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  • Writer's pictureJen Van de Kieft

Enhancing Your Relationship With Your Cat

Cats vary in how much affection they want to give and receive. They may sleep on your lap, or cuddle with you in bed. Others are more distant. To build a foundation for a good relationship and affection, keep these ideas in mind:

  1. Respect: Cats are very clean animals. Do your part by ensuring he has clean litter boxes, dishes, and places to rest. Accept your cat’s preferences. If he doesn’t like being picked up, don’t pick him up. If he only enjoys short petting sessions, stop petting before he becomes irritated. If your cat is sleeping, leave him be.

  2. Basic Needs: Mental stimulation is a need that is often overlooked. Boredom can lead to stress and behavioral issues. Cats are designed to spend their day hunting and foraging for food. Providing daily play sessions, food puzzles, toys and other enrichment can help your indoor cat be free from boredom.

  3. Communication: Talking to your cat regularly in a gentle voice can be soothing. Learn how to read your cat’s body language. The ears and tail can tell you a lot. Ears and tail up is often a sign of a relaxed happy cat. Fear or agitation can include ears twitching or back, tail twitching, bushed or low.

  4. Consistency: Cats like routine. Knowing what to expect reduces stress. Set times for feedings, playtime, etc.

  5. Understanding: Never punish your cat. Yelling can damage your relationship and hitting may injure your cat in addition to breaking trust. Behavior issues can stem from medical issues and/or stress. If your cat is having a problem like eliminating outside the box, the first step is to visit your veterinarian to rule out medical issues prior to seeking a behavior consultant.

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