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How to Bond With Your Cat: 12 Vet-Approved Options

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on February 3, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

cat looking man's chin

How to Bond With Your Cat: 12 Vet-Approved Options

VET APPROVED

Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Paola Cuevas

MVZ (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Owning a cat is one of life’s great pleasures, but sometimes, it can feel like we need them more than they need us. It can even feel like we’re burdening them with our presence. However, that may not be true. There’s evidence that cats bond with their humans even more than dogs, so your kitty may be just as eager to develop a stronger relationship with you.

If you want to forge a closer bond with your cat, you’re in luck. There are ways you can get closer to your feline friend that are backed by science. The ideas on this list have been proven to bring people and cats closer together, and they can improve the relationship between you and your pet. Just don’t be surprised if, after putting these tips into practice, you can’t get your cat to leave you alone anymore.

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Top 12 Tips to Bond With Your Cat

1. Only Pet Them in the Approved Places

Cats are sensitive about where they’re touched. While their favorite petting spots can vary from cat to cat, for the most part, you’ll find that cats like to be petted in the same spots every time.

Between the ears is an excellent spot to pet, whereas around the tail is an area that’s best left alone. If you only pet your cat in places that they appreciate, they’ll be more likely to want to spend more time with you.

petting a cat
Image Credit: Pixabay

2. Act Like a Cat

Who understands cats more than other cats? Hopefully, scientists do because they recommend approaching your cat the way that another feline would. Cats often greet each other by sniffing their noses, and you can let your cat come up to you, smell your hand, and then gently press on their nose, and they’ll actually like it (of course, they’ll like it even more if you have tuna on your hands).


3. Come Bearing Gift

This one likely comes as no surprise to experienced cat owners, but cats love being around you more when you have food or toys. Cats seem to prefer interacting with people around mealtime, or while playing, and you can “buy” your cat’s love with treats.

This can go too far, of course. Don’t let your cat become overweight due to your bonding efforts, and respect their decision if they don’t feel like playing. Otherwise, you can use a snack or toy to create an excellent bonding experience.

russian blue cat eating a treat
Image By: DSchmidtArt, Shutterstock

4. Know When to Step Away

This one also seems obvious, but it’s worth stating. Cats don’t like to be around people who mistreat them, even in a joking manner. While you may think you’re just being playful by teasing them, they may resent it.

That goes for ignoring them as well. Cats prefer the company of people who lovingly interact with them, so give your cat high-quality attention as often as possible.


5. Blink at Them

Cats look at your eyes to gauge your emotional state, and they view slow blinking as a form of positive communication. If you want to tell your cat that you love them, look into their eyes and perform a series of slow blinks, followed by keeping your eyes half-closed.

Sound familiar? That’s likely because you’ve seen your cat perform the same sequence. It’s their way of letting you know they love, trust, and accept you.

man petting a cat
Image Credit: Pixabay

6. Let Them Come to You

If it seems like your cat plays hard to get, that’s because they do, and they don’t necessarily want you acting desperate to gain their favor. One study found that human-cat interactions were generally more successful when the cat initiated the interaction rather than the other way around.

The same study also showed that most successful interactions were shorter, so if you’re fortunate enough to have your cat wander over to you for affection, don’t press your luck by trying to draw the experience out.


7. Give Them Their Own Hideout

This won’t improve your bonding, but giving your cat someplace to hide is important for their well-being. Having a hideout that they can visit when they feel stressed will make them more comfortable in their environment.

Once your cat feels comfortable in your home, they’ll likely want to make friends with the inhabitants.

DIY Crochet Cat Sack Hideaway
Image By: dreamalittlebigger

8. Keep a Regular Routine

Cats are creatures of habit and become dependent on a reliable routine. In fact, cats may even get sick if their routines get interrupted, so it’s essential to keep things as dependable as possible.

Once your cat sees that you can be trusted to feed them and go to bed at set times, they’ll realize that they can trust you.


9. Understand That Every Cat Is an Individual

Cats have their own quirks and personality traits, so try to learn what makes yours tick. Don’t assume that just because most cats like specific toys, your cat will. If something’s not working for them, stop doing it and find something that they like instead. Ultimately, it’s up to you to find the best way to bond with your cat, regardless of what science might say about It.

cat in grass_Winessyork, Shutterstock
Image Credit: Winessyork, Shutterstock

10. Observation

The easiest way to encourage the bond between you and your pet is doing things your cat likes, so watch them and figure out what they love. Your kitty likely has a favorite type of treat, a toy they drag around everywhere, and a favorite area of the house they spend the most time in. With the knowledge you gain from observing your pet, you can play with them with the toys they like best or make the area of the house they enjoy more cat-friendly.

a cat playing with toys
Image Credit: winni-design, Shutterstock

11. Play in a Focused Way

Yes, you play with your cat, but are you playing with them while watching television, or are you focused on the play you’re doing? Setting aside 10 minutes at least twice a day to focus on playing and interacting with your kitty will strengthen your bond. Figure out which toys they love most and purchase new ones if they’re not interested in them. It’s another instance where your cat will learn to associate fun with you.

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12. Training

Often, pet owners don’t think of cats as trainable, but they are (though some breeds are more so than others). Training can be a fabulous way to bond with your cat as it strengthens your communication and is often fun for both of you. Since cats are very food-motivated, using treats is an excellent way to train them. If your cat isn’t big on treats, you can reward them with play or plenty of praise.

maine coon cat having treat
Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

Building a Healthy Relationship With Your Cat, One Day at a Time

There’s nothing worse than not having the relationship that you want with your cat, but in most cases, it’s only a temporary problem. By using science to your advantage, you can bring your cat around sooner or later. They may even thank you by putting a dead mouse in your shoe!


Featured Image Credit: Magui RF, Shutterstock

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