Pet Them Right - Petting your cat may seem like a simple task, but you might notice there are times you’ve pet your cat, and their mood suddenly begins to change.
Cats are complicated, as many cat parents know, so you want to be careful where you pet them. This is good tip especially for children, so they know how to pet a cat without disturbing them and making them jump or scratch them, as petting a cat requires a bit more finesse than petting a dog.
Hold Them Right - The right way to hold a cat may seem fairly obvious. However, there is actually a proper way to pick them, so they are comfortable and less likely to be skittish and afraid.
It’s best to keep them close to your body so they feel more secure. The more they feel like they aren’t going to fall, the more stable they will be.
While this technique for picking up and holding works on some cats, it’s a given that not all cats like to be held at all. And that’s perfectly okay.
Just remember that if your cat doesn’t like being held, don’t force something on them they don’t enjoy.
Only Scruff When Necessary - Scruffing a cat is a technique that’s good to know for emergencies. Naturally, mother cats will pick up their kittens by the scruff of their neck when they are very young, carrying them around from place to place in a safe manner.
However, it’s also used by mother cats as a disciplinary measure. That means that scruffing should not be done unless it’s a real emergency.
For example, scruffing a cat might prevent them from attacking another cat, human, or animal, or from running in the street. Don’t scruff your cat unless it’s absolutely necessary.
Understand Their Body Language - art of respecting your cat is knowing how to understand your cat’s body language. Knowing what basic body movements mean can improve your relationship with them.
For example, knowing the difference between aggression and fear is very important. Similarly, when your cat exposes their belly to you, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s okay to go in for a pet.
Remember, just because your dog might be happy when they wag their tail, it doesn’t mean the same for your cat.
Let Them Scratch - Cats have a natural instinct to scratch. They may be indiscriminate scratchers – your couch, the carpet, the door jamb. You can definitely “train” your cat to scratch appropriate items like a scratching post. If your cat is scratching the furniture, put a scratching post next to it and when your cat starts to scratch the couch, gently put his paws onto the scratching post. Praise them when they scratch the post. Give them treats when they scratch the post etc.
Try out several types of scratching posts. Some cats prefer vertical posts, others like horizontal posts. Try sisal rope posts, corrugated cardboard styles, carpeted posts or even an actual tree limb or log. Find the type of scratcher your cat likes and place them around the house.