Unlike dogs that can instantly fall in love with their humans, cats are built differently. Sure, they are capable of being affectionate. However, they do not readily dispense their love. You have to show your cat that you are worthy of his love and attention.
Ways to make your kitten love you
Here are the steps to make your kitten love you:
1. Cat-proof your home
Cats, especially kittens, seem to never run out of curiosity. And that curiosity can often lead them to trouble.
Days or even weeks before you bring your new pet home with you, be sure to inspect your house and look for hazards that can endanger the life of your tiny pet.
Pay particular attention to loose wires which attract kittens and even grown cats. You can tape these to the baseboard or conceal these beneath the furniture.
Cats are excellent climbers and jumpers. And even if your kitten may not be able to climb and jump on shelves and furniture, it is a good idea to plan and remove items he can unwittingly push off.
If you have placed traps for mice or insects, it is a good idea to move or throw these away.
2. Shop for the essentials
Over time, you will be tempted to splurge on different accessories for your pet. But that should come later. For now, you should invest in things that your new pet immediately needs.
Kittens grow at an incredible pace. And as such, their growth demands a high amount of quality nutrients.
Take note that kittens do not have enough teeth to handle dry kibble. As such, you should stick with wet food until all your cat’s teeth emerge.
Before buying cat food, ask the shelter or the breeder about the brand they are feeding the cat. Buy that brand and feed it to your pet for a few weeks. This will help prevent an upset stomach.
When buying a food bowl, choose one that is shallow. This will make it easier for your kitten to reach his food.
Change the water in the bowl at least once a day. Alternatively, you can invest in a water fountain that is known to entice cats to drink more water.
Play and exercise are crucial for the development of your kitten’s mind and body. Plus, playing with your kitten at an early age is one good way to build lasting bonds with him.
When buying toys for kittens, make sure that the ones you buy do not have parts that can be removed easily. These can be choking hazards.
Scratching is embedded in your kitten’s DNA. To prevent damage to your furniture, it is essential to invest in scratching posts.
Begin potty training as soon as your new pet arrives home. When buying a litter box, choose one that is appropriate for your kitten. Remember, he may not be able to go inside a litter box that is too deep.
As for the litter, consult with the shelter staff or the breeder for which brand they use.
3. Devote time to play
Play is critical for a kitten’s happiness. It is through play that your new pet can hone his skills and exercises his body. And the more your young cat plays, the more likely that he becomes happy. And a happy cat can bond easier with his humans.
Ideally, you should play with your cat twice a day for 15 minutes each session.
Watch out for your kitten’s behavior. Discourage attempts to paw or pounce on your hand. Instead, redirect his attention to a toy.
4. Build a schedule
Cats thrive when you build a routine around their feeding, playtime, and litter box management. The stability of routines helps keep stress and anxiety in your furry little pal at bay.
Fortunately, you do not have to make drastic changes to your schedule and lifestyle just to ensure that you meet your kitten’s needs. With consistency, your new pet can make the necessary adjustments.
5. Begin petting your kitten once you get home
Petting is a surefire way to make your kitten love you. Kittens love being touched, especially on their heads and cheeks.
It is okay to let your kids pet the kitten. However, you should teach your children to handle the family pet carefully. Remember, kittens are still babies and have fragile bodies.
Be aware of the kitten’s body language. If he shows discomfort or hesitation, leave him alone until he comes to you.
6. Help your kitten groom himself
Although cats are fastidious creatures, your kitten may not yet be capable of cleaning himself. Additionally, grooming your kitten at a young age trains him to accept getting handled and groomed.
This is also the perfect opportunity to train your cat to accept getting his paws touched. This will make it easier for you to clip your pet’s nails.
7. Let your kitten make the first move
It may be tempting to spend all your waking hours with your new pet. However, the better approach would be to go on with your routine and allow your kitten to come to you for play or cuddling.
Cats respond better when you do not actively seek their attention. More importantly, when cats initiate an interaction the outcomes are positive overall.
8. Greet your cat properly
If you observe two cats that have bonded, they employ a ritual to greet one another: they use their noses.
You can copy this behavior by extending a fingertip close to your kitten. Your kitten should walk up to you and smell your finger.
9. Give your pet space
Your kitten will not always accept your invitation to play or cuddle. Watch his body language. Flattened ears, twitching tail, and hissing are signs that your cat wants to be left alone.
When your cat displays any of these behaviors, back off and just let your pet be alone.
10. Ease your kitten slowly into your home life
Do not thrust your cat immediately into your daily home life. During the first few days at your home, keep your cat secluded so that he can make the transition to his new home.
After a few days and your kitten has settled down, you can begin showing him what your daily life looks like.
Observe your cat and watch his body language. If he looks anxious and fearful, get him back to his own space. Otherwise, he looks curious and happy, you can continue.
Bonding with your kitten is essential
If you want your kitten to grow into a confident and healthy cat, it is critical to bond with him as soon as you bring him home.
If you have several family members at home, you can all take turns caring and bonding with your new family member. But be aware: cats have different personalities. Some cats bond strongly with one family member while others show love for all the members of your household.
Image: istockphoto.com / Nattakorn Maneerat