We all want our cats to love us immediately upon first sight, but this just isn’t always the case. Kitties have certain boundaries just like we do. If you want to gain your cat’s trust, you need to understand those boundaries and respect them.
It’s mind boggling how many cats are returned to the shelter each day because they weren’t immediately friendly or cuddly. Imagine being trapped in a cage for any amount of time and then thrown into someone’s house that you don’t know from Adam. Would you immediately snuggle up to them? Likely not.
Don’t give up on your kitty if he hisses or swats at you upon arrival. This just means that he is fearful so we want to help calm the anxiety.
Feline Behaviorist, Dr. Marci Koski says, “No matter what type of cat you have or what her personality is like, mutual trust in each other must be learned so that you can both enjoy a happy, healthy, relationship.“
Cats, like humans, have different personalities and that’s a beautiful thing. If every cat had the same persona it would be a boring world as cat parents. What we need to do is pay attention to how they prefer attention and affection and then work on the relationship upon their terms.
Building Your Cat’s Trust
Some cats don’t want to be held or even petted unless they ask for it. Give them their own safe space that no one else (including yourself) will invade. Let them know you are available by speaking softly and feeding them on a routine basis. Pay attention to their body language and understand when they would like to be touched and when it’s time to stop. Respect and cherish that time. You never want to force a cat to do something she doesn’t like, so please don’t pick her up if she clearly dislikes that.
Lastly, make sure that you encourage positive playtime with your kitty. Exercise is the best natural way for a cat to reduce stress and it also strengthens the bond between cat and owner… so this is a very good thing.