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Cats are a great first pet for kids when trying to teach them about responsibility. Children are full of love, so they are always looking to give their feline friends love, attention, and lots of little cuddles.
It’s essential though, to educate them on how cats like to receive love – as this is often very different to how we like to receive it.
New research from Fancy Feast revealed that 73% of Australian cat owners consider their furry friends a part of the family, so there is no doubt that building a positive, loving relationship with their cats is of high importance to them.
In light of this, Fancy Feast has teamed up with Animal Behaviourist Dr Kate Mornement to help Aussies gain a deeper understanding of how cats like to show love and how they can show it back to their fluffy felines.
Kids can perform a ‘consent test’ with their cat to help improve trust in their relationship.
Dr Kate says one of the best ways to gain a better understanding of where your cat likes to receive affection is through a ‘consent test’.
“This is something that kids can easily perform with or without a parent depending on their ages,” she explains.
“It involves patting your cat briefly in an area you know they enjoy being patted and then stopping. If your cat re-engages with you and asks for more pats, you can keep going, but if they do nothing or move away, you should stop. Allowing your cat to have a choice and be in control when it comes to love and affection will certainly improve the trust in the relationship.
“Another great way for children to learn how their cat likes to receive love is by observing and noticing when their feline friend chooses to spend time with them. For many cats, for example, meal times are their favourite times to receive affection. Just the act of feeding cats by itself is an act of love and an easy way for kids to demonstrate how much they love them.
“Enjoying some playtime with your cat is another great way for kids to show their affection. When we play with them using toys, we provide our cats with an outlet for normal feline behaviours including hunting and stalking. Cats love to engage in these behaviours and encouraging them to do so is an act of love.”
Dr Kate says it’s important to understand how cats like to receive love.
Ragdoll by name, ragdoll by nature! These cats are very gentle and calm and tend to go floppy when picked up and cuddled.
They have long soft fur, and make the perfect playmate for kids.
Affectionately known as the dog of the cat world, Burmese are very intelligent, curious and playful. They can even be trained to fetch! Burmese crave attention and company and make wonderful companions for children.
The giants of the cat world, Maine Coons are friendly, playful, intelligent and very robust.
They can be trained to walk on a lead for backyard adventures and are very social in the company of children.