France ranks second to Germany when it comes to cat population. You can find cats almost anywhere, proving the French people’s love for their feline companions. Yet, some cats may seem not to return the favor, as they become too mysterious and shying away from humans. When that happens, you might be surprised that the problem isn’t with the cat but with your behavior. Like dogs, cats are affectionate animals that yearn for your love and attention. Sometimes, all you need to do is change how you treat them to unleash their soft, amiable side. To help you out, we’ve listed some of the best tips on how you can win over your reclusive feline and make her more friendly.
1. Stay calm and let your cat set the pace.
One of the common mistakes cat owners do is interact with cats the way they would for a dog. While your canine friends may love to see their masters excited and bouncy, the behavior makes cats anxious, forcing them to run away. So, never dare to corner or pet a cat by force. It simply won’t work and may cause your cat to be more aloof, and scamper whenever she sees you.
Instead, be calm and refrain from doing any sudden gestures, actions, or sounds. The more tranquil you can be, the more chances of your cat approaching you by herself. Just let your cat befriend you the way she prefers and set the pace of the interaction. As time goes by, your cat will be more trusting and start building a connection. Be sure to make the experience more positive by providing a treat or her meal. That way you can speed things up by allowing your cat to link being closer to you with positive results. Soon enough, you’ll be surprised how your cat can’t get enough of you.
2. Observe your cat’s personality and preferences.
Like humans, cats also have varying preferences and personalities. Some cats are more frisky, while others can be quite reserved. Meanwhile, some felines might like being held, but there are also ones who are content sitting by your side.
As an owner, it’s your responsibility to discover how cats behave and the things they enjoy or detest. However, be mindful that cats’ body language can be tricky. Twitching of the ears or tail can mean they are agitated. On the other hand, eye blinking may signal that they are content.
See beyond those actions to find out what your cat truly likes. If your feline companion prefers being rubbed on her side, stick to that. If holding her tail makes her irritated, then never dare to do so. As you adjust to cats’ personalities and preferences, you’ll earn their trust and establish a good relationship.
3. Play with your cat.
Many behavior issues displayed by cats trace to the absence of ample playtime. While they are domesticated, these felines are still natural predators who need to have an avenue where they can unleash their energy. As such, an excellent way to bond with them is through interactive play. You can use different cat toys, such as a wand toy or string, and add prey-resembling accessories to trigger their instincts.
Alternatively, you may also get other brain-stimulating toys like a puzzle feeder or track toys to keep them not only physically but mentally fit. Yet, never force a cat to play and keep interactions short. Cats will approach you if they are in the mood to play.
4. Pick up and hold your cat properly.
Before doing that, remember that cats relish their freedom, and once they feel restrained, expect them to wiggle their way out of your arms or worst, scratch you to flee. If your cat doesn’t like to be picked up, let her have her space and try some other time.
However, if you’re lucky enough to get her blessing, then use that opportunity to make your cat like you and gain her affection. Start by ensuring that you’re picking up and holding your cat properly. Crouch down to your cat’s level so you won’t tower over her and be scared. Then, put your dominant hand under your cat’s rib cage or torse, the part behind the cat’s front legs. That way, your cat can feel supported, and keep her comfortable. Bring her closer to your chest as cats like to be held close.
While dogs enjoy full-body strokes, cats prefer otherwise. Your cat will be content being touched under the chin, at the base of the ears, or around the cheeks. Some good signs that your cat is enjoying the interaction, include the gentle waving of her tails, a calm facial expression, a relaxed posture, and subtle bumps when you pause petting her.
5. Socialize your cat early.
Same with other pets, early socialization works wonders if you want to foster desirable behavior with cats. Kittens that experience positive handling and utmost care tend to establish their trust in humans quicker and go into adulthood with a friendly demeanor. So, if you have adopted a kitten, make sure to start right by providing your feline pal with tons of affections, attention, and playtime so she’ll grow up less anxious with humans and more warmhearted.
6. Use treats.
Treats are fun as they sound but you can also make use of them to make a cat more friendly. If the cat is already approachable, you can use treats to reward good behavior and have your cat associate it with positive experiences with you. If she is distant, use treats instead to attract your cat towards you and befriend you. However, not all cats are not drawn to food. You need to search for one that will hit your cat’s palate. Of course, small bits of fish, chicken, or liver are good starts.
Beyond their image as shy or aloof creatures, cats are social animals capable of building deep relationships with humans and showing extreme affection. Just remember that transforming a cat into a friendly feline is not an overnight process. Devote your patience, time, and effort and you will soon win your cat’s heart.