The relationships and bonds we create with our cats are truly unique. Our pets depend on us, love us, and care for us in the most genuine of ways – and we reciprocate that.
Just like the relationships we form with people, your relationship with your indoor cat requires maintenance. If you find that your kitty is being distant, less playful, or sleeping more, it may be time to hit the reset button on your relationship. Here’s how to reconnect with your feline companion.
Know Your Cat (and their Love Language)
We form bonds with cats the same way we do with the humans in our lives — and so do our cats. But did you know that your cat may have a specific love language? Understanding your cat’s personality is the first step in figuring out how to bond with them.
Author Gary Chapman identified the five love languages: words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, physical touch, and gifts. Of course, when Chapman wrote his book, he was discussing human behaviors, but we can apply this to pet cats as well. The problem is, you aren’t trained to see exactly how your furry friend demonstrates these languages, which can make bonding more complex.
How To Determine Your Cat’s Love Language
Your cats communicate each of these love languages in their own specific way. This post will highlight four of the five love languages and what cat behavior to look for.
Words of Affirmation
Is your kitty chatty? Does she meow, purr, or chirp to get your attention? This is your cat’s way of affirming you with her words. If this is your kitty’s love language, the best way to bond is to respond! Meow back, and keep the “conversation” going.
Or just talk to your cat. It’s unlikely that cats can understand human speech, but they definitely recognize your voice. Tell her you love her or just tell her about your day. Even if your cat can’t understand, the sound of your voice comforts them.
Silent communication works too. Cats slow blink to show affection. When cats feel safe, they make eye contact. If she starts to blink slowly, give it right back.
Does your cat often follow you around the house, or watch you from across the room? Even though your kitty isn’t directly seeking physical affection from you, it’s obvious that he enjoys your company. If this is your cat’s love language, you should take the time to find some activities your cat can enjoy.
This quality time can come in the form of a nap, cuddle session, or most importantly, some quality play time. Wand toys like our Wiggly Wand are a great option for incorporating an activity that allows you and your kitty to spend some time together. Play is also great for feline enrichment. Living indoors is boring for most house cats. All cats will appreciate play time.
Ah, the easiest way to keep cats happy: pets. Does your feline friend love to snuggle and nuzzle? Does she constantly want pets? You can bond easily with her by finding out what form of physical affection she enjoys most. Does she prefer head scratches or belly rubs? Taking the time to figure out what she likes best is the first step in strengthening your bond.
Try to be mindful of your cat’s signals, though. Even a cat who loves belly rubs may become overstimulated after a while. If she bites or swats at you with her paw, it’s time to let her have some space.
Last, but certainly not least – gift giving. Does your cat bring you critters from his outside adventures? Perhaps he has a favorite toy he enjoys leaving at your feet? If you find your cat doing this frequently, gift giving may be his love language.
If that’s the case, there’s no better way to bond with your furry friend than by gifting him something you know he’ll enjoy. Not sure exactly what he would like? Our Purrfect Play Pack is a great option that includes a variety of our favorite feline toys. Or even just a simple scratcher. Both are perfect for kitty’s indoor environment.
Patience Is Key
Okay, so you’ve figured out your cat’s love language, but what’s next? Understanding the language your kitty speaks does not guarantee instantaneous results. At the end of the day, patience is the most important thing in your bonding journey.
It will take time for you to not only figure out what love language your cat prefers, but also for your cat to come around to the new way you’re speaking. If you find yourself struggling to connect with your cat, you may be communicating with her in a language she doesn’t understand. Remain patient, and eventually, you and your furry friend will be closer than ever.