget to provide a lot of attention to your older cat after playing with your kitten. Itll need your attention and support and the scent of the kitten on your clothing will help it get used to the newcomer.
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Pet Her And Learn Her Cues And Signals
As you bond with your cat, you will soon notice that she uses certain cues and signals to let you know of her needs. Study these cues so you will know how to approach her. Some cats would try to get near you and expose their belly, which means that you are free to scratch and pet them. However, if your cat seems to be the mysterious type, you can start by approaching her slowly with your hand. If your cat backs away, she may not be ready yet. But if she lets you pet her, then she may already be used to your scent.
Socialize Cats When They’re Young
Multiple studies have shown that just a few minutes a day of positive handling by humans helps kittens grow up to be friendlier and more trusting of humans. The ideal age to socialize kittens is when they’re between 2 and 9 weeks old. One 2008 study found that shelter kittens that had been given a lot of “enhanced socialization”âadditional attention, affection, and playâwere, a year later, more affectionate with their owners and less fearful than other kittens adopted from the same shelters.
You can help socialize kittens by volunteering as a foster caretaker. Fostering ensures they get plenty of interaction with people, which will help them will be comfortable around potential adopters. You’ll also be doing your local shelter a huge favor by alleviating overcrowding.
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Read Her Body Language
Be on the lookout for these affection-showing moves:
The head bump. Its her way of saying hello, by using the oil glands in front of her ears to greet you as if youre 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, shes waiting for you, her mom, to clean her. If you gently blow at her rear end, shell 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, youll get a free massage out of this one. This is another sign that Kitty-Face thinks youre her mom, since shes trying to get milk out of you. It also means shes happy.
Licking you. Your cat may think you taste good, but grooming is actually a social practice to establish a common scent among a clan of cats. In other words, shes claiming you as one of her own. The exfoliation is an extra added 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.
Nurture Your Kitty Bond
The recipe for kitty friendship is actually easier than you might think: give them space when they need it, pamper them and ensure they have everything they need, and throw in some nice treats and playtime and youll soon have the purrfect bond with your kitty! In other words, theyll have you wrapped around their little paw in no time at all!
To create a relaxing, calm environment for your kitty – which can help them feel more social – consider plugging a FELIWAY CLASSIC Diffuser in the room where they spend most of their time to provide constant comfort to your cat.
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How Can I Help My Cat Accept The Carrier
You probably got off to a good start with the pet carrier by following the recommendations for bringing your new kitty home. Continued crate training will come in handy over the kittys lifetime. There will be trips to the veterinarian or vacation travel or times of home confinement that require short stays inside the pet carrier.
To foster positive feelings about the pet carrier, start by leaving the carrier in the cats feeding quarters with the door open. Place toys or his food bowl inside the carrier to entice him inside. A pleasant experience and the freedom to come and go as he pleases will give your cat a better view of the carrier.
“A pleasant experience and the freedom to come and go as he pleases will give your cat a better view of the carrier.”
After he becomes comfortable entering and leaving the carrier of his own accord, close the door briefly while he is inside. Each time, try to leave the kitten in a bit longer before allowing him to exit. Contrary to your instincts, never allow the kitten out when he cries or scratches at the crate or he will associate those behaviors with escape. Instead, wait until the kitten is calm and quiet, praise him and allow him to exit.
Pet Your Cat The Right Way
Whats the right way to pet a cat? However your cat enjoys it, and never for too long. Always watch for signs that your cat seems uncomfortable or is trying to get away.
Sackman says that many cats enjoy being petted around the forehead, face, and ears. The long strokes that humans often do arent something cats would do in the wild, she says.
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How Do I Deal With Inappropriate Behavior
Cats can be demanding creatures so its important to instill good manners early on. Inappropriate behavior such as swatting, excessive vocalization, and biting should not be tolerated. If your kitten begins to exhibit these behaviors, quickly and quietly leave the area and cease all interactions. Once the kitten is calm and quiet, resume interactions. The goal is for the kitten to learn that calm, quiet behavior warrants attention while aggressive actions do not. Make time daily for appropriate interactions with your cat that include play and petting.
Disciplining a young kitten may be necessary if its behavior towards people or property is inappropriate, but punishment should be avoided. A sharp, No! may be all that is needed to stop your kitty in his tracks. However, remote disruption that associates the consequences with the action may be considered. For most kittens, hand clapping or rattling a can of beans can divert attention and be intimidating enough to inhibit undesirable behavior when you are present.
How To Bond With Your Kitten
A new kitten is a welcome addition to any home. When youfirst bring your new kitten home, theres so much to consider! Betweennavigating their new home and learning the ins and outs of kittenhood, yournew furry friend may be quite busy. One of the many perks of having a newkitten joining your family is the opportunity for a unique friendship. A catcan be such a special and loving animal companion. In fact, one of the bestways to get to know your kitten is to take the chance to bond with them. Readon to learn more about how to bond with your kitten and prepare for manyperfect moments with your furry family member.
How to bond with your kitten: a new kitten owner guide
Enrichment is a wonderful way to interact with your feline.Also, cat enrichment can help provide entertainment, prevent boredom, decreasestress, and curb any unwanted behavior cues. Consider adding some cat-friendlyfurniture items like a cat tree, cat scratcher, or cat shelves in your petsspace.
Enjoy an activity together
Activities are a wonderful way to take a break from your dayand bond with your furry friend. Consider incorporating interactive play with awand, laser toy, or even a homemade cat toy. Also, a water fountain or catsubscription box can be a fun way to interact and play with your kitten.
