Socialize your cat as early as possible
To build a strong relationship with a cat, you must first ensure that it is comfortable with people in general. Socializing young kittens is important for their future relationships with people.
-Socialization with people between 2 and 7 weeks of age sets the stage for the rest of the cat’s life.
-Socialization includes holding the kitten and encouraging it to interact with people and animals. These interactions need to be pleasant for the cat to want to continue them in the future.
-Consider kitten socialization classes. Your veterinarian likely has some resources for you to consider.
Be patient with older cats.
If you have an older cat, great news for you! You can still work with it. Positive interactions go a long way at all ages to befriend a cat.
-Even a cat that has been feral (living wild, without people) for up to four years can be socialized.
-Depending on the cat, socializing an older cat could take more time. The steps described in this article still apply. If the cat is used to living with humans it will crave your attention, and usually ease into a routine.
Create a comfortable environment for the cat.
A cat won’t want to socialize if it doesn’t feel comfortable and safe. Create a calm and non-threatening environment when introducing a new cat to your home.
-Begin by putting it in a quiet room where it can get comfortable in the space. Your bedroom is a good choice. Spending time here will help your cat get used to your scent.
-Gradually allow the cat to explore more of the environment as it becomes more comfortable.
-Give the cat comfortable and fun surfaces to lay on (and in). A cat tree can be great for a cat that needs a little security and a place to call their own.
-The cat should have access to food, water, a litter box, and a scratching post.
Use a pheromone diffuser to calm a scared cat.
These diffusers contain a calming cat pheromone that can help an anxious cat feel comfortable and relaxed.
-Pheromone diffusers are very simple to use. All you have to do is plug them into a wall outlet, like many commercial air-freshening products. Then, just check them periodically to ensure they haven't run out of liquid.
-You can find these diffusers at most pet and online retailers.