Cats often get a bad rap, mostly because people don't know how to connect with them, especially when they're used to being around dogs. Today, we're offering five ways to connect with a newly adopted cat so you can approach, interact, and engage with your new addition in a way that makes them feel safe enough to show you their truly fascinating selves.
Five Ways to Connect with a Newly Adopted Cat: Learn Feline Behavior
Cats have a unique way of connecting, communicating, and engaging with other cats and different species. When you study cat behavior, you learn what makes cats tick, what they are trying to tell you - verbally and nonverbally, and how to approach cats in a way that puts them at ease.
With the Internet and social media, excellent cat-related resources are at our fingertips. We highly recommend you follow some of the following cat experts online so you too can become an expert in your cat's communication, interactions, playtime, and enrichment. Plus, if behavior issues pop up, many of the following experts take virtual clients to help cat lovers troubleshoot issues and restore harmony in the home.
Five Ways to Connect with with a Newly Adopted Cat: Create a Cat-Friendly Environment
Like all other species, cats have needs. One of their most basic needs is to interact with their environment. When you adopt a cat, your home becomes their environment and should be set up in a way that allows them to meet their biological needs.
Having a safe space to eat and drink fresh water, play, run, climb, and scratch will go a long way with cats. Setting up cat-friendly spaces in your home will also prevent boredom behaviors such as inappropriate scratching and other destructive habits.
Check out Cat Therapy on Instagram to learn about cat-friendly design and how to set up cat shelves that will give your cat(s) hours of exercise and entertainment for years to come.
Five Ways to Connect with with a Newly Adopted Cat: Keep Playtime Consistent
Playtime is critical to a cat's well-being. Not only does it provide a fun way for indoor cats to exercise, but it also provides mental and emotional stimulation.
Cats are hunters and love to play with wands and toys that satisfy their need to hunt. When you play with your new cat, you fulfill their desire to hunt and create a fun and exciting way to bond with them.
To ensure that you're keeping playtime consistent, get into the habit of playing with your cat at the same time each day. Many cat parents play with their cats after dinner each night, which is an ideal time to engage cats in vigorous hunting behaviors. Because cats are crepuscular, they hunt in the evening or early morning, therefore, playing with them after dinner and/or first thing in the morning, capitalizes on that natural hunting drive and the time when they are wired to use it.
Of course, cats can and will play on their own but playing with you is more fun!
Five Ways to Connect with with a Newly Adopted Cat: Bond by Brushing
Cats need brushing, even those with shorter coats, even though they groom themselves.
When brushing your new cat, ease them into it with short brushing sessions, be gentle, and take your time, Rushing a brushing session can be uncomfortable for your cat and may even cause pain, which will result in a negative association with the brush. Using liquid treat pouches like Churu treats, for example, will ensure they thoroughly enjoy the experience.
Cat combs are also a great way to keep your cats looking their best while removing dead hair, tangled fur, and debris from their coat. As cats get older, they may need professional grooming but, in the meantime, consistent brushing and combing can keep your pet healthy and will encourage your connection.
Five Ways to Connect with with a Newly Adopted Cat: Practice Consent
Respecting a cat's personal space is the most basic cat care rule there is. Cat-specific consent starts with allowing cats to initiate physical contact. Respecting a cat's boundaries builds trust and ensures you don't get any scratches or bites when forcing your new cat into unwanted interactions.
When speaking to and approaching your cat, remember that they have heightened senses of smell, sight, and sound therefore they may be more sensitive that other species. While we may squeal and speak loudly around a human toddler, cats prefer soft voices and slow pets. They want you to display calm and inviting energy, then want to be given time to respond in their own way. Consent is for everyone, especially cats with claws and teeth that will, no doubt, put you in your place if you fail to wait for their okay.
Every cat is unique, so it's important to be patient and attentive to their individual preferences and needs. At Hearts at Home Pet Sitting, we strive to do just that. That's why we train our employees on feline behavior, their natural drives, and how to best meet their needs. When you leave your cat or cats in our care, our team of exceptional cat sitters ensures that your cat enjoys our company on their terms, whether they are highly social or prefer to watch us from afar. Our priority is always to put cats at ease and give them time to warm up to us while keeping them happy, fed, and safe.
Hearts at Home Pet Sitting provides in-home pet sitting and dog walking services in Yorktown, Poquoson, Newport News, and Hampton, Virginia. If you are interested in registering with us, please complete a new client questionnaire here. Existing clients may request services here. Please visit our website or contact us by email at Hello@HeartsAtHomePetSitting.com or by phone at 757-745-9868 to learn more.