Want to strengthen your bond with your cat? These five simple tips from an expert behaviorist have got you covered

Woman and cat
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A common misconception many people have about cats is that they aren’t very affectionate or can be difficult to bond with, but that’s not true!

Of course, every animal is different. Some cats might be more distant or aloof, but others can be extremely affectionate and loving towards their parents and people or animals they know and trust, rivaling even the friendliest of dogs – particularly if you’re holding one of the best cat toys

Perhaps you’re hoping the improve the bond you share with your own cat, but you aren’t sure how – after all, cats are unique. If this is the case, cat behaviorist Albert Colominas of OutdoorBengal is here with five easy things to try in an Instagram post. Follow his advice, and you’ll be getting on like a house on fire with your kitty in no time.

“The secret to bonding with a cat starts with a happy cat,” Colominas begins in his caption. “However, I believe that it is very easy to miss unhappiness behind the belief that cats are aloof, mischievous, and independent.” (Here are 32 ways to bond with your cat for more tips!)

Colominas explains that he realized the happiness of his cat, Mia, was dependent entirely on him, so tried to do his best to “give her a life she’d love living.” He outlines something he calls the RAW framework.

• Real: Healthy raw food with a healthy food intake so overeating is avoided

• Active: Play and supervised time to explore outside

• Wise: Clicker training and talking buttons. 

“I believe the best cat-human partnership happens when all of the above are true,” he says. So, how can we achieve all three aspects? For Colominas, it all comes down to these five key things:

1. Play with your cat: Colominas recommends playing with your cat for at least 20 minutes each day, but says that “more is better.”

2. Stop free-feeding: “Put your cat on scheduled eating,” he says. “When you free-feed your cat, you miss to opportunity to bond with them every time you put the food down.”

3. Clicker training: As Colominas puts it, “Cats are a lot smarter than society made us believe. They can learn tricks and communicate with you.”

4. Talking buttons: Originally, talking buttons were designed to be used by people who have difficulty with speech, but dogs and cats can learn to communicate with them, too.

5. Go outdoors: “Cats are extremely capable outdoor enthusiasts,” says Colominas. “With the right training, gifting your cat with outdoor experiences will bring you and your cat closer together.”

Of course, many of us lead busy lives, and we might not be able to spend quite as much time as we’d like with our furry friends. But if we take a little bit of time in each day – and maybe a bit longer when we get the chance to – we’re sure to really improve our bonds with our kitties. As Colominas says, even 20 minutes of play a day can help!

If you’re looking for more advice on bonding with your cat, this article might be interesting: I tried ‘nosework’ with my cats and it’s transformed our bond.

Adam England
Freelance Writer

Adam is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle, health, culture, and pets, and he has five years' experience in journalism. He's also spent the last few years studying towards undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in journalism. While a cat person at heart, he's often visiting his parents' Golden Retriever, and when he's not writing about everything pets he's probably drinking coffee, visiting a cat cafe, or listening to live music.