Just like people, every cat has its own colourful personality. Some will follow you around the house and rub lovingly against your legs while others will be just fine to brood in silence on their own. While it can be easier to teach kittens to be sociable at an early age, it’s never too late to bond with your pet. By applying the advice below, even grumpy cats can be turned into cuddlers and snugglers.
Some cats can feel threatened by loud noises, sudden movement, and aggressive actions. A few things you can do to improve your cat’s environment include turning off any loud distractions like music or the TV, and engaging in calm activities like reading a book or working on your laptop. Be sure that if you are calling your cat, or talking to them, you are using a gentle voice and are allowing them to come to you of their own accord.
Use cat friendly body language
Many cats who have a shy or independent personality will warm up to their owners if their actions are calm and slow. Try to avoid staring directly into your cat’s eyes if they come over to you, as this can be threatening to some cats. Make slow, deliberate movements and speak in a soft voice. Sudden movements can be intimidating if they are not used to sitting beside an owner or on your lap.
Petting your cat
As your cat approaches, reward them with a nice scratch behind the ears or beneath the chin, by gently rubbing their cheeks or stroking their back along the spine. Avoid the base of the tail and the tummy, where most pets don’t enjoy being touched. A cat’s belly is its most vulnerable spot to predators, and their natural instinct is to protect it.
Reward snuggles with treats
Keep your cat’s favourite treats nearby to encourage affectionate behaviour. If they approach when you call them, toss them a treat. When they jump up on the couch next to you, or even sit on your lap, give them another treat. Rewarding your cat will help establish a positive association between physical contact with you and tasty, tasty snacks.
Establish a daily routine
By providing your cat with food and water on a regular schedule, brushing their fur and trimming their nails, you present yourself as someone they can rely on. Add an extra layer of love to this basic care by speaking to your furry companion in a soft voice during their grooming session, or gently rubbing their back right after delivering their food plate. Take the time to play games, like hiding a toy behind a corner or tossing a crumpled ball of tinfoil. Repeat these gestures over time, and your cat will learn to see you as more than a master or a caretaker, but as a true friend.
And whenever they come to you for a snuggle, make sure to reward them with a gentle back stroke and a few loving words.