Every night as I get comfortable in bed, I sing, “Goodnight sweetheart, well it’s time to go…do do do do do…” At this moment, I see a movement out of the corner of my eye near the door.
I continue, “Goodnight sweetheart, well it’s time to go…do do do do do…” I feel something hop on the bed.
“I hate to leave you, but I really must say goodnight, sweetheart goodnight.” By this time, Melody has made her way over to me, purring as loud as she can as she kneads my abdomen.
I created this routine through the bond I developed with her. Keep reading, and I will tell you how to bond with your cat.
How to bond with your cat
Cats have the unfortunate stereotype of being standoffish and cold. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Even cats who aren’t the cuddly type have an affectionate side.
How I bonded with Melody
It took more time to bond with her because she is less dominant than her sister, Mio. I understood this right away. To help her, I often had to step between her and Mio. If Mio became too aggressive with her sister, I would get closer to Melody or pick her up and hold her.
At bedtime, Mio would often bully her sister, pushing her out of bed. When this happened, I would refuse to give Mio any attention, ignoring her. I would then find Melody and carry her back into the bed, placing her next to me, gently scratching her face, as I would sing to her.
It takes time
At first, Melody was too scared of her sister and would leave the bed as soon as I stopped singing. I respected this and didn’t go after her. After a couple of weeks of doing this every night, she started falling asleep in bed with me.
After about a month, I stopped carrying her to bed.
Out of habit, I kept singing the same song as I was lying in bed. The first time Melody jumped into the bed as I was singing, I thought it was a coincidence. After a couple more times, I realized what had happened.
I had not only created a routine with her, but I had also built a bond with her.
Observe your cat
When you first start developing a bond with your kitty, observe them just as I observed Mio and Melody with each other. It was through this observation that I learned who was more dominant than the other. I also learned what both cats responded well to and what they didn’t.
What to take note of:
- Does your cat readily approach other people or animals? If so, they may be more dominant.
- Does your cat like to be in high or low places? Some cats are tree dwellers (they want to be high up observing others from above) or ground dwellers (they prefer to stay close to the ground and hide in caves)
- Is your cat calm or nervous? With this information, you will know how to approach your cat.
Respect your cat’s boundaries, learn their language
Cats, like people, have limitations, and you should respect those limits at all times. However, boundaries can be flexible. Just because your cat doesn’t like to be touched initially doesn’t mean they won’t ever want pets.
Cats communicate with each other through body language. As a cat owner, it would be very beneficial to understand the subtle cues your cat is giving you.
Happy, relaxed cat body language:
- Tail relaxed and/or pointing up
- Rubbing against you
- Ears up or forward
- Slow blinking
- Belly displaying
- Gentle pawing
- Curved tail
- Tail wrapped around themselves as they sleep
- Grooming you
Upset/Excited cat body language:
- Swaying or twitching tail
- Tail straight out or tucked between legs
- Whiskers flat against the face
- Ears back
- Pupils narrowed
- Pupils dilated
- Eyes wide
- Wagging tail
- Puffed up tail
- Arched back
- Fur raised
To learn more about cat body language, check out this video by Jackson Galaxy.
Play with your cat
Playtime is the time to be with your cat as they show you their natural selves. All cats are hunters on a primal level. While you could just set up an automatic laser and let them have it at it, you should get involved with playtime.
Your cats will have favorite toys. Some cats prefer to bat around balls like a football/ soccer ball. Others will choose to jump and leap after feather wands. Whatever toys they like, this will give you a chance to understand their personality at a deeper level.
When playing, does your cat watch the toy for long periods, or do they jump right at it? Some cats prefer stalking and taking time with their prey, while others just like the excitement of the hunt.
Setting aside a regular time every day to play with them will establish a routine that allows the two of you to bond and let them be themselves.
Your cat, your partner in everything
If you have the patience to follow your cat’s lead, you will find the result very rewarding. You will find that your bond with them will be even stronger than it is with some people.
As time goes by, you will become an expert in knowing how your cat communicates. The two of you may even create a language just for the two of you. Your cat may follow you around the house. They may even try to protect you when they think you’re in danger.
Bonding with your cat will allow them to trust you, making training and socializing your cat much easier.
Cats are very loyal to those they bond with, and that bond is one of respect and admiration. A bond with your cat is unbreakable.
Do you have any questions about or experience with bonding with a cat? If so, leave them in the comments below.