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My kids have grown up with cats, and they have shared our home with Saffy, Cosmo, and Phoebe long enough that they can’t really remember a time without them. I love watching Fran and Ben spend time with the three kitties, and I think it’s cool how they’ve each developed their own unique ways of bonding with them. You might find them useful for your own relationship tips for cats and kids.

Here are five of the ways their bonds have developed:

1. Sleepovers

Fran has never liked to have cats in her room overnight (she’s an artist and says they knock over her stuff), but Ben and Phoebe enjoy nightly sleepovers. It’s really cute: When he goes to bed, she follows him into his messy, teenaged-boy room, meowing. She then jumps in bed with him for a quick snuggle, but won’t settle there. Instead, she finds a nest in a pile of clothes (either on the floor or in a basket) and crashes for the night. His bedroom is across the hall from mine, so, like clockwork, I hear him open the door to release her around 5 a.m. each morning. I wonder if they share secrets and tell ghost stories at their sleepovers.

2. Treats and toys

Our cats are quick to bond with anyone bearing treats or toys. Both Fran and Ben find time to play with all the cats, usually with a wand toy, although Phoebe loves chasing small balls up and down the stairs. One of the funniest sights is watching Cosmo go nuts on the Lickety Stik, a liquid cat-treat dispensed by way of roller ball. As you can see by the photo, he kind of loses his mind in a special kind of gravy-laden ecstasy. The kids especially enjoy sharing treat time with Cosmo with the Lickety Stik is in the house.

3. Video gaming

When Ben sits down to play video games, Phoebe is never far behind. She either plops in his lap or curls up somewhere close to where he’s sitting. And when she doesn’t automatically join him, he calls her and she usually races to the gaming spot. Maybe she likes the sounds of the games or perhaps considers herself his good luck charm. Either way, it’s adorable.

4. Music

Fran has always sung to our cats. She has a beautiful voice, although we only really hear it when she’s behind closed doors. I’ve often heard her in her bedroom singing to Saffy or Phoebe. I can’t always make out the tune, but the sound is incredibly sweet.

When Fran was in middle school, she played the flute and Phoebe couldn’t get enough of it. I remember seeing Fran playing with Phoebe sitting at her feet, fully enjoying the entertainment. I think sometimes Fran played just for her one-member audience.

5. Window seats

Since Fran went away to college a few weeks ago, Ben scored her old dresser and placed it underneath the window in his bedroom. He didn’t place any of his major belongings on top of it. Instead, he set a little cat bed on one end, and now Phoebe has a new favorite place to hang out during the day. When the weather’s nice, he opens the window for her. He pets her often and chats with her while he’s playing on his laptop. A boy and his cat.

In what ways do your kids bond with your cats? Tell us in the comments!

Read More by Angie Bailey:

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About the Author: Angie Bailey is an eternal optimist with an adoration of all things silly. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, thinking about cats doing people things and The Smiths. Writes Catladyland, a cat humor blog, Texts from Mittens (originated right here on Catster) and authored whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, a silly book about cats wheeling and dealing online. Partner in a production company and writes and acts in a comedy web series that features sketches and mockumentaries. Mother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food.

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