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How to communicate your cat

 by lucy on 18 Jun 2018 |
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Cats are notorious for never listening, but that doesn’t mean your pet doesn’t care about what you have to say. Felines have their own, nuanced ways of communicating and by learning to use a few of their social cues, you can strengthen the bond you share with your pet. Here are a few tricks to try when “talking” to your cat:

  1. Use your inside voice: Unlike dogs, who generally respond well to a bombastic “hello,” cats have incredibly sensitive hearing and will run away if a greeting is too loud. Instead, try using a quiet, sing-song voice when welcoming your pet, especially if he is shy or anxious.
  1. Lend a helping hand: Cats often greet each other nose-to-nose and you can imitate this gesture with your hand. Crouch or sit so your hand is at eye level with your cat, curl your index finger to make a “nose” and slowly reach out your arm. This allows your pet to bump “noses” with your hand—a greeting he can understand.
  1. Offer “slow blinks”: When cats feel relaxed, they slowly open and shut their eyes in what’s called a slow blink. Doing this in your company means your pet trusts you and feels safe around you. You can offer him the same sign of affection by slowly closing and opening your eyes. Often, your pet will return the friendly gesture.
  1. Give consistent commands: When communicating verbally with your pet, be sure to offer consistent commands. If you say “come up” when welcoming your cat to hop into your lap, be sure to always use the same phrase. Likewise, if your cat becomes too rough during play, use the same verbal cue, such as “stop it,” to let him know he’s gone too far, and then disengage from play for several minutes.
  1. Listen to your pet: As with humans, the best communicators in the feline world are also good listeners. While your pet can’t speak per se, he uses body language to communicate with you constantly. Get to know your cat’s unique set of non-verbal cues and you will be able to better communicate with him in ways your pet can understand.
Whether your cat is openly affectionate or offers more subtle signs of his love, he has his own ways of showing he cares about you. By learning to use these cues, you can communicate with your cat in his own language, strengthening the bond you share with your pet.


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