Bringing home a new cat, whether from a rescue shelter or not, is an exciting experience, and you'll need to come up with ways to bond with your new cat in order to help them settle in. We've just got two new rescue cats, so I've been spending a lot of time coming up with ways to interact with them and encourage them to socialize. So here are 7 ways to bond with your new cat!
1. Give Them Space
This might not sound like one of the best ways to bond with your new cat, but by giving them space, you're letting them come to you when they're ready. Make sure they have their own 'safe room' where they can go to eat or sleep.
2. The Way to a Cat's Heart
Feeding your cat treats is a great way to gain their trust. Spend around 5-10 minutes with your cat a few times a day and offer a treat each time you see them, all while talking to them gently. If they don't take the treat from your hand, take it with you when you leave the room. They'll soon start to associate you with tasty morsels!
3. Talk to Them
You may feel like an idiot doing this, but talk to your cat about your day. Just the sound and intonation of your voice can help your cat get used to your presence, and by sitting with them, talking about your day, they'll start to recognize your voice when you call to them.
4. Provide Them with a Safe Place
It's a good idea to set up a 'safe room' for your new arrival with their food, water, litter tray and a cozy place to sleep. They'll probably spend at least the first few days solely in this room, and they can retreat there whenever they feel shy. There are a lot of new, strange things for your cat to get used to!
5. Learn How to Touch Them
If you're not a cat person, you might not know how to stroke a cat - it's a bit different from a dog! You should start by approaching slowly with your hand. If the cat appears nervous or backs away, now may not be a good time. Stroking the cat's cheeks gently helps release their scent onto your hand, then you can move to behind the ears and the top of the head. They may even start to purr!
6. Stay Calm
Cats can sense when you're anxious, so try to relax when spending time with them. Even though you may be a bit wary of your new cat's behavior, talking softly to them and being confident when presenting toys or treats goes a long way to make them feel happier and calmer.
7. Treat Them with Catnip
Catnip, a member of the mint family, is a herb which some cats go crazy for! You can buy pre-filled catnip toys but I love buying bags of loose catnip and the refillable toys, as the smell will wear off after a while. You can even rub catnip between your hands to release the oils and then pet your cat - some cats will love this and become much more affectionate and playful. Other cats may get over-excited and some won't react to the herb at all.
So there you have it - 7 ways to bond with your new cat. Remember, let your cat get used to you and their new home at their own pace and try to keep your house as quiet and peaceful as possible for the first week after their arrival; now is not a great time to throw a house party! Once they've settled in and grown to love you, you'll have a friend for life! What are your tips and tricks for getting a new cat to settle in and bond with you? I would love to hear them!