5 Ways to Bond with a New Cat

Learn five ways to bond with a new cat.

Cats are known for being finicky and aloof. That's not always the case, of course. Cats' personalities are individual, and some of them are super snuggly. But if you're getting a new cat and want to be sure to set the stage for a strong bond between the two of you, follow these helpful tips.

Give Your Cat Some Space

When a cat is new to your home, giving her the space and time to observe things at her own pace is crucial to helping her feel secure. Cats love being up high, so start with a nice, tall, sturdy cat tree.

A cat cave can also do the trick because it gives your cat a warm, enclosed spot from which to watch things unfold.

Resist the urge to smother your new cat with hugs and kisses unless she appears calm and comes to you. If she wants to sit away from everyone and watch things, let her do so. Of course, use a friendly, calm voice to give her praise and encouragement, but let her warm up to things in her own time.

When your cat seems to want alone time, such as when she hides under the couch or climbs into the cat tree, let her have it. Don't push your presence onto her when she wants to observe things on her own terms.

Know the Signs Your Cat Is Ready to Bond

It's best to let your cat take her time getting accustomed to things at your house and approach you when she's ready for some bonding. It will help you to know the signs she'll display to let you know she wants some love and cuddles:

When you see your kitty doing these behaviors near or on you, it probably means she's ready for some petting, snuggles, and lap time.

Know the Signs Your Cat Wants to Be Left Alone

While you're learning the signs that your cat is interested in pets and snuggles, be sure to learn the opposite body language too: what your cat does when she wants to be left alone. If you see your kitty doing any of these things, it's time to back away and let her have some space.

If you don't heed your kitty's warnings when she wants to be left alone, you could receive a cat scratch or bite.

Make Interacting with You Fun

Be sure that, when your cat interacts with you, she always has a positive experience. Use treats, praise, and pets to show your new kitty that you're great and fun to be around. This will encourage her to keep coming back for more interaction, bonding the two of you over time.

Keep treats in your pockets, and get several interactive toys you can use to play with your kitty. Toys that mimic prey behavior and encourage your cat to stalk, chase, and pounce are great at relieving feline stress and improving bonding. Use a wand toy to act like a bird. Get some throw toys to mimic rodents. Try to get play sessions started often, but don't force it if your cat's not interested. If she is, let her play for a while and then be sure she gets to "catch" the toy at the end of the game. Then give her a treat to simulate the meal she'd have after a successful hunt. Not many things can give your cat good, happy feelings as effectively as a good bird or mouse hunt.

Create and Stick to a Routine

Cats are soothed by regular routines. It helps them feel grounded and bonds them to their home and humans. When you get a new cat, put a routine in place as quickly as possible. Make meal times, play times, and bedtime as close to regularly scheduled as possible. Over time, this will make your kitty feel calmer and help the two of you bond.

Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed veterinarian. If you require any veterinary related advice, contact your veterinarian promptly. Information at CatScratching.com is exclusively of a general reference nature. Do not disregard veterinary advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site.