Spending time with your new cat is a great way to establish a trustworthy relationship.
However, it will take weeks, if not months, to establish a good relationship with your cat, particularly if you are a new cat owner spending your first alone time with your new furball.
How do you welcome your cat when you have zero experience? What can you do to make the first few encounters enjoyable for you and your cat. Here are 5 practical and handy tips:
#1. Don’t Push It
Professional cat behaviorist will always tell you not to force your presence on a cat. If you enter the room and your cat flees, let it. Do not chase it and force it to stay in the same room as you.
It could even be helpful to ignore your cat for a while and give them time to adjust to you and become comfortable. Let them become acclimated to your smell, voice, presence and new surroundings. Never invade their space.
By giving your cat room, they’ll eventually realize you’re not a threat. When your cat’s curiosity takes over, they’ll be the one to approach you.
#2. Let Your Cat Sniff You
Your cat relies on scent a lot and uses it to get to know you. As soon as you and your cat pass the “don’t push it” stage, your cat will come over slowly and carefully. You can reinforce the idea that you’re no threat by making yourself appear smaller.
Do this by sitting on the floor or crouching down. Let your cat take its time. Allow it to slowly sniff you. There is no need to proactively extend your arm or encourage your pet to sniff you. Your cat will do this on its own.
#3. Stay Calm and Chill
Cat persons will understand the patience and importance of staying calm and easy-going around their pets. The calmer and more nonchalant you can be, the better. On the flip side, you’ll want to avoid loud, aggressive, and overly eager behavior.
The idea is to let your cat set the pace and dictate the terms of your relationship. When it’s ready to get closer, it’ll come to you. Until then, calmly wait for them to feel ready.
You should likewise avoid sudden movements that can threaten or scare your cat away. If it is in another room, call out their name to avoid startling it.
#4. Avoid Eye Contact
Prolonged direct eye contact with cats can make them feel threatened. As a result, they may back away from you or even scratch you which will set you back on your goal of bonding with your cat.
Instead of looking directly at your cat, try closing your eyes halfway and blinking slowly while looking at it. Slow blinking is a form of smiling in cats, and it elicits happy, positive emotions. After a few seconds, look away, then go back to being calm.
#5. Home Tour
First and foremost, they must be introduced to two locations: their eating and litter box areas. Make sure their food bowls are full of cat food and their litter box is full of cat litter. Cats are intelligent creatures who feel more at ease when their needs are met. Allow your cats to explore their new home at their leisure. We recommend that you do not confine them in a cat cage or restrict their freedom in any way. Cats take their time exploring new spaces, so be patient and give your cats some time to settle down.
#5. Other Pets Introduction
If you have extended animal family members, present them one by one. Separate your new cat from the rest of your household pets by putting them in different rooms. For a few days, gradually increase the contact by opening the doors just enough for them to see and smell each other. Release them in a room once they've gotten to know each other, but keep an eye on them to avoid any fights. Once everything is in order, set aside some time to play with all of your pets together to help your new cat warm up.
The 3 Cs of Cat Care: Calm, Cool, and Collected
It's best for you and your cat to build a strong relationship with each other from the start. By doing so, your cat can get used to your presence and will enjoy the stability of living with someone that they trust and have grown accustomed to. While you’re getting to know each other, just remember to stay calm, cool, and collected. Let your cat set the pace and be a cat person.