I often hear people tell me how they don’t share my same affinity for cats because, in their words, cats are so “independent.” It has been my experience, as a cat owner since the age of about ten, that cats are about as interactive as their owners will allow and expect them to be. I trained my first cat, named Sandy, to actually wait around a corner inside our home and attack my siblings as they walked by. I thought it was hysterical. My siblings, of course, have remained traumatized by these attacks to this day.
My two current cats, Blackie and Sierra, also receive a lot of attention from me on a daily basis. While I haven’t taught them the art of attack as I did Sandy, I have found other ways of interacting with them that bring them, and me, great pleasure. It is my personal opinion that cats seem to understand some of our words, or at least our tones of voice. They have a pretty good sense of humor – as for instance, when my cats now race me or my boyfriend to our office chair in order to try to sit on it before we can. And, I also know that cats love to play and be challenged.
Although there are definite exceptions to my advice below, as for instance the case of a grown cat who received little or no human handling as a kitten, I have found that these are five easy ways to make your cat feel special, which in turn makes them – and you – happier:
1. Giving Your Cat a Good Rub Down. This is one thing most cat owners will do. However, I have found that cats love more than just the usual stroking of their back or tickle at the top of their heads. Some of my cats’ favorite scratching areas are: directly behind their ears; under their chins; in the hairless patch of skin in front of their ears; and right in the spot where their tail meets their back. Additionally, experts say you can even massage your cats, something I just started doing to my own two cats just recently. I massage their little back and thigh muscles just as I might a human’s muscles (with much lighter pressure, of course).
2. Talk to Your Cat. When my cats come to wake me up in the morning (at about 5 a.m.), I actually utter a little something to them like “Good morning kitty.” It may seem strange at first, but if you call your cat’s name and make eye contact with them, you can begin talking with them about anything you like. It might surprise you to notice how they will look at you for a while (if they are interested that day), and seem to be trying to understand what you are saying. I might also make a “meow” sound back to them on occasion when they begin meowing at me about something that they want. My cats love this kind of verbal interaction.
3. Give Your Cat a Food Treat Once a Week. My cats absolutely love canned tuna in water. But I notice that if I give it to them too often, they seem to develop a tolerance for it, and eventually, they don’t seem as excited by it. So, I save this special tuna treat for just once a week, or for days when I am out of the house until late at night and don’t get to spend any time with them at all. This way tuna continues being a yummy treat for them and I get the fun of seeing them go crazy for it.
4. Play With Your Cat for a Few Minutes Each Day. I will occasionally pounce on my cats (gently, of course), in a little playful attack gesture while they are lying on my bed. They usually jump away, but then seem to come back around for more. Sometimes I will also reach for and chase after them when they pass me by, sort of playing a game of “I’m going to get you” with them. I learned that cats like this type of playful behavior from watching my two cats interact with each other. Additionally, I like to bring out their favorite cat toys every once in a while. Just like with the tuna, if I use a cat toy too often, the cats get bored of it. I find that bringing out any given toy about once a month, keeps them entertained with it in an ongoing manner. My two cats’ all-time favorite cat toy by far is the Da Bird Interactive Feather Cat Toy .
5. Provide Them With a Special Window View. My indoor cats love looking out our house windows, especially when there is a tree where birds and squirrels perch. That inspired me to set aside a few window spots for them where they could easily, and comfortably, look out from. I bought a couple cat window perches just for this purpose (see my cat Blackie blissfully laying on her back on one in the attached picture above). You could also put a tall piece of furniture by a window so your cat can jump up on it, or else buy one of those tall carpeted cat trees and place it in front of a window or sliding glass door so that your cat can look out a window from these higher up vantage points.
My cats are getting older now (about 14 years old each), but they still love to play and interact with me. I try to be consistent in giving them daily attention because it’s important to me that they have the best life existence possible. If you have any other fun ways of interacting with your cat(s) or making them feel extra special, please leave me a comment below.
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