Take the time to rest and relax
Give your kitten room to explore
Keep a schedule
Learning how to bond with your kitten may be beneficial for you and the entire family
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Signs Of A Better Bond
Cats can often be more subtle in their affection than dogs, so pay attention to their nonverbal cues: “If your cat follows you and chooses to spend time with you, that’s a sure sign that they are feeling connected. Other important signs that you’re successfully bonding with your cat include the cat sleeping on your lap or napping in areas where your scent is strongest,” says Venator. “It may sound odd to the uninitiated cat owner, but headbutting and cheek rubbing represent classic feline behaviors that are learned and expressed during the kitten years. These are behaviors that help cats build bonds and affection with other animals and their human companions.”
Other signs that your approach to bonding is working is that the cat will watch you and perform a slow blink, or the cat will purr when rubbing against you, sitting in your lap, or getting soft pets on their heads. Does the cat seek you out? Cats will generally let you know what they want and what they are comfortable with, so pay attention, ask a veterinarian if you aren’t sure, and be patient with your feline friend.
Approach A Cat The Way They Greet Each Other
Felines who are friendly with each other greet each other nose to nose. You can mimic that behavior by offering a non-threatening fingertip at their nose level, a few inches away. Donât hover, just bend down and gently extend your hand. Many cats will walk up and sniff your finger, and may even rub into it. Now that’s a successful greeting.
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Arriving Home For The First Time
It is important that the new cat feels at ease in the cats new home from the very moment they arrive. So make sure that the home is prepared for its new resident by:
- Make sure other pets are shut away
- Prepare a quiet room for your cat before you bring them home
- Furnish the designated room with a:Toys
Place your new cat in the room you have provided them with and let them be alone for at least 30 minutes. Then check to see if they are OK, kneel down and offer them a treat.
If they come to you great you are winning, but dont worry if they shy away and hide from you. Dont rush them, just leave them alone for a while longer and keep repeating your checks and offer of a treat every now and again. Just because they shy away at first does not mean that you don’t have a happy cat, it just means that they are being cautious.
It is important to leave the cat to their own devices during this time to give them the chance to explore their new environment. It can be very overwhelming if there is too much to explore all at once and can cause anxiety.
Serve Their Regular Meals And Treats
Food is often a great motivator to cats, so it’s important to choose the right food for them. It should be highly nutritious, as well as appropriate for their life stage or health needs. Kittens, for example, should be fed kitten-age food until their first birthday. Older cats may need food to help with their urinary tract health, manage diabetes, reduce hairballs, or promote better dental health. “Feeding your cat is a surefire way to build a strong bond with your cat,” says Venator. “Cats will quickly associate their owner with something positive like yummy treats or a filling meal.”
And if anyone in the household has a cat allergy, there are dietary options that can reduce the allergens in a cat’s fur, as well. “When it comes to feeding your catif you adopt a cat and discover that someone in your home has cat allergen sensitivities, you can help manage them by feeding your new cat Purina Pro Plan LiveClear , the first and only cat food shown to reduce the major allergen in cat hair and dander,” he says. “Not only are you feeding your cat a nutritious diet, you’re also creating a comfortable, stress-free home for them and your loved ones.”
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Make Sure You Have Everything Their Little Hearts Desire Right From The Beginning
Food and water bowls must be accessible and remember that you need one of each resource for every pet, plus one extra! The same goes for litter trays, scratching posts and high perches they can jump on to. Having everything they need makes your kitty feel safe and in control – and more likely to be relaxed which should bring out their social side!
To learn more about this read about cat essentials and where to put them
Take The Cat’s Personalityand Your Owninto Consideration When Adopting
If you want to adopt an older animal, take some time at the shelter to get to know them first, since adopters of adult cats report that personality played a big role in their decision to take an animal home permanently and had an impact on their satisfaction with their new companion. Better yet, foster one first. Shelters can be stressful, so you’ll get a better sense of what an animal is really like when they’re in your home. Not all cats are socialized well when they’re young, so a cat may have their own unique rules about what kinds of interactions they’re okay with.
It’s also key to remember that a cat’s appearance isn’t indicative of their personalityâand it’s not just black cats who get a bad rap. In 2012, I published a study with 189 participants that showed that people were likely to assign personality traits to felines based solely on their fur color. Among other things, they tended to think orange cats would be the nicest and white cats the most aloof. And it’s not just the kitty’s personality that mattersâyours is important too. Another study I conducted in 2014 of nearly 1100 pet owners suggested that self-identified âcat peopleâ tend to be more introverted and anxious when compared to dog people. If youâre outgoing and active, a more playful feline could be for you. If you prefer nights spent snuggling on the couch, a mellow, shy-but-sweet lovebug could be your perfect pet.
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Final Thoughts On Getting A Cat To Be More Affectionate
You might feel rejected if your cat doesnt want to cuddle with you.
But understand that some cats maybe even most of them dont show their affection in that way.
What you may interpret as a cat being aloof is actually your exquisitely designed companion being ready for anything, says Johnson-Bennet. Just because your cat may not jump to immediate attention when you call her name, doesnt mean shes aloof shes focused.
So do not force it when it comes to getting your cat to be more affectionate, adds well-known veterinarian Michael W. Fox.
Instead, he says, accept your cat for who she is and relate to her on her terms, petting and grooming her when she wants.