Anyone who has owned both cats and dogs knows that they are two very different pets. Although there are differences between individual animals, cats and dogs tend to have separate personality traits. Dogs are often instantly loving and loyal to their owns, craving constant attention and affection. On the other hands, cats are often aloof, happy in their own company, and dish out affection only on their own terms. It can take time for a cat to build enough trust with its owner for it to want to spend time in your company and for it to take please from human contact. If your cat seems shy or aloof, it is likely that they do not yet trust you, but there are ways that you can build trust with your furry companion. Here are some ways that you can get your cat to trust you.
Take Things at the Cat’s Pace
According to Mental Floss, scientists say that one of the best ways to build trust with your cat is to take things at their pace. You must have some patience and accept that this process can take time. Wait for them to make the first move towards you whenever possible so that you do not alarm them or make them feel fearful. Research shows that if you wait for them, they are less likely to back away if you respond.
Give Them Their Own Space
If you have a new cat that is shy and untrusting, it is important to give them their own space, says I Heart Cats. This will allow them to adapt to their new situation at a pace they find manageable. Dedicate a corner of a quiet room in your home to your cat. The best places are those with low footfall and with some good hiding spaces so that they can feel protected. Put your cat’s bed and playthings in this corner so that they know it is their safe place. From their safe place, they can acclimatize themselves with their surroundings
Use Food as a Tool for Building Trust
Although cats need a place that they feel safe, you also need them to come out occasionally so that they can accustom themselves to spending time in your company. Food is the perfect way to do this, as a cat has a natural survival instinct that will bring them out of hiding when they are hungry. Put their food bowls in a place close to where you spend a lot of time. So, if you spend lots of time cooking in the kitchen, then this is a good place for their bowls. This means they will be close to you while they are eating and associate you with their meals. In time, they will become accustomed to being around you and this will build trust.
Avoid Scary Noises
Purrfect Love advises you to avoid scary noises that may alarm your cat and knock their growing trust. Some noises that may scare your cat include slamming doors and the noise of a vacuum cleaner. Therefore, slamming noises and vacuuming are activities that you should avoid around an untrusting cat.
Mimic Their Behavior
The body language used by cats differs significantly from the body language of humans. This means that when you are approaching your cat, the actions that you think are calming, comforting, or make you seem approachable could potentially have the opposite effect. Try to mimic their behavior as they approach you so that they understand from your body language that you are not a threat.
Don’t Back Them into a Corner
In the wild, a cat will instinctively plan an escape route if they are feeling under threat. They do not like being in enclosed spaces as this leaves them with limited options regarding an escape. Therefore, you should avoid backing your cat into a corner when you approach them as this will make them feel fearful and diminish any trust you have already built with your cat.
Pet Them in the Right Way
If your cat has established enough trust to allow you to pet them, it is vital that you pet them in a way that they enjoy. When you pet them in a way that they do not like, the trust can quickly disappear. Although each animal has its own petting preferences, science has shown that cats prefer being petted on their forehead and cheeks and that they do not like petting close to their tail.
Pay Attention to Their Reactions
Observing how your cat reacts to your affection will let you know what they do and do not like. By understanding their preferences, you will only do the things that they like, and this will allow you to win their trust. Signs that your cat is happy and enjoying petting include purring, padding their feet, nudging you with their head, blinking, and rubbing themselves against you. Warning signs that your cat is not happy are a swishing tail, hissing swatting, scratching, and biting.
Building Trust with Your Cat – The Final Verdict
Not all cats are instinctively trusting of humans, and there are various reasons for this. However, there are ways that you can build trust with your cat so that you can both enjoy co-habiting. You should take things at your cat’s pace and give them a safe place where they can acclimatize to their environment. You can try approaching them in a way that mimics their body language and use food as a tool to build trust between the two of you. Finally, you should learn how to pet your cat in the right way and watch their responses to your affection so that you can learn what they do and do not like. If you have a little patience and follow these tips, it is likely that you will soon have a trusting and loving relationship with your cat.