Who is ready for a lighter topic today on the blog? I thought we’d go through some techniques for effective communication with your cat. Yeah I know, cats are notorious for ignoring anything you ask them to do, especially our oldest who’s currently plopped square in the middle of the walk-way through the kitchen. So now if you want to get to the sink, you literally have to step over her, being careful not to touch her at all or she’ll swat at you with her claws of death.
So let’s get into it:
1. The Slow Blink: This form of communication lets your cat know that you love them and it helps to calm them down, in most cases. With a little practice, the Slow Blink can be a useful tool. So, when doing the Slow Blink:
Do: void your face of all expression-making it neutral. Then, look into your cat’s eyes and blink your eyes for a count of 3 or the time it takes for you to mentally say, “I love you.” On the word, “you”, open your eyes. You may have to repeat this a few times until your cat, and they most likely will, blinks back at you.
Do NOT: look at your cat and blink your eyes in rapid succession. If you do this, your cat will think they are at a Rave and start jonesing for PCP laced cat nip.
2. Meeting A New Cat Friend: Introducing yourself to a new cat can be a bit tricky.
Do: approach the cat slowly and hold out your hand, palm side down for the cat to sniff. Cats learn the most about the world around them through scent and need to sniff new things.
Do NOT: aggressively march up to a new cat and immediately start roughly petting them. If you do this you are more than likely going to get bit or scratched. The cat will also pass along how you treated them to the rest of their cat friends, along with a description of your house and whenever their cat friends walk passed your house, they’ll lift their little feline legs or squat in your begonias and let loose. If you don’t have begonias, don’t worry, they’ll bring their own.
3. Punishing Your Cat Like You Would a Tiny Human: We’ve all been there. Especially if you live in a multi-cat household and one is a bully. Our latest “incident” occurred when our oldest tried to hug the youngest one. With her teeth. While keeping the youngest one in a half-nelson. Now, if these were tiny humans, you’d yell and tell them to stop and maybe take away a privilege. We also have a habit of reprimanding our fur-babies in the same way. This is not as effective on fur-babies so:
Do: Try to redirect your cat’s attention from the bad bully behavior. Grab their favorite toy or a laser pointer and use them to distract your cat away from the bully behavior. Use a calm voice.
Do NOT: smack your hands together and yell loudly. This will just scare the cat and make them afraid of you. Now of course I’ve actually done this when our cats have been in danger and it has worked, but doing this repeatedly over time can break your cat’s spirit. Cats are pretty sensitive to noise. That’s why your cat scatters when you vacuum or crinkle a plastic bag. Besides after a while, your cat will get sick of all the noise and enact the ultimate revenge. On a random night when you are fast asleep, your cat – – having earlier purchased a trumpet on Ebay – – will creep into your bedroom, stand on your head, and play a raucous version of the PEANUTS theme song.
Interacting with cats can be confusing. Using these tips can help you and your cat sustain a better relationship.
*When your cat says they want to be an owl, let them be an owl: Image courtesy of Pinterest