There are two ways, as I see it, of creating a lifelong bond with your cat. They refer to a couple of different scenarios. This is not some sort of mysterious, magical system. It is applied common sense.
Make your cat happy
I have written about making your cat happy before (link to article). Making cats happy is based on the same principles as making people happy. You do things for your cat which makes them happy. You should be with them as much as you can provided the interactions are enjoyable for your cat. This is about thinking what your cat likes not what you like although the two should merge.
It clearly helps to have a good understanding of cat behavior as it helps to understand feline communication through body language and the sounds that the make. Also understanding cat behaviour leads to a better understanding of what makes them happy. A gentle approach at all times is an overarching theme including a pleasant voice and gentle petting.
The greater the number of good interactions that you can create the better it is for bonding. If you are retired, for example, you can spend all day with your cat. And during those long days you interact with your cat in a way which pleases him or her.
You find out what they like in terms of food and petting style. You deliver these things to your cat companion. You bend your life around hers. You behave altruistically. You give a part of your life to her because their whole life is within your life. You create the environment in which they live.
In a loving relationship between human cat the cat lives their life through their human in many respects and particularly so if they are full-time indoor cats. That’s why the owner of a full-time indoor cat has a greater responsibility cat caregiving. They have more to do to keep their cat happy.
RELATED: How can I make my indoor cat happy?
It’s why it can be useful to adopt two cats together who are known to get along if they are going to be full-time indoor cats because it takes away some of that responsibility to mentally stimulate and entertain.
But the bottom line in a normal situation between human and cat where the objective as always is to create a lifelong bond is to find out what makes them happy and deliver those things to them.
That sounds rather commercial but the cat will then associate you with rewards and pleasure and good things. They will want to be with you. They will sit next to you. They will rub up against you and purr when they meet up with you. That is what you want as a cat caregiver.
This is not to say that cat owners can’t sometimes become irritated and annoyed or worn out and fed up. They might be ill and tired. All these things interfere with delivering the kind of environment that pleases a domestic cat.
Therefore, it is useful for a cat caregiver to keep as fit and as healthy as possible. This assists in making the caregiver as content as possible. I have some pages on these objectives which may help.
- Infographic on 8 habits that could add 24 years to your life (and improve cat caregiving)
- Be a better cat caregiver by being healthier in consuming olive oil and going vegetarian for 6 months
In addition to the above – which should always in place as a default method of caregiving – if a human raises a newborn kitten themselves for whatever reason to an excellent standard, the cat caregiver might and probably will be imprinted upon the mind of the kitten as their mother. This would be a lifelong mentality in the kitten. It would ensure a very close bond between caregiver and cat.
Some people might think that there are some downsides when a cat is bonded so closely with their caregiver. For example, the cat might follow their human companion (surrogate mother) around whenever they are in the home. Some people don’t like this because their cat gets under their feet a lot. Or their cat gets in the way when they want to do something like work on their computer.
When in a close relationship with their owner, cats do have a tendency to simply barge in on what their human is doing whenever they like. This, I would suggest, is less likely to happen if the relationship between person and cat is a little looser and a little less bonded.
It’s a bit like the relationship between human and cat when the cat is a barn cat. There is still a relationship there which is good but the cat is more independent.
The target or objective is always as close a bond as one can create through excellent caregiving. Bonding followings naturally from excellent cat caregiving.
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