Do Cats Bond With Their People?

Most cats bond with people, although some do it in subtle ways.
Do cats bond with their people, Thomasina? I'm thinking about adopting a cat, but I want a close friend, not just another body in the house. Would I be happier with a dog?
-- Undecided

Hi Undecided! 
Wow. That's a difficult decision to make. I guess it depends on what you really want in a companion. But to answer your first question, despite what you might have heard about us, most cats bond with their people. We can be sort of subtle about it though. So that bond might not be quite what you expect.


When Cats Bond With Their People


When cats bond with their people, that bond can be as individual as the person and the cat. Some cats like to be petted, others like to cuddle, and some (like me!) just like to be close by. But that's more about the cat feeling comfortable and safe than bonding. 

The real bond between cats and people is more psychic than physical. When a cat bonds with you, you just know. You can feel it, and you can see it in her eyes when she looks at you. She can see it in your eyes, too, and feel it in your hands when you touch her. 

How To Bond With A Cat




From a cat's point of view, bonding is based on mutual affection and respect. It's hard for us to bond with people who think of us as their "babies" when we're adults!

A good way to bond with a cat is to establish a ritual that you both enjoy. We're creatures of habit, and we like to do the same thing at the same time day after day. 

Maybe you could go for a short walk together every day when you get home. Or watch the news together before you start to fix dinner. Give her some treats to nibble while you're watching TV.

Treats are a good way to create a relationship, too. Sit on the floor with her and give her five or six treats, one by one. Do this at the same time every day! 

Playing together with a wand or fishing pole toy right before you go to bed is another way to bond. So is brushing your cat before bed. All of the cats at my house love the Zoom Groom because the bristles are so gentle. 

Touch your cat often, even if it's just a quick pet on her head, and let her feel the love in your hand. And talk with her in a quiet, conversational voice. She'll understand what you're saying, even if she doesn't talk back in a language you understand.


Remember this, too. It can take a while to build a deep, meaningful relationship with a cat. That bond's not going to happen overnight!

I have to admit I can't be completely objective about this, but I think you should adopt a cat. Cats are quiet, we don't take up a lot of room, and you wouldn't need to take a cat out in the bitter cold or pouring rain.

Oh... you still can't make up your mind? Hey, here's an idea. Maybe you could adopt a dog and a cat! 



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