How to Bond with Your Cat

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Building a bond with your cat can seem difficult at first. Cats often come off as aloof or unloving if you don’t pay close attention to their behavior. But with some simple tricks, you’ll have lots of feline companions.

» You might be interest in Cat Care 101: How to Care for Your New Cat

cat sitting on a person

I know better than anyone what it takes to bond with a cat. Some people think I’m a cat whisperer, as I seem to befriend every cat I come across. That coupled with the fact that my cat and I are such close companions, and people can get a bit mystified by how I endear cats to me.

There are a few simple things you can do to get cats to bond with you.

Let them Have their Own Space

cat laying down

Cats are cautious animals. It’s important when you first meet a cat to remember that they aren’t familiar with you, and may take some time to get used to you. During your first few interactions with the cat let them initiate most of the touch.

Usually I’ll kneel down and reach out my hand a few inches from their face with an open palm. This allows them to smell me and choose whether they want to be touched or not. If they rub against your hand pet them, and if they seem uninterested leave them alone.

Attempting to force a connection with a cat is a very bad idea. As most people know, cats do what they want when they want to. If you interrupt this- by picking them up when they don’t want to be held or anything of the sort- they will not like it. They will likely remember this interaction and not trust you in the future.

Provide a Calm Environment and Stability

cat in a window seal

One of the reasons lots of cats learn to dislike humans is that they’re raised in a chaotic and unstable environment. Giving a cat calm attention goes a long way for them to trust you. Loud noises and sudden movements can also startle cats easily, and may put them on edge with you.

If you show the cat that you’re trust worthy they will be more likely to bond with you. Make your behavior with them consistent so they know what to expect when interacting with you.

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Pay Attention to Them

Cats love attention. Cats are little attention hogs! My cat sees me at the computer and gets angry because the computer is taking up more of my attention than she is.

cat being snuggled

If the cat you’re trying to bond with comes up to you and wants attention it’s important that you give them attention. This way, they will know that you are interested in them and will give them pets.

Creating positive experiences with cats will help them know that you are a good person that they can trust. Try playing one of these games with your cat.

Give Treats & Gifts

Cats love treats. While food itself is not a gift, a special treat of shrimp or tuna most certainly is. Bring a very small portion to your new cat and speak to her in a calm and reassuring voice. Once she comes out of hiding to eat the treat you brought, don’t try to grab her. Instead simply keep talking to her. If she comes up to you, very lightly pet her back or scratch behind her ears.

A new toy can also ingratiate you to your cat. A cat toy can be anything from a sock tied to a string, to a toilet paper cardboard roll. Store-bought toys are nice, too. Cats love to chase after something, so the ball-attached-to-fishing-pole -like toys are always a hit. Another favorite are the catnip mice that are readily available at pet shops everywhere.

How to Know if Your Cat is Bonded With You

Once a cat is bonded to you they may start to follow you around, trying to get attention. They will often sit in your lap or rub against your legs. When the cat is content to be around you and be handled by you, it’s safe to say you’ve bonded.

As you can see, it does not take a lot of pampering to bond with your cat, a little of the right kind of pampering goes a long way. Furthermore, your cat will eagerly come to look forward the time you will be spending together, so don’t think of it as a chore but as a joy


Getting a cat to bond with you can be a bit difficult at first. Treat them as you would treat a friend, be loyal, compassionate, and patient. Continue to treat your cat with respect and kindness and you’ll have a long friendship ahead of you.


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an orange cat being pet on someone's lap

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