Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

October 29, 2020
How to build a relationship with a cat

I am the proud mother of a few cats and by a few, I mean four. I have a wild black colored baby boy named Panther, a sweet cuddly year-old girl named Bunny,  a grumpy large cat named Thea  and an old raggedy sleepy kitty named Cleo — honestly, I have no idea how old Cleo is, but I’m convinced she’s the world’s oldest cat, because I’ve had her since I was a little girl. 

There are also a few cats that sleep in my shed that I feed daily. Before you judge me, I didn’t even want to take care of the outside ones, okay? They literally just showed up at my house and I felt bad, so I fed them and took care of them. Seriously, cats are just attracted to me.

I have to admit though, I love them too. I adore how cuddly they are, the way they play, and the peaceful way they sleep. Cats can sleep through anything. Remember that earthquake back in March or whenever? All of my cats slept right through it. They are the most peaceful creatures in existence. 

One common misconception I have heard a lot when talking to people about my cats is “cats don’t bond with humans like dogs.” This is completely false! Now, I like dogs, but I love cats — don’t forget that. And for the purpose of this piece of writing, “dog” is a dirty word, okay?

Okay. I am here to tell you that cats can and will bond with humans if the human understands them and is a good person. Please don’t be offended if you’ve tried to bond with a cat and they don’t seem to like you. As long as you are a good person, they will like you eventually when you begin to take a little time to understand them. 

The first rule to understanding cats is knowing what they like. Cats are very curious creatures but they are also a little shy. They don’t like it when people run up to them and snatch them up because they’re “cute.” 

They want to smell you and see if you are to be trusted first and foremost. When approaching a cat, always put your hand out in front of them in a very inviting way. Do not point at them. They hate that, seriously. This is like a handshake when you’re first meeting someone new.

Now, if the cat likes you, it may rub its face up against your hand to deposit its scent on you. Cats do this because they think they own us. They are very vain creatures but also down to earth, a little more on that in a minute. 

You just have to accept their vanity for what it is and move on. You will never be cooler than a cat. Just accept it. Other cats may not want anything to do with you at that moment, because maybe you smell bad, or maybe they just don’t want to be touched at the moment, who knows? If this happens, try taking a shower and coming back later. If you want to truly bond with a cat, you have to keep repeating this step.

If by chance the cat does like you and rubs up against your hand, you may try to pet it for a minute before picking it up. Always pet a cat on its back first. Then, if it likes you, you can give it a soft scratch under its ear, so that it can push back against your hand and deposit more of its scent on you. If the cat is really getting into the pets, then you can softly try to pick it up but keep in mind, if it squirms, it probably wasn’t ready to be picked up, and always let it back down if it wants down. Never force a cat. They will only hold it against you in the long run and your bond won’t be as strong.

The second step in understanding a cat in order to create an unbreakable bond, is to feed it. Always give the cat yummy fish flavored treats, so that they know you love them — bonus points if you put catnip on top of the treats. 

Always remember though, never give a cat a bunch of milk. Yes, they love it but it will upset their poor little tummies. Think about it this way, it’s kind of like Taco Bell for us. They just can’t digest it correctly. 

Also, never feed a cat too much just because they are adorable. My poor cat has gained so much weight because she has the biggest eyes ever and I couldn’t resist her begging. Cats like to pretend that they are hungry but in all reality, they have already eaten plenty. They always think you have something better for them to eat.

After you have successfully picked the cat up and learned how to feed it, you must learn how to play. All cats play differently. For example, one of my cats will only play with strings and pens, that I am writing with, I might add. Another one of them will only play with little, stuffed mousies that make noise or move around. If a cat is not interested in playing with the toy you give it, it means that you should move on and try another toy. 

Okay, I should mention those weird, highly-intellectual cats who do not like to play with toys of any kind. These are very tricky cats and when learning to create a bond with them, you have to make up for playtime in other areas, such as pets, cuddles, or treats-just remember what I said previously about too many treats.

The last step in understanding a cat and creating a bond is to know when it is time to sleep. Cats normally sleep 12 to 16 hours of their day away. They may wake up to look at you, to make sure you still love them, but they do not want to be bothered. Only wake up a sleeping cat to eat. They won’t mind but for anything else, they will mind and they will be very angry.

Once you have learned and implemented these steps, the cat will begin to bond with you over time. Now, remember how I said cats are very vain creatures, but they are actually down to earth at the same time? I know, don’t even question it. Not even the most experienced cat people can explain this or understand it. If you treat your cat right, they will care about you. You will know that they love you when they look at you and blink their eyes slowly. You should always repeat this action back to them. 

Cats may lick you, just like they lick each other if they love you. This is because they are claiming you as their own and they are infatuated by you. Our fat lovely cat, the one with the big eyes, will run up to my husband’s shoulder when he is in bed and lick his beard and hair. She just loves him. Also, when cats love you, they will lay by you or bring you their toys when you are sick. This is the sweetest and purest thing.

Don’t be alarmed when your cat follows you to the bathroom. One reason they do this is because they love fresh running water, but the main reason is because they want to be with you. If you lock them out, they may sit outside of the door meowing to make sure you are safe. To save them the time and worry, you should always let them in and turn on the sink, so they can drink from it.

To summarize, everyone should own a cat and try to create the purr-fact unbreakable bond that will last for years to come! Now, get down to your local animal shelter and pick out a kitty! Always remember that the elderly cats need love too!

 

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