7 Ways to Show Your Cat Some Love
I grew up in a dog family. Mom was “deathly allergic” to cats (her words), so there was zero chance of us getting a feline. When I was in middle school, my best friend had cats and after going to his house for the first time, I realized that I, too, was deathly allergic to cats: hives, puffy eyes, insane itching. And I didn’t even pet the darn thing – this was just from sitting on the carpet and playing! So, I lived the first 40 years of my life being completely uninterested in cats.
About ten years ago, my nine-year-old son begged for a second pet (we already had a wonderful dog). For whatever reason, he was dead set on a cat. We explained the allergy situation and said it simply wasn’t possible. Undeterred, he did some research and discovered a school of thought suggesting that one can very quickly get over feline allergies by continuously exposing oneself to a cat for a matter of a few days or a week. I checked his internet sources and they seemed valid – I might be miserable for a few days, it said, but the allergy would pass eventually.
We took a chance and brought home an adoptee on a Friday afternoon. It was a rough weekend, but by Monday I was fine. I could even hold the cat and rub my face in her fur without an allergic reaction. And here’s what happened next:
WE BECAME CRAZY CAT PEOPLE.
Who could have possibly known that cats were every bit as entertaining as dogs, just in HUGELY different ways? Well, I suppose about half the population knew, but now my whole family was hooked. The thing is, after 40 years of having and loving exclusively dogs, I just had zero idea what cats were like. They may not like belly rubs or playing fetch like their canine brethren, but holy cow are they fun and funny!
So, as a lifelong dog devotee and recently converted cat lover, here are my top 7 ways to show your cat some serious love…
Learn the language of their sounds!
Cats have nearly 100 unique sounds – and they each mean something important. It’s important to learn the most common. Did you know they only meow to humans? Or that when they click or chirp it means they’re hunting prey? Once you learn the meanings of the sounds your cats make, you can react accordingly. And that is true love!
Learn the language of their bodies!
When they rub up against you, for instance, they are claiming you as their own. Isn’t that sweet? And when they lay on their back exposing their tummy, it means they trust everyone else in the house – NOT that they want a rub! Once again, if you know what they are communicating with their behavior, you can respond in kind, showing love.
Play games with your cat.
You might be surprised to learn that cats love to fetch. The difference between dogs and cats, of course, is that your feline will never bring the ball or toy or stick back to you. But they do love the chase – especially if the item you’re tossing makes a little noise.
Three words: homemade cat treats.
It takes a little effort, to be sure. You could toss your dog a stale pancake from two Saturdays ago and he’ll gobble it up, but your cat likely has a more refined palate. Try this recipe for salmon treats. Trust me when I say you’ve got a friend for life when you serve these little yummies.
Don’t throw away that cardboard box.
Recent delivery? Save the box! Your cat will use it as shelter, as a scratching post, and as chew toy… heck, it might even play a game of hide-and-seek… with itself!
Not sure I can explain it, but any cat worth its salt simply loves a box full of puzzle pieces. I’ve never laughed harder than when watching my goofball cat cram herself into a 6”x6” puzzle box full of pieces – and then proceed to zonk out for the afternoon with her body squeezing out of all four sides.
C’mon, what did you expect? This is, after all, the Kitty Korner blog… but seriously, your cat will love the privacy afforded by a Kitty Korner Door. In our house, it keeps the dog out, the mess in, and gives our little female feline all the privacy she needs to do her business. And when we have guests, we drop the door into the closed-and-locked position and you literally can’t even detect the modification. She (the cat) and we (the humans) love it… he (the dog) not so much!
There you have it – 7 ways to nurture your cat and show him/her some serious love. Engage with us: leave a comment telling us how you show your cat love. We’d love to hear from you!