Once the bond of trust has been broken with a pet, it can require work to rebuild.
Many believe that dogs and cats don’t possess memories related to incidents or individuals that may have been hurtful or traumatic, but experts assert that if you harm or hurt a pet, it changes the dynamics of the relationship and can cause trust issues.
Liken it to breaking a glass and then trying to glue it back together — just because you are sorry doesn’t mean it is fixed.
Want to improve or rebuild the relationship with your cat? Keep reading to learn how.
I hit my cat and now he hates me (how to rebuild the relationship)
It’s never advisable to hurt, harm, or hit a pet. In fact, it is considered abuse. Even if the cat isn’t physically injured, this incident will forever change your relationship with your cat. Time and patience may heal the residual wounds, though it may be difficult to regain your pet’s trust.
You and Your Cat
It merits repeating that no good comes from hurting, harming, or hitting a pet. Cats can hold a grudge, and when trust is lost, it may be difficult or impossible to repair your relationship.
Also, these tactics are ineffectual at getting cats to change their behaviors or do what you want them to.
It is better to woo them with tasty treats and quality time with you — their favorite human — when trying to reinforce good behaviors and deter others.
The time to discipline any pet is during an act, deed, or behavior that is off-putting to you.
If you don’t want the cat on the furniture, give them a quick spritz of water from a spray bottle when — and only when — they are on the sofa, stove, or table. By reacting later, they will not know why they are being punished.
Don’t push yourself or force the cat to endure pets and affection. If cats are uncomfortable or unhappy, they will simply leave.
That is when they have a way to exit the situation or environment, they will, and many will not return. Treat your feline like the furry family member that they are or risk losing them for good.
Building Rapport with Your Cat
Since your cat can’t talk and apologizing seems moot, there are other ways that your pet may try to show its love.
Consider the following signs of a strong rapport with your cat.
- When cats knead (aside from kneading and biting on blankets), it is a sign that they look up to you as their parent. This indicates your cat’s happy, like purring.
- When cats lick you, it could be their attempt to groom you- as they would their siblings or offspring.
- Cats will gum you when trying to merge scents with their favorite humans.
- Vocalization from cats is often their attempt to sing or communicate with you like they would among other cats. Meow back to build a rapport!
- When the cat is close by, call and greet her by name. If they didn’t want to be near you, they would leave, so this is also a good sign.
- When cats place their paw on you or near you, gently touch the pads of their toes. This feels good to her and helps establish trust.
- Bring her an unexpected surprise- like a bug! Cats love to play with bugs and ‘hunt’ for their humans.
- Ask for permission to pet or touch your cat by holding out a finger for them to smell. When they sniff the finger, it is basically them conceding and approving of being touched by you.
- If your cat should try to bump heads with you, this is a positive sign that the relationship is on the mend or becoming stronger. Cats do this to leave their scent on other members of their clan.
When cats become anxious, they will pant. If your cat is panting when you are trying to show affection, back off and give your pet some space and time.
Try again later.
Frequently Asked Questions about How to Rebuild your Relationship with your Cat after Hitting it
What can I do if my Cat hates me?
First, take your cat to the vet to determine if they are sick or injured, which may account for their ambivalent or introverted behavior. Remember that cats are typically independent and often isolative animals — it may just be their personality that makes them seem distant.
How to strengthen a relationship with a cat?
Be patient with cats and give them space to create trust- which may lead to a stronger bond with your pet. Spend time with the cat every day to foster familiarity, play, enjoy treats- all things you can do with your pet.
Can I make my cat more affectionate?
Some cats are more affectionate than others, but you can encourage affection with your pet by first creating a quiet, safe spot to snuggle where your cat won’t be threatened by noise, strangers, or other animals. Also, check your own energy to make sure you seem warm and welcoming to the cat.
How to build trust with a cat?
The best way to build trust with a cat is to take care of their needs — food, shelter, water — and to never strike, hit, or hurt your pet, for any reason. Physical abuse is not an effective training tool in any circumstance.
If you have a cat, avoid hurting or hitting your pet at all costs. This is never an effective way to train or reinforce positive behaviors — and in fact, it can have the opposite, negative result.
Use these tips to rebuild and strengthen your relationship with your cat — with time and patience, you may regain their trust.