Anyone who lives with a cat or two knows that our feline friends can be a chatty bunch. We humans are treated to all sorts of meows for different occasions. Sometimes (like when they’re requesting food) it’s obvious what our cat is talking about, but other times the answer is not so simple. When meowing continues after mealtimes, how can you figure out what it is that your kitty is trying to say? According to author and animal communicator Tim Link, the answer lies in quality time and an open mind to foster a wordless bond with our pets.
Link’s newest book, Talking with Dogs and Cats: Joining the Conversation to Improve Behavior and Bond with Your Animals, aims to helps readers communicate with companion animals by recognizing the connections that exists with and without language.
“They all use that telepathic connection they have with each other, and they have a way of communicating outside of the normal barks and meows and whinnies and vocalizations,” explains Link.
A radio host, author, and contributor to both Catster and Dogster, Link has helped thousands of pet lovers better understand their animals since discovering his ability to telepathically connect with pets more than a decade ago. He was attending a workshop on animal communication when he initially realized he was able to receive information from animals. But Link says you don’t have to be an animal communicator or have a special telepathic ability to learn how to build a wordless bond with your kitty.
“The book really walks you through how to do it. I call it a muscle that we rarely use. We all have a deep affection and love for our animals. We want to communicate with them at a deeper level, it’s just we’re not sure of ourselves and we don’t trust ourselves to be able to connect at that level.”
According to Link, losing the doubt and trusting your instincts is about reviving the ability to connect with animals, which is often found in children when they’re 3, 4, or 5 years old.
“I think we all have it when we’re young. I think that over time when we rely more on our other ways of communicating, we tend to lose it.”
As an animal communicator, Link has worked with zoos, aquariums, wildlife sanctuaries, and farms, but he also makes plenty of time for his own animals, two Schnauzer dogs and a small colony of kitties.
“We have three feral cats who are actually our full-time cats. At one point we had up to 13,” says the author, who has plenty of experience with cats as the former president of the Humane Society of Forsyth County. He also currently runs a trap-neuter-release program with his neighbor.
According to Link, when dealing with cats, the biggest challenge is learning to accept and trust the information that you are receiving without doubting it. When the bond is strong, you can trust what your kitty is telling you.
“I think what it comes down to, truthfully, is that we don’t spend enough time with our cats. Most people think their cats are very independent, that they’re self-reliant, and that if they want something they’ll let us know,” says Link.
The author explains that often our cats do let us know and try to tell us things, but sometimes we humans just aren’t paying enough attention to realize our cats are trying to give us a message.
“Until they finally do come over and cuddle up in our laps, we don’t actually have a conversation with them.”
Link says that not communicating with our kitties can cause problems in the household — most notably around the litter box.
“Cats know that to get your attention when there’s something going on — whether it’s physical, mental or emotional — the surest way for them to do that is to stop using the litter box, to miss the spot and go somewhere else in the house,” says Link, who suggests that litter issues can be avoided by spending more quality time with our kitties, and by trusting the sensations, feelings, and connections they’re sending our way.
“The first thing we should do is make sure that the animal is physically well. Make sure when we’re communicating with them that we’re not getting that sensation that something’s wrong.”
A trip to the vet can confirm or rule out a physical issue, but Link says our cats can also be trying to tell us about mental and emotional issues — or even a combination of all three — especially if there has been a change in the household routine, like a divorce, a change in work schedule, or a child going off to college.
“The cat wants to know what’s going on, and we can explain it to them,” says Link, who encourages readers to use both telepathic and verbal communication when discussing big household changes to a kitty.
“Talk to them like you would anyone else, very clearly and very straightforward,” he says, adding that it’s important to visualize what you’re talking about while speaking in a positive manner and avoiding negative energy words like “no” and “stop.”
“If you follow those steps ahead of time, you can avoid a lot of the situations that you may be experiencing with your cats,” says Link, who encourages all cat-lovers to trust their instincts when trying to enhance an animal-human connection in household.
If you struggle to decipher your kitty’s cries and long for more dialog with your furry friend, check out Link’s book Talking with Dogs and Cats: Joining the Conversation to Improve Behavior and Bond with Your Animals and visit his website.
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About the author: Heather Marcoux is a freelance writer in Alberta, Canada. Her beloved Ghost Cat was once her only animal, but Specter the kitten, GhostBuster the Lab and her newest dog, Marshmallow, make her fur family complete. Heather is also a wife, a bad cook and a former TV journalist. Some of her friends have hidden her feed because of an excess of cat pictures. If you don’t mind cat pictures, you can follow her on Twitter; she also posts pet GIFs on Google +.