Sometimes, adopted cats will instantly form strong and trusting bonds with the new humans in their life.
In other cases, like when cats have suffered traumatic incidents, faced abandonment, or have wariness towards new environments, you’ll need to work on building up trust with them.
Here are some tricks and tactics you can take to help get a cat to trust you.
Respect Personal Space
First of all, it’s imperative to respect the cat’s personal space. If a new cat decides to hide under the couch or in a closet, don’t crowd them or attempt to force them out.
Let the cat make the first move. Cats are naturally curious creatures, so once they feel safe and secure in a new home, they will inevitably start to check out the humans living there, too.
Let your new cat come to you — don’t chase after them.
Also, try to provide your cat with plenty of personal, private places where they can retreat if they feel stressed. Make sure they have more than a few options as to where they can nap and hang out in peace and quiet, including a cat bed.
Let the cat determine how they want to live in their new home on their own terms; that way they’ll become comfortable and more trusting.
Pay Attention To Body Language
Once your new cat is close by, pay attention to their body language and respect their limits to being petted. For example, some cats are fine with a belly rub, but others will not tolerate it.
If your cat seems to be displaying classic signs that they’re not happy, like an arched back, flicking their tail, or lots of hissing, that means it’s time to back off.
If this is your first cat, you should familiarize yourself with some of the basics of cat body language so you can listen to what they’re trying to tell you. In fact, you should also learn how to express your love for your cat in ways that they can understand!
Stay Calm, Use Positive Reinforcement, & Be Patient
When approaching or passing your cat, make sure to walk quietly and calmly. Don’t run around, make loud noises, or do anything that might startle them.
After an early petting session, give your cat some treats. This way, they’ll begin to associate petting and human contact with being rewarded.
Finally, be patient when attempting to build up trust with a new cat. Slow and steady is the way to go. Some cats can take a very long time before they warm up to humans.
You can always consult your vet or a professional behaviorist if you still can’t seem to earn your cat’s trust. They may be able to help and offer some advice or different solutions.
Have you ever had to earn a cat’s trust? Do you have any other tips that might help? Share them in the comments below